TODAY   |  October 06, 2013

Bill O’Reilly on new book, staying authentic

Cable news host Bill O’Reilly is riding high with a top-rated show and a best-selling new book, “Killing Jesus.” He told TODAY’s Erica Hill that he values honesty, and that’s what has kept him successful over 18 years on the air.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> bill o 'reilly is riding high these days, both on tv and as an author. is he the same guy, though, off-screen as he is on? the short answer? yes.

>> caution. you are about to enter the no-spin zone.

>> he's one of the country's most well-known tv personalities . outspoken.

>> you people should be ashamed.

>> you are lying!

>> never one to shy away from debate. a formula that has made "the owe o'reilly factor" the number one cable news show for more than 13 years. what do you think is that you have that connects with millions of people every night?

>> authenticity. i'm genuine. i'm not any different off-camera. you can ask the crew. i'm the same. i think it's rare on tv.

>> o'reilly is also the author of 12 -- yes, 12, number-one best-sellers. his latest, "killing jesus."

>> why jesus?

>> well, i'm trying to bring into focus -- sharp focus the people that i feel have influenced america and the world in a very profound way. 80% of americans describe themselves as christians. how much do they know about him?

>> o'reilly coauthored the book with martin dugard , the same man he partnered with for killing lincoln and killing kennedy. they say this isn't a religious or even theological book. it's a history book . the reviews are mixed.

>> they review me, not the book. don't like me, so they'll say nasty things about the book.

>> you give criticism, you take criticism. how much of that do you let get to you?

>> i used to let it get to me more than i do now. because it used to be more personal than it is now. but, you know, look. as you said, i dish it out, i've got to take it. and i do.

>> o'reilly's tv staff is used to his style. he's quick and decisive.

>> a little too squishy. i'm a commentator. if i have people writing my own commenta commentary, you know, there is something false about it.

>> o'reilly celebrates 18 years at fox news this weekend. so what's next? what's on your --

>> retirement.

>> when does that happen? you don't seem like the kind of guy slowing down any time soon.

>> well, i work hard, but, you know, i'm not andy rooney , with all due respect to him. he was brilliant. i don't want to be working when i'm 90.

>> that said, o'reilly isn't leaving the no-spin zone just yet. and clearly, there's still demand for his nightly takes.

>> i'm most proud that we're honest. we don't stab anybody in the back. we stab them in the front. but not in the back. you know? i mean, we're upfront here. and we've been that way since the very beginning.

>> o'reilly told me, he's already working on that next book. he says it will focus on world war ii . but wouldn't get more specific than