Former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has accused the broader media of conspiring to undermine President Donald Trump. The conservative celebrity, who was ousted from his primetime perch amid sexual harassment allegations, likened Trump's opponents to a "lynch mob."
O'Reilly asserted in a July 31 editorial that the majority of news outlets were misrepresenting the Trump administration and the president's own personal conduct.
"It is certainly true that every American has the right and perhaps civic duty to form an educated opinion about their leader," O'Reilly wrote in The Hill. "But those opinions should be based on facts that demonstrate truth -- not contrived narratives designed by partisan ideologues."
The former Fox News host cited an interview with former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, who asserted July 28 that the majority of news coverage of the Trump administration was not accurate.
"What I find to be amazing is how narratives are set and a lot of it is not true... The most breathtaking thing for me has been the difference between what the truth is and what often gets reported," Priebus told Fox News.
O'Reilly blasted the controversies engulfing the Trump administration, dismissing the congressional and federal inquiries into whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential race as "rank speculation and the use of anonymous sources that are clearly opposed to Trump."
The former television host accused the media of framing Trump as unfit for office, asserting that everything "the man says or does is reported as a negative.... It must be said, however, that Trump's lack of discipline in replying to the attacks is greatly aiding his opposition."
O'Reilly concluded that Americans "are being barraged with story lines designed to make it impossible for Donald Trump to govern."
On April 19, O'Reilly was fired from his show on Fox News after news outlets unearthed that the company had settled lawsuits from five different woman accusing the host of sexual harassment. The media company had paid roughly $13 million on O'Reilly's behalf to settle the litigations, The New York Times reports.
O'Reilly denied any impropriety and called the lawsuits "unfounded claims."
On July 26, an Economist/YouGov survey found that the majority of national adults disapproved of the way that Trump and the media interacted. 53 percent of respondents disapproved of how Trump handled the media, while 51 percent of respondents disapproved of how news outlets handled the president, according to YouGov.