Bill O’Reilly and Lou Dobbs, once two of Fox News’ biggest stars, are now reduced to complaining about their former employer on the fringes.
Dobbs, a former Fox Business host known for his endless praise of Donald Trump, appeared on disgraced former Fox News star Bill O’Reilly’s web show on Tuesday night, sometimes grumbling about “the media of company” and making direct and indirect references to their time at Fox News.
“I can’t depend on information from cable or network news, it’s all ideologically driven now,” the ever grumpy O’Reilly complained to Dobbs, deftly brushing off the fact that Fox News, where he’s hosted a show for 21 years, is the most-watched cable news network on the planet, and the pioneer of such ideologically charged television.
“You’re right about the media,” Dobbs agreed. “Of the six major news sources in this country, they are owned by corporations, large corporations.” He cited examples such as Comcast’s ownership of NBC and AT&T’s ownership of CNN, conveniently omitting the massive media empire that owns Fox News.
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“It’s a huge corporate oligopoly, and that very simply means that the news that comes out is exactly what’s being decided in those boardrooms,” Dobbs continued. “No one should joke about that.”
O’Reilly then stepped in to offer his perspective, boasting that at the time he rarely received orders from Fox News superiors.
“But that wasn’t happening. When you and I were at Fox, nobody ever told me what to do or what to say or spin something that way. I didn’t go to any of their stupid meetings,” said the former Fox host, who quit amid multiple sexual misconduct settlements. “They had the meeting every morning. I did not go. I didn’t care what they did or said.
“I didn’t even know about the meetings!” Dobbs joked in response, prompting light-hearted banter from the couple about his ungainly exit from Fox’s airwaves.
“Well, they don’t like you, or they didn’t like you,” O’Reilly joked.
“I think they made it clear,” Dobbs retorted with a laugh.
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Dobbs’ Fox show was canceled last year after Smartmatic named him, in no uncertain terms, as a top purveyor of election lies, prompting the voting tech company to sue Fox. News to the tune of $2.7 billion. It was never clear when Dobbs’ contract with Fox ended. A network spokesperson did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on Wednesday afternoon.
Ultimately, O’Reilly ended the riffing with a somewhat sad observation about his and Dobbs’ shared destiny as online podcasters.
“So they’re basically telling their commentators and reporters what to do. And if you don’t, then you do a podcast,” he concluded. “I mean, that’s about it, right?”
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