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O’Reilly’s Latest Target in NBC-FNC Feud: Jay Leno?

Jay Leno has always prided himself on being an equal-opportunity offender when it comes to politics. But by airing on NBC, he’s now a target for an occasional guest on his show: Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly.

At the end of Wednesday’s program, O’Reilly featured Leno in his “Pinheads & Patriots” segment, right after the pictures of topless protesters. Well actually, not Leno so much — that was just the tease to go hunting for bigger game.

“If Jay Leno fails at 10 p.m.,” O’Reilly said, the entire network might be “doomed for another year.” He then moved on to deride NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker for ruining NBC and referred to Keith Olbermann merely as “someone” on MSNBC, which is as close as O’Reilly will come to saying Olbermann’s hated name. Of course, on Tuesday’s show, Olbermann said he has the de facto top-rated program in cable news, since Fox doesn’t qualify as a news network.

Once again, New York Times, great work on that “Voices From Above Silence a Cable TV Feud” Page One story.

Earlier in the show O’Reilly hosted Fox’s Glenn Beck, as he regularly does, this time to allow Beck to talk about the orchestrated protest against him that has cost Beck’s program about three dozen sponsors. O’Reilly never seems quite to know what to make of Beck, which is understandable: Olbermann has taken to calling him Lonesome Rhodes — a reference to Andy Griffith’s loathsome TV huckster in Elia Kazan’s prescient movie “A Face in the Crowd” — and Beck manages to stay interesting mostly by always appearing as if he’s thisclose to a complete on-air meltdown.

Not to say that the whole feud/name-calling thing is growing tedious, but in hindsight, my favorite part was probably the topless protesters.

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