KNN (WASHINGTON) — Bill O’Reilly, host of FOX News THE FACTOR, to voice King Friday XIII in Ken Burns upcoming PBS feature-length film, Mr Rogers, Mr Feely. My Soap, Your Rope– Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off.
O’Reilly denied reports that he was chosen for the role of the imperious monarch of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe as a tongue-in-cheek gesture by PBS, whose commentators have often accused Mr O’Reilly of basing his on-air persona on the King.
While Mr O’Reilly disputes this claim, others are not so sure.
In an interview with his former network, NPR, O’Reilly Colleague and FOX News contributer Juan Williams noted that there are several points of intersection between the two figures.
First, Mr Williams explained, King Friday, like O’Reilly, rules a Neighborhood of Make-Believe. He demands—and often gets—respect from everyone. Furthermore, like the King, O’Reilly is relatively egocentric, irrational, resistant to change, and temperamental, though at times open-minded enough to listen when told he is wrong.
And — like King Friday — O’Reilly has a fondness for giving long-winded speeches and using big words.
But — noted Williams — underneath his stern and sometimes unreasonable exterior O’Reilly — like the King — is a caring person who wants the best for his family and his neighbors.