WBT's TALKTOBERFEST gave a unique prospective ahead of the 2020 Election on Tuesday night.
The ninety-minute virtual event streamed across Facebook Live, Twitter, and Youtube, give listeners analysis and insight from a majority of the station's on-air personalities including Pat McCrory, Bo Thompson, Vince Coakley, Brett Winterble, Mark Garrison, Joe Gillespie, Brett Jensen and special guest Bill O’Reilly. The panel discussed the historic election cycle, the media, the COVID-19 pandemic, and more.
O’Reilly was the featured personality in the first half hour of the program, and discussed his broadcast career, along with the latest book in his “Killing” series, Killing Crazy Horse: The Merciless Indian Wars In America. The longtime media host also gave his thoughts on the state of media today.
When asked by Pat McCrory for his thoughts on the '60 Minutes' interview between President Trump and Leslie Stahl, O’Reilly gave a different prospective on the matter.
“I just don’t think she was prepped properly for that interview," O'Reilly said.
"If you’re going to say that there’s no verification on the Biden tape, that’s not true. Alright, and anybody listening to the hard drive knows it. If you’re going to say that President Trump has no verification for his allegation that his campaign was spied upon, that’s just not true. So, I’m going to give Leslie the benefit of the doubt and say, well, she wasn’t briefed properly to do the interview.
However, Leslie is in ‘the club.’ There is a club, alright, of network and cable journalists who hang around together in Manhattan and Washington DC, they go to the parties, and if you want to be in the club, you’ve got to be liberal. So, Sean Hannity’s not in the club, Bill O’Reilly – I wouldn’t be in any club, nobody wants me around, but it’s a different story – I’m not in the club. But, if you want to be in the club, you’ve got to think a certain way, and it’s called political correctness. And, right now, the corporations are saying, ‘We want Trump out, and you’re going to help us get him out.’ And, that’s what’s going on.”
Later in the discussion, McCrory said he felt "The greatest challenge for President Trump is that he is a change agent that has ‘stepped on the toes of, of course, the typical Democrats, but now we see the established Republican machine, primarily from the Bush administration, seriously having a voice in this race and going against an unorthodox change agent.”
In the role of host for the evening’s event, morning host Bo Thompson directed the conversation to the WBT air staff, allowing each to give insight and opinion on various aspects of the election that is now less than a week away.
Vince Coakley offered his thoughts on the South Carolina Senate race between incumbent Republican Senator Lindsay Graham and Democrat challenger Jaime Harrison.
“I think one of the things that we’re seeing here is the influence of, I guess, nationalizing a race. That’s really what this has come down to. I think there are particular groups that have made the decision, this going to be ground zero for one of the prize seats that (Democrats) hope they can take out. You, know, the big game is taking back the Senate. They would love to take back the Senate.”
When asked by Bo Thompson his thoughts on how Election Night will go and whether we will have finality, WBT News Reporter and Host, Mark Garrison, answered “That is a really good question, and I don’t know the answer to that."
"I have been thinking about that a lot and I’m not sure we will have finality. A lot of it will depend on how fast some of these absentee ballots get counted and if thousands or millions of them across the country are still out the day after.” He also stated that he thought incumbent North Carolina Republican Senator Thom Tillis “is in trouble.”
Veteran Reporter Joe Gillespie was asked by Thompson what his ‘gut’ was telling him about what we’re going to know and when we’re going to know it.
Gillespie said that in Mecklenburg County, “we’re going to have a lot of information early because they’re going to, they’re able, as I understand it, to go ahead and load the absentees. In other words, they don’t have to start that process when the polls close. I think we’re going to know a lot here in Mecklenburg County, but that’s just Mecklenburg County.”
WBT reporter Brett Jensen took the opportunity to bring breaking news to the discussion, prompting Thompson to declare that doing so would be on-brand for ‘Breaking Brett’ Jensen. Jensen shared that Republican operatives in the Raleigh area are 'very concerned that (Cal) Cunningham is probably going to win (his) race,’ against Tillis. In addition, Jensen revealed that he has learned that a female Democrat was responsible for placing a billboard along I-77 in the Charlotte area that seeks anyone that has had an affair with Cal Cunningham.
Afternoon Drive host Brett Winterble says that he feels an opportunity for President Trump will be that voters can buy into scandals involving sex and money.
“If you’re going into office, as Joe Biden did forty-seven years ago, and then you come out and you’re fabulously wealthy, and now there are rumors that your son was maybe selling influence or access or that sort of stuff, that’s a pretty easy buy-in. It’s not that complicated, it’s just ‘I’m trading on my name for money.’"
Winterble says that the idea that you’re holding ten percent for ‘Mr. Big or, you know ‘The Big Man,’ or ‘The Big Guy,’ that’s a big deal.”
WBT’s TALKTOBERFEST was a unique opportunity for viewers to see the WBT air staff in a spirited, informative environment at a critical moment leading into the 2020 Election. This was the first of its kind for WBT, but plans are being made to replicate the style of last night’s presentation into future events, both virtual and in person, including making TALKTOBERFEST an annual event for the station.
'Killing Crazy Horse: The Merciless Indian Wars in America' Is available now. The novel provides detailed accounts of the armed conflict between Native Americans and the newly formed United States that would rage on for decades.
Visit billoreilly.com and use promo code 'Bill30' for a 30 percent discount on Killing Crazy Horse.