Why is Bill O'Reilly embarrassed to be called right-wing?

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

In its Correction Box today the Washington Post writes:

A photo caption in the Oct. 22 Style section incorrectly referred to Bill O'Reilly as a "right-wing pundit." The Fox News host presents himself as an independent.

We assume that came via pushback from Fox News, which is notorious for hounding news outlets that suggest the channel has a conservative tilt.

Couple things are curious here. First, in the past, Fox News execs have stressed that while its primetime hosts might be opinionated and lean right, its overall news organization plays it straight. That's their argument. So why the rush to claim one of its most opinionated primetime hosts, O'Reilly, doesn't have a conservative tilt?

Second, stressing that O'Reilly "presents himself as an independent" is odd, not only for the obvious reason that he doesn't really. But it's strange because it's not like the Post identified him as a Republican and O'Reilly doesn't want to be associated with a particular party, which would be understandable. The Post identified him as a conservative, as "right-wing," and still O'Reilly objected.

When somebody like Bill O'Reilly doesn't even want to be associated with the conservative movement, you know it's in trouble. Who's next, Sean Hannity?

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