Bill O’Reilly is a believer in the power of the ambush interview. His producers have become expert at stalking victims, catching them in public places, and putting them on the spot, the New York Times reports. “When the bad guys won’t comment…we will find them,” he said on a recent episode of his Fox News show. But recently the practice has come under scrutiny, because O’Reilly’s definition of “bad guy” seems to have expanded.
Initially, O’Reilly’s targets were typically judges or lawyers he deemed soft on crime. But now he’s using the tactic on political and personal opponents. Ten of his last 12 subjects have been liberals or critics of Republicans. One, a ThinkProgress.org editor, accused O’Reilly of harassment. But another, a journalism expert, was reminded of Mike Wallace’s ambush interviews. The difference? The Fox ambush is “really just an attempt to make you look bad.”