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Did The O’Reilly Factor “SPIN” BlogWorld in the Wrong Direction?


Yes, it’s that time of year again…time when we look back and reflect on BlogWorld NY, which is now in the history books. As a speaker at BlogWorld every year since it launched several years back in Las Vegas, I’m proud to say I love BlogWorld, what it represents, and the audience that it brings together. Bloggers, online marketers, and even celebrities from all over the world come together to network and discuss how blogging and social media is changing the way we do business online.

This year, I was quite excited to see Fox News on the exhibit hall floor talking with many of the exhibitors and attendees. I was fortunate enough to meet up with the Fox News team and do a quick interview with Jesse Watters, the producer of The O’Reilly Factor. The interview consisted of a wide range of questions, everything from blogging, social media and technology, to making money online and of course politics. I was told the video would air on The O’Reilly Factor on Monday and I was quite excited to see what they would put together for the show.

Not only was I excited to see if I would get coverage on Fox News network, but I was also excited to see that BlogWorld would also gain some national television exposure and be introduced to a whole new audience. Monday came and I was thrilled to see that I made it to prime time television, but I was quite disappointed that no one in the video received a name reference, and also the manner in which Fox News portrayed the attendees, audience, and intent of BlogWorld.

Instead of focusing on the benefits of blogging and internet marketing, Fox News took a different approach and almost made a joke out of it. I understand that The Factor needs to align their segments with their audience, but they also could have provided a greater value for their audience by letting them know about BlogWorld, the unknown world of blogging and how it really is changing the way people do business online. Heck, even Rick Calvert was interviewed for the piece, yet no one knew he was the founder of BlogWorld, since Fox News didn’t bother to put a name or title with anyone they spent time interviewing.

If you didn’t get a chance to catch the segment when it was live on Fox News, be sure to visit their web site and watch the full video. After you check it out, send Bill O’Reilly an email at oreilly@foxnews.com and let him know your feelings concerning how The Factor represented BlogWorld and bloggers.

Zac Johnson is a online marketer with 15 years of experience and also a blogger at BloggingTips.com and ZacJohnson.com, as well as the author of Blogging Tips: Confessions of a Six Figure Blogger on Amazon.com.


  • MTRHost

    While I am happy to see NME get a huge spotlight I felt the presentation of the piece was tasteless and the humor bordered on “trolling”. Considering the amount of work people put into building their brands and their products I would have expected a large entity like FOX to be more friendly instead of childish.

    • JTDabbagian

       @MTRHost Fox News? Professional? Don’t make me laugh. They’ll jump at any way to make a quick laugh at someone’s expense, especially if they’re a Democrat. 

  • JTDabbagian

    “No Spin Zone” my eye. It’s just depressing that we still get flack despite having such a large audience. There is so much good that Blogworld does, even for people like O’Reilly. I felt that the mockery was undeserved, and the treatment typical of Fox News BS. Oh well. I’m sure we’ll be happy to remind Bill and Watters of this when they’re both out of a job and think blogging is a good idea. 

  • mikevardy

    As usual, Fox missed the point. No surprise. Maybe if they spent time doing some actual reporting news instead of crafting news they’d be taken more seriously.

  • mikevardy

    As usual, Fox missed the point. No surprise. Maybe if they spent time doing some actual reporting of the news instead of “crafting the news” to suit their audience, they’d be taken more seriously.

  • MarcEnsign

    @blogworldexpo I think they came across as ignorant tools. Splicing in movie clips to make people look foolish is news? @oreillyfactor

  • MPGomatic

    @blogworld Wow, a hatchet job from Faux. Who could have ever imagined that. #bweny #nmx

  • lainehmann

    @blogworld any word on recording access for instructors? Thanks!

  • WordsDoneWrite

    Thanks for the guest post, Zac! It’s wonderful to know that people are so protective of this community and what everyone has built here together.

