July 1, 2015
Media continues to ignore TV host and author Bill O’Reilly, says Bill O’Reilly on his TV show
by Julia Fleischaker
In a move that Erik Wemple at the Washington Post rightly notes “combined chest-beating self-congratulation with chest-beating self-promotion of the sort only possible on a show with no adult supervision,” Bill O’Reilly spent some of the June 24 broadcast of The O’Reilly Factor complaining that Publishers Weekly had snubbed him, in a grand liberal conspiracy to deny him his right to be listed in their Fall Announcements issue. Seriously. Wemple wrote on June 30:
In his “Tip of the Day” segment, O’Reilly noted that MSNBC host Chris Hayes had apologized to him for having taken out of context a comment that O’Reilly had made about the Confederate flag in the aftermath of the Charleston, S.C., massacre. “Now we accept Mr. Hayes’s apology and acknowledge the courage it took for him to do that,” the host said. “That kind of thing rarely happens in the media these days.”
With that, O’Reilly set himself up for a grand transition: “Case in point, Publishers Weekly magazine, which ignored one of the biggest books of the year — the upcoming ‘Killing Reagan’ — in its fall preview edition last week,” said O’Reilly, referring to the upcoming book with Martin Dugard on the 40th president (Henry Holt & Co.; release date: Sept. 22). His argument: Publishers Weekly dissed “Killing Reagan” for ideological reasons, as the staff of the publication is “heavily liberal.” Given the spectacular sales performance of last year’s O’Reilly-Dugard collaboration, “Killing Patton,” the failure to include “Killing Reagan” is “inexplicable,” charged O’Reilly.
Publishers Weekly‘s editors had actually already addressed some of O’Reilly’s accusations, in a blog post on June 25.
During his comments, he made several inaccurate statements—among them, that his publisher had contacted PW to ask why Killing Reagan wasn’t included in the issue, and that PW “had no answer.”
This is untrue.
On June 23, the publicity director of Holt, O’Reilly’s publisher, emailed PW‘s reviews director, Louisa Ermelino, to ask why the book wasn’t mentioned in the issue. Ermelino responded the afternoon of the 23rd, explaining why the book wasn’t chosen.
(I am really feeling for this publicity director.)
PW also disputed O’Reilly’s claim that his previous book, Killing Patton, was the bestselling “tome” in 2014, outselling every other book by 50%, writing that “according to Nielsen BookScan, Killing Patton was the fifth bestselling print book of 2014, behind The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney, and Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth.”
Of O’Reilly’s last charge, that PW is run by liberals that don’t like and “don’t want you to know” about Ronald Reagan, the editors note that since just January 2014, they’ve reviewed six books about Reagan and his presidency. Wemple talked to PW’s Jim Milliot, who told him that the magazine had received 11,753 submissions and only included 750. And Milliot gave Wemple probably the best reason, stunning in its simplicity, for not including Killing Reagan (aside from the fact, I assume, that Reagan wasn’t killed?) in their Announcements issue: the book wasn’t announced before their deadline.
As shared by Milliot, here’s “all the information” submitted by the publisher to the magazine:
Untitled O’Reilly 2 by Bill O’Reilly, Martin Dugard (Sept. 22, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-62779-241-7).
Bold text added to highlight a problem for Publishers Weekly. “That was a major reason why it wasn’t included,” says Milliot. “We really strive to get books from all over the universe, but if you don’t submit the name of the book, that is definitely a strike against you.”
Patricia Eisemann, a spokeswoman for Holt, says, “Any embargoed book is held in the data base early on as ‘untitled.’ The book was not announced until the last week in May.”
And so O’Reilly continues his lonely stand, with only a major television network and a major New York publisher on his side, in the fight against liberal ideas, like “titles” and “deadlines.”
Julia Fleischaker is a former director of marketing and publicity at Melville House.