As if Bill O’Reilly’s week hadn’t gone badly enough, on Saturday night he became the latest victim of a caustic impression by Alec Baldwin.
The Oscar nominee, who’s been spoofing Donald Trump all season on “Saturday Night Live,” this weekend unveiled his take on O’Reilly in the wake of revelations about sexual harassment claims against the Fox News Channel host.
This imitation was more accurate than Baldwin’s outsized, sometimes cartoonish version of Trump. His eyes crinkled, his head at a jaunty tilt, this O’Reilly maintained a gentle smile and an upbeat cadence as he veered in and out of acknowledging the allegations.
“Apparently some women have come forward and accused me of offering them exciting opportunities here at Fox News,” he said in sing-songy, O’Reilly-an tones.
For two minutes or so, Baldwin was even acting opposite himself. In a move reminiscent of George H.W. Bush (Dana Carvey) debating H. Ross Perot (Dana Carvey) on “SNL” in 1992, Baldwin’s O’Reilly interviewed his (apparently pre-recorded) Trump, who admitted his defense of O’Reilly was based on a hunch and not any actual knowledge of the cases. He also noted that he had declared Sexual Assault Awareness Month, “a subject very close to my hand.”
Earlier in the sketch, O’Reilly tried to hear from some female Fox News correspondents, only to learn one had accepted a check and fled the network and the other required O’Reilly to remain 500 yards away. When the latter (Cecily Strong) reported that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice had given a flat “no” when asked if she was responsible for leaks, O’Reilly responded, “But did her eyes say yes?”
“The O’Reilly Factor” has been losing advertisers since news broke that O’Reilly and his employer paid five women $13 million to settle harassment or other allegations of inappropriate conduct. In the “SNL” version of the show, so many had bailed that the “Factor” had to settle for the lowest of the low-grade sponsors: cocaine for dogs, Cialis for horses and the widely reviled movie “CHIPS.”