The Discovery Channel says that former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s recent appearance on a program about celebrity pets hosted by Greta Van Susteren was not part of the network’s official lineup, calling it “paid programming.”
Viewers were shocked to see O’Reilly, who left Fox News in 2017 after paying out a reported total of $45 million in sexual harassment settlements, pop up on screen in an episode of Pet Tales with Greta, in which fellow former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren interviews celebrities about their pets. The program, which is not produced by The Discovery Channel, ran on the network on Saturday morning.
A representative for The Discovery Channel told Yahoo Entertainment that Pet Tales with Greta is not an official Discovery show.
”It was an ad buy that ran on a Saturday morning,” the representative told Yahoo. “It was not produced by and is not a Discovery show. We didn’t make it, we didn’t produce it, it was a sponsored thing.”
In the episode featuring O’Reilly, the former Fox News pundit is shown with his dog, a floppy-eared Corgi perched on the couch next to him.
“This is Holly. She’s a full-bred Corgi,” O’Reilly tells Van Susteren of his furry friend.
O’Reilly later promoted his appearance, tweeting out a link to the video, along with a photo of Holly.
Excellent show by @greta on the Discovery Channel. I’m grateful she included me. It’s posted on https://t.co/rryWmyXe7C right now and all the news analysis on the site is free this weekend. Hope you check it out! https://t.co/tYNTeOLxBT pic.twitter.com/Zr29tj6jMP— Bill O'Reilly (@BillOReilly) January 5, 2020
These was extensive backlash to O’Reilly’s appearance, especially from his former Fox News colleague Gretchen Carlson, who voiced her frustration with Van Susteren for allowing O’Reilly to appear on her program.
What a disgrace — giving air time @greta to an alleged serial predator - I don’t blame poor Holly — but @Discovery what could you be thinking? Do you have female employees? I mean wtf https://t.co/nK29BAP1o7— Gretchen Carlson (@GretchenCarlson) January 4, 2020
Carlson later tweeted a series of screenshots from an article that confirmed the episode was paid programming, and not an official Discovery Channel show.
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