Political commentator Bill O’Reilly defended President Donald Trump’s continued criticism of the media in a Monday op-ed titled, “How Trump will win his war against the media.”
In the article, O’Reilly shared his views on the current state of the press, the media’s ongoing criticism of Trump and his personal advice for the president. O’Reilly said that he is not surprised by Trump’s response to the media’s continued criticism, and defended Trump throughout the piece.
“While there is no question that Trump is hammering his detractors in very personal ways, why is anyone surprised?” O’Reilly said. “As a presidential candidate, he routinely denigrated his opposition by using schoolyard descriptions, and ultimately he vanquished them. So why would he change his maverick style now?”
O’Reilly relayed an experience in which he was personally criticized by Trump while covering the 2016 presidential campaign for Fox News.
“On live TV during the campaign, Donald Trump told me I should see a psychiatrist because I was too ‘negative.’ So what?” O’Reilly said. “I continued to cover him fairly and retained access, even though I criticized him when I felt it necessary. But I based my analysis on facts, did not cheap-shot him, and did not quote anonymous sources that made him look bad. I was straight with Trump and, in return, he was straight with me.”
O’Reilly finished his piece with some advice for Trump who, he said, does not care about White House protocol as evidenced by his controversial responses to the media through Twitter.
“Tweet facts, Mr. President, not insults,” O’Reilly said. “Hammer your opposition with verifiable statements. Do that, and you may ultimately prevail against a press that often abuses its freedom — a media where seeking the truth is becoming obsolete.”