The loofah-loving Fox News host is raising plenty of eyebrows around the office after telling Barbara Walters in an interview with ABC's 20/20 that, "the FBI came in and warned me and a few other people at Fox News that Al Qaeda had us on a death list." O'Reilly describes the experience--as well as other violent threats he says he's received from various "kooks" - as "disconcerting."
But the reaction from some of his colleagues sounds more like disbelief. "I've never heard that before," says a correspondent for Fox News, who added that neither he nor anyone he's spoken to at the network has been warned by the FBI.
According a Radar source in federal law enforcement, FBI agents visited Fox's New York offices last month in regard to the kidnapping of Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, but they only spoke with management. Said the source: "I'm not aware of any FBI agents warning anyone at Fox News of their presence on any list....For that matter, I'm not aware of any Al Qaeda hit list targeting journalists." Neither CBS nor ABC copped to receiving warnings; Fox declined to comment on the matter since O'Reilly made the statement on another network (yes, those Fox spokespeople don't like to say too much).
Is O'Reilly a target — or does he really just want to be the target of your attention? Perhaps we'll never know. What we do know is this: Dropping my favorite quote from his book — "Okay, Shannon Michaels, off with those pants!" — just never gets old.