Family conversations around the holidays often bring together people from very different political opinions, leading to more than one resounding clash of ideology over the turkey and mashed potatoes.
The stunning announcement Bill O’Reilly made Monday night about a man to whom O’Reilly has just learned he is related to creates the intriguing possibility of a holiday table conversation that would make any family’s definition of raucous seem downright routine.
On Monday night, O’Reilly used his show to announce that in January, he will be featured on a PBS show called Finding Your Roots. The show is hosted by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates. The show traces the genealogy of famous people. The show debuts Jan. 5; O’Reilly’s segment will appear Jan. 12.
“When (Gates) told me who one of my distant cousins is, I blinked, I blinked a lot,” O’Reilly said. “Does the name Bill Maher mean anything?”
O’Reilly let out an audible sigh, then made a cross from his pen and forefinger.
“Here’s The Factor tip of the day: You can pick your friends, you cannot select your relatives,” O’Reilly concluded.
Liberal commentator Bill Maher and O’Reilly have indulged in a spirited no-holds-barred rivalry over the years, punctuated by colorful sound bites. Maher at one point called O’Reilly, a “blatant, bald-a**** liar.” For his part, O’Reilly has proclaimed that Maher attacks religious people so that no one will tell him that taking drugs or committing adultery are wrong.