Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said there is one reason he proposed a touring “History Show” with former President Trump: The American media failed at its job.
Long considered “the first draft of history,” newspapers and other media outlets instead became agenda-driven and thus what actually transpired during Mr. Trump’s tumultuous single term remains largely obscure, Mr. O’Reilly contended in an interview.
“It’s shocking, that’s the only word I can think of to describe this total collapse of journalism in the U.S.,” Mr. O’Reilly told The Washington Times. “These outlets either sincerely loathed Donald Trump or loved him, but they didn’t care about the facts. I really don’t know what happened the last four years in the White House.”
In a statement Monday, Mr. Trump announced the show’s first four dates in Florida and Texas, now set for December in the arenas used by professional basketball and hockey teams.
“These will be wonderful but hard-hitting sessions where we’ll talk about the real problems happening in the U.S., those that the fake news media never mention,” Mr. Trump said. “I will be focusing on greatness for our country, something seldom discussed in political dialogue.” Additional dates for the tour are “up to Donald Trump,” Mr. O’Reilly said.
Mr. Trump “is the star of this show, I’m just driving the car,” he said. “We’re going to have a packed house and I’ve got 20 more dates open if he wants to do them.”
An example of a story that needs to be told correctly, according to Mr. O’Reilly, is how Operation Warp Speed, the Trump team’s name for the search for a COVID-19 vaccine, succeeded. Mr. Trump‘s Middle East diplomacy also was reported through a prism of either Trump hatred or adulation — rather than disinterested fact-gathering, Mr. O’Reilly said.
“How did the vaccine get done in seven months? I don’t know,” Mr. O’Reilly said. “So this will get it on the record because neither I, myself, nor the American people have any blinkin’ idea what happened.”
Mr. O’Reilly, whose longtime show on Fox News dominated evening ratings for years before his career there unraveled in the midst of allegations of sexual harassment, said he Mr. Trump still calls him “from time to time.” The author of multiple best-selling history books ranging from the American Revolution to World War II, Mr. O’Reilly said his first thought was to write a book about their relationship.
“But then I thought, ‘That’s not the way to go because I don’t know what happened,’” he said. “Instead, we should do a series of interviews.”
Previously, Mr. O’Reilly had toured cities with comedian Dennis Miller, so the concept and the production company were already in place.
All that remains to be seen now is what, exactly, Mr. Trump will say.
“I can’t promise it’s going to be methodical, but I expect him to be pretty candid,” Mr. O’Reilly said.
The shows are expected to last about two and a half hours with a short intermission and will include a Q&A session with audience members, Mr. O’Reilly said. Neither press coverage nor recordings will be permitted. The format will allow the men to touch on current events, too.
“People fear Donald Trump because things are not going well for Biden, and I think they are going to go further south pretty quickly,” Mr. O’Reilly said.