Sunday, September 15, 2002

Poor O'Reilly is going to hell.

NEW YORK (AP) -- There's nothing unusual about pugnacious talk show host Bill O'Reilly being in a fight. The real surprise this time is who he's fighting.

In the past two weeks, O'Reilly has come under attack from the right, from the same ideologues who helped make the Fox News Channel personality one of the most popular figures on cable television.

Earlier this month on "The O'Reilly Factor," he had a riveting confrontation with Bible-toting Stephen Bennett, a Connecticut minister who speaks out against the adoption of children by gays and lesbians.

After O'Reilly called Bennett a "religious fanatic," two conservative groups, Concerned Women for America and the American Family Association, urged its members to protest.

"I got 100 e-mails telling me I'm going to hell," O'Reilly said. "That's a little personal."

Last week, The Wall Street Journal -- normally friendly "Factor" territory -- published a column by its chief editorial writer, William McGurn, who called O'Reilly "unhinged" for his behavior toward the writer as a guest. His headline: "The Blowhard Zone."