O’Reilly mentioned the “attack and vitriol” that President Donald Trump has been “able to absorb,” then segued into the criticism that the two right-wing media personalities also face.
“We’ve been attacked for more than 20 years, each of us has,” O’Reilly said.
Hannity opined that it was 24 years “to be exact” and made this head-shaking statement: “By the way, I keep offering you, go back on Fox.”
“Why would I want to do that?” O’Reilly replied. “So I can have security guards go with me everywhere, like I used to?”
Answered Hannity: “No, so that you take the No. 1 slot. I can tell you it’s easier being No. 2. ... We’ll end the year again No. 1 in all of cable, and with that comes all the crap associated with it.”
Said O’Reilly: “Your listeners should understand there is a price to pay for being a traditional conservative American in this country.”
O’Reilly actually paid the price for alleged sexual misconduct that led him to be fired from the news channel in 2017. According to reports, Fox News paid around $13 million to settle harassment complaints from several former female colleagues. O’Reilly has also reportedly spent tens of millions of dollars settling claims.
In July, Hannity made a similar plea for O’Reilly to come back. He told Laura Ingraham on the air that he had asked O’Reilly to return so the former host could resume his No. 1 spot at the right-wing channel and take the heat off Hannity.