  • KeithBurtis

    RT @blogworldexpo: Did @oreillyfactor spin BlogWorld in the wrong direction? Weigh in… http://t.co/tFxIEeXA

  • piercingmetal

    Having missed BWE a few weeks ago based on illness, I was very interested in seeing how it was to be reported on by this O’Reilly segment.  After watching it I can only cite disappointment and being left with a feeling at how the entire thing was made a joke.  As an internet website writer with a seven year old domain, I still hear how we fall behind traditional press (and mind you sites like this one get far more done more often than physical print allows) and this kind of report does not help the craft at all and instead makes it be taken less seriously.  There are a ton of creative forces out there who do some real good for their respective industries and interests and while there might be a few oddballs out in the mix as well, this kind of report lets everyone perceive that the event was nothing more than a joke and a congregation of weirdos.  Kind of a technical Comic Book convention of sorts (but let me state how I love the Comic Cons before I get anyone mad).
    Perhaps we all need to pen a note to O’Reilly’s network or stop supporting those who would advertise on his program to .  Historically I have enjoyed some of his reports but draw the line when he makes something that I do with such passion and resolve to look foolish and trite.  I guess we should have expected as much from Fox.  Oh well.   

    • WordsDoneWrite

       @piercingmetal Passion and resolve. Great points and a wonderful way to summarize this community. 🙂

    • blogworld

       @piercingmetal Did you know I used to work for Comic Con Ken?

      • piercingmetal

         @blogworld Well I know now, and you must totally hit my blog for the comprehensive coverage I did for the 2010 and 2011 Con.  So much fun. 

    • moneyreign

       @piercingmetal I’m sure Bill will receive a nice amount of emails from people reading this post and the other’s I have released, not to mention just from the word of mouth and others that are seeing the video online.

  • TheErinRyan

    @JulianaP16 Thanks for the RT!

  • blogworld

    I know many members of our community were offended by the piece but honestly I thought it was all great exposure for our event, for many of our sponsors, for a few speakers and for New Media as an industry. A five minute segment on the #1 rated cable news show in the US is something any tradeshow would kill for. I am pretty familiar with Jesse Water’s segment on the show so, I expected him to turn it into some kind of spoof. I took all that as good fun and in stride.
    I also think it is very instructive for all of us who live in the new media bubble to see how old media and how a huge segment of the main stream population still view new media today.
    They don’t get it, they are confused by it, they think we are weird and they are a little bit scared of it.
    This all tells us how much more work we have left to do in educating the main stream public about what new media really is and how it can benefit them. I do think you make a very good point about them not giving credit to any of the people they interviewed. I know they asked everyone for their name, title and company they worked for. That was some pretty poor journalism.
    I am very curious to hear what other member of our community think about this piece.

    • WordsDoneWrite

       @blogworld Good point, Rick. Still lots of education to be done to the “outside” world. Many of us are always surrounded by people within our industry, but there’s still a huge population out there who doesn’t get all this stuff.

    • moneyreign

       @blogworld I’m very appreciative to have been included in the peice, but would have liked to see it be in a more positive and useful light. Especially having the names and urls listed for the people in the videos. Either way, always great to see more coverage for BlogWorld / NMX.

    • JTDabbagian

       @blogworld I guess if you look at it on the lines of there being no such thing as bad press, you’re probably right. But then again, look who it is. It’s Fox News. Some of their talent and former talent are breaking into the “New Media” world, such as Glenn Beck. You’d think they’d be a little more supportive of the expo that deals with such things, especially since I think BillO has his own blog or video site or something. But as I said previously, they’ll say or do anything to get a laugh out of people. 
      Plus, while one might be appreciating of Watters’ antics, you need to remember that this put BWE in a VERY bad light. Since Blogworld is still relatively young, this might very well have been the first impression to millions of viewers; and it was a really bad one. 
      But I do agree. This clearly shows we have a lot longer to go if we’re to show people that new media is here to stay, as well as a major power for reporting news AND making money. 

    • LynetteYoung

       @blogworld I think it is disrespectful of the people Fox interviewed to ‘bait & switch’ the editing to make them all look like idiots. I have passed that video link around to a number of people I know well outside this industry. They all came back with comments that we look like a bunch of ‘celler dwellers’ and losers. If I were interviewed for that piece and my words were taken out of context via editing – I would be on a rampage because now Fox has misrepresented BlogWorld attendees, speakers, and vendors as idiots. That could HURT business. Thankfully Fox isn’t even savvy enough to put bottom thirds with the names of the people they were interviewing. Comedy and satire are one thing, but I really don’t think that BlogWorld came off in the best light – to the people OUTSIDE this industry. 

  • Bennyhsu

    I never watch Bill O’ Reilly so I don’t know how his show is. I just watched it to see the piece on Blog World. I didn’t like it. It made blogging seems like a nerdy thing to do. 

    • WordsDoneWrite

       @Bennyhsu If they only spent a day with us, they’d know we all rocked! 😉

    • moneyreign

       @Bennyhsu I know I went into more detail on many of the questions they asked, but they decided not to air them.

