Neil Swidey writes an excellent profile of FOX’s Bill O’Reilly for the Boston Globe. His “O’Reilly Factor” is the top-rated show on cable’s top-rated news network. O’Reilly certainly espouses a point of view, and I would suggest that this is part of what makes his show so popular. But more, O’Reilly understands that the medium of television has conceptual/cognitive requirements quite different from print. Here’s how Alex S. Jones, the director of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics and Public Policy, put it:
O’Reilly’s an iconoclastic, opinionated watcher of public affairs who loves skewering institutions and individuals. But he’s also a great entertainer. He has a very clear sense of pace, rhythm, and how he wants his program to be.