Former Fox News Host Bill O’Reilly was reduced to hurling insults while Al Franken was discussing one of his lies recounted in his then-new book “Lying Liars and the Lies They Tell.”
The date was May 31, 2003, and Al Franken and Bill O’Reilly were guest speakers at the Los Angeles BookExpo America luncheon to discuss their upcoming books.
As C-Span reported at the time, “The luncheon panel included… Mr. O’Reilly, author of Who’s Looking Out For You?, from Doubleday Broadway; and Mr. Franken, author of Lies, and The Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, from Dutton Books.”
Then, as C-Span put it:
Mr. O’Reilly became angry after Mr. Franken went over his time limit while explaining why Mr. O’Reilly’s picture was on the proposed cover of Mr. Franken’s forthcoming book. The controversy was over an occasion when Mr. O’Reilly had said that his television show had won Peabody awards when in fact it had won Polk awards. Mr. Franken said that Mr. O’Reilly has not sufficiently acknowledged the mistake.
CBS News reported on the incident at the time, providing more details:
Franken’s book explores the allegation that the media has a liberal bias, one he disputes. The cover displays a picture of O’Reilly, and Franken said he wanted to explain why the Fox News figure was shown.
Franken said O’Reilly claimed in a C-SPAN interview that the show he once anchored, Inside Edition, had won a Peabody award. [He] never did, but won a Polk award instead. O’Reilly was quoted on three other occasions making a similar claim, Franken alleged.
Then, when Franken quit talking and sat down, an obviously agitated O’Reilly complained that he had gone over the 15-minute time limit, adding: “This idiot has been going on for 35 minutes.”
When Franken responded “Bill, this isn’t your show,” O’Reilly exploded and the two began bickering.
You can watch the drama play out in the clip below. The fireworks begin at about the 10-minute mark, but the entire clip is well worth taking the time to watch.