Last Thursday I was a guest on the O’Reilly Factor on FOX News. The subject was “The War on Christmas” and the controversy over the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center’s ad being rejected by ESPN.
If you’ve ever watched Bill O’Reilly’s show you can already figure on two things: 1) Bill and I didn’t agree on very much and 2) Bill didn’t let me talk very much. But I already expected that. What I didn’t expect was the amount of hate mail I’d receive after the show aired.
Coincidentally, the other guest on the show, Peter Shankman, is a friend of mine. So a few minutes after we co-appeared with O’Reilly, Peter sent me an email titled, “Has the hate mail started yet?” When I told him no, Peter wrote back: “Seriously – I could go on CNN and call George Washington Adolph Hitler and it wouldn’t produce 1/10th of the amount of hate O’Reilly does. I’ve been told to rot in hell six times in the past five minutes. :)”
Moments later the venom started oozing in:
@TimHadsel wrote: “@BruceTurkel Anti-racist is a codeword (sic) for anti-White.”
@pinkroselady said: “@petershankman @BruceTurkel u both r a couple of self righteous pathetic jerks. Little kids get hope from these ads 4 well wishes. U suck.”
@wrdDixon opined: “@petershankman @BruceTurkel well peter if u want to be an asshole so be it. You also bruth!”
Bruth? I haven’t been called that since elementary school. And at least then it was Bruthie.
@rnance1950 said: “@petershankman @BruceTurkel Just seen your POS interview on O’Reilly, I really believe you are in the same Mold (sic) as Al Sharpton, another POS!”
@davidthomas38 chimed in: “@petershankman @BruceTurkel Yes you are and you are a liberal and trying to destroy Christmas.”
@k47579 picked up on the fact that Shankman and Turkel might have been chosen for this segment on destroying Christmas based on their religion. Clever, @k47579.
“If you two TURDS were catholic (sic) you’d be in agreement with Bill.”
Then he added:
“And f**k these two assholes.”
Except @k47579 actually knew how to spell the word f**k without the asterisks. I’ll bet he didn’t learn THAT in church, Catholic or otherwise.
It’s not like I haven’t been on TV, or FOX, before. In fact, I’ve been on different FOX shows more than 78 times — weekly on Money with Melissa Francis, and also Varney & Co. and Cavuto on Business. But while I have received lots of follow-up tweets, emails, and Facebook posts, including some from people who’ve disagreed with what I’ve had to say, I’ve never received anything that was even vaguely hateful or offensive.
That changed on Thursday after appearing on the O’Reilly Factor.
Bill O’Reilly has said that he’s not a journalist — he’s a television host, author, syndicated columnist, and political commentator who sells a certain breed of vitriol to an angry and frustrated audience. That being said, a November 2008 Zogby poll found that O’Reilly was the country’s second most trusted news personality, following Rush Limbaugh.
So would I accept another invitation from the O’Reilly Factor? With pleasure. Being on O’Reilly’s show was a great opportunity to build my brand value in front of FOX News’ largest prime-time audience (2,106,000 that night, according to TV by the Numbers’ count). And despite the fact that I didn’t get to say very much, I truly enjoyed the experience and learned a lot. Besides, my Klout score (the measure of one’s online impact) jumped after the appearance and I know a lot of that had to do with all the hate mail I received.
Gotta love that!
By the way, if you’d like to see the interview, click HERE or on the image below.