Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly responded to GOP presidential candidate Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s criticisms of FNC’s coverage of him compared to its coverage of fellow candidate Florida Sen. Marco Rubio by saying, “I can tell you that Senator Rubio has been much easier to book than Senator Cruz” on Thursday’s “The O’Reilly Factor.”
O’Reilly stated, “Well I can’t speak for Fox News, but I can tell you that Senator Rubio has been much easier to book than Senator Cruz. In fact, Senator Rubio will be with us in two minutes, and Senator Cruz will not be with us even though we invited him on tonight. We also invited Ted Cruz on tomorrow night, and we invited him on earlier this week. I don’t really know what else to do. I’ll even buy him dinner. We hope to see Mr. Cruz on Friday.”
After playing a clip of GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson criticizing the press, O’Reilly said, “I want the candidates to complain if they feel aggrieved. But I don’t want them to be paranoid. Here’s how the campaign should be covered. Hard news: Just report the facts, don’t need any shading. Commentators like me are free to give opinions on just about everything. Morning hosts, they’re opinion people, too. Each show has a definition. So while candidates like Hillary Clinton might feel Fox News is stacked up against them, it’s only true in some precincts. I go out of my way to keep it about issues unless a politician strays into dubious areas like the email deal. That being said, I have sometimes defended Hillary Clinton from cheap shots and stayed away from any and all personal attacks. But it’s easy for politicians to dodge tough interviews by saying they’ll be treated unfairly, and that’s what often happens in these cases.”
O’Reilly added, “One guy who does not dodge is Donald Trump, although he does hold a grudge if you hit him hard. Mr. Trump like all the other candidates says he just wants to be treated in a fair manner.” He further agreed with Trump’s assessment that some in the press are good, while about 50 percent of members of the press are terrible.
O’Reilly concluded, “hard news folks just the facts, please. Commentators free to comment and the candidates should not take it personally unless personal attacks are used. Those are unacceptable.”