  • brettbum

    The industry has to be able to stand up to the ridicule test.  The New York show  is in its sophomore season as compared to the Vegas shows.  I doubt we would have seen Fox News mocking Ford Motor Company if they had shown up to do an interview in a couple of the past shows on the West Coast.  I’m just glad that they didn’t show up in New York last year and even happier that the Doucheblog session never saw the light of day while they were present with cameras rolling.  

  • brettbum

    The industry has to be able to stand up to the ridicule test.  The New York show  is in its sophomore season as compared to the Vegas shows.  I doubt we would have seen Fox News mocking Ford Motor Company if they had shown up to do an interview in a couple of the past shows on the West Coast.  I’m just glad that they didn’t show up in New York last year and even happier that the Doucheblog session never saw the light of day while they were present with cameras rolling.

  • brettbum

    The industry has to be able to stand up to the ridicule test.  The New York show  is in its sophomore season as compared to the Vegas shows.  I doubt we would have seen Fox News mocking Ford Motor Company if they had shown up to do an interview in a couple of the past shows on the West Coast.  I’m just glad that they didn’t show up in New York last year and even happier that the Doucheblog session never saw the light of day while they were present with cameras rolling.  

  • experienceadvertising

    It was pretty hilarious…I’m pretty sure that’s what they were going for. 

  • eileenludwig

    Wow, not surprised. I don’t watch this tv station at all. Too bad you did not have Diane Sawyer or even Jon Steward – This was not a positive for bloggers maybe a positive for Rick since he said this was good exposure. Depends on the audience Rick is trying to pull in and maybe he wants the bloggers from that side of the aisle more to match up with some of the speakers – not sure how this can be spun as a positive for blog community.

    • WordsDoneWrite

       @eileenludwig I think it’s safe to say Jon Stewart probably would have done something silly, too. Perhaps a sad result of news coverage in an era of short attention spans.

  • BlogworldVT

    RT @FamousBloggers: RT @blogworld Did The O’Reilly Factor “SPIN” BlogWorld in the Wrong Direction? http://t.co/olLOT9Ln

  • brettbum

    From a different perspective, I think it is interesting to compare how ABC acted at BlogWorld in NYC versus Fox News.Fox came in and did a sabotage piece as if they needed to make fun of a potential media competitor, aka ‘bloggers’ .ABC on the other hand sent in executives to open a dialogue of communications with new media content owners with the goal of building a content partnership between the two.  One (imho broken old) network is operating from a position of fear and lack of understanding and the other (imho much older but also with the experience of navigating the world of changing media for decades) network is operating from the position of growing and building better business for its viewers, listeners and readers.ABC did not run a ‘news’ feature nor interview of BlogWorld attendees, so there is no press on it, but then again, maybe the real press will come in the  form of press releases of future shows and collaborative efforts. 

    • WordsDoneWrite

       @brettbum “Collaborative efforts.” I think that’s key, Brett. People who want to immerse themselves in the new world and find out how best to work with those in it. That’s a super important point.

  • dianabfm

    RT @brettbum I just left a comment in “Did The O’Reilly Factor “SPIN” BlogWorld in the Wrong Direction?” http://t.co/ex0pYI9s

    • brettbum

      @dianabfm thanks for the rt! 🙂

      • dianabfm

        @brettbum You’re welcome Brett. Great comment. I remember when blogging was new. Wow has it evolved!:)

  • hubze

    Zac, I personally cannot stand Bill O’Riley. The man should not even be a journalist. He lies and caters news to his audience so much so that it becomes 100% opinion, and we all know those are like assholes…everyone has one!! I will indeed send him a message because I feel that BlogWorld is a GREAT event and helped me learn! See you in Vegas!

    • WordsDoneWrite

       @hubze So glad you’re a fan of BlogWorld and that you’ve learned from the event! As for the ***hole analogy, I’ve never heard that one before. But, rest assured, I’ll never forget it!

  • robgreenlee

    Fox News was just catering to their older and more conservative audience and making fun of the new and often times strange world of new media. I did also see Clayton Morris at the event from Fox News and he has his own Podcast Network.  I agree with Rick that it was great exposure for the show and we should not take ourselfs too seriously.  Fox News is a big audio and video podcaster.  They have been expanding the podcasting efforts lately and just the sheer fact that they covered it at all demonstrates that they understand its importance.

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