Conservative firebrand Bill O'Reilly is leaving the confines of his TV studio desk and bringing his trademark spin on news and newsmakers to the heart of the most liberal bastion in Florida.
Never mind that Friday night's venue is located in territory represented by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, in a county dismissed by some as the "People's Republic of Broward."
"I don't believe that there's any animosity toward me among the folks. Now if you are a zealot on both the right and the left – I mean the far right doesn't like me at all – then you'll avoid me, and that's fine," he said Wednesday in a telephone interview.
Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood expects a sell-out audience of 4,000. O'Reilly does about one show a month, and said he sells out almost everywhere, regardless of local political leanings.
Don't expect him to hold back. His style is the same one that put the "O'Reilly Factor" at the top of the cable news ratings and made him the first author ever to simultaneously occupy the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the New York Times bestseller list.
"I try to make it as entertaining as possible, as provocative as possible, as readable as possible, as listenable as possible. And so you know that's the techniques that we employ. We want to get people's attention. We want them to pay attention," he said.
Still, Gloria Gottlieb of Coconut Creek, a self-described bleeding-heart liberal, said she plans to take O'Reilly's advice and ignore him.
"He can keep his views to himself. He doesn't express the views of most Americans, believe me," she said. "When I saw that he was coming to down, I said to myself, 'Why would they even bring him?' I wouldn't go past my front door to see him."
George Ratner of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, is a retired Air Force officer, a background that might seem to make him a likely O'Reilly fan.
"I think he's an ignoramus, frankly," Ratner said. "A lot of people don't question his stuff because they believe in the same ideology he has. But the ideology should be based on fact and in evidence, but it's not in so many different things."
From the other end of the political spectrum, Steven Milton said he's not going – because O'Reilly isn't conservative enough for his taste. Milton, a computer programmer who lives west of Boynton Beach, prefers Glenn Beck, a former Fox News host.
But Dorothy W. Glauser, a retired teacher's assistant and sales clerk who lives in Boynton Beach, said O'Reilly's live show sounds great, but she had a previous commitment.
"I love him because he's not afraid to tell the truth. He stands behind what he says. And if he makes a mistake, he comes out like a real man and apologizes," she said.
Despite its liberal leanings, South Florida has 868,502 registered Republicans, and as of Wednesday afternoon the Hard Rock had just 250 tickets left for O'Reilly's show.
He was supposed to appear there just before Election Day as part of a series of political speakers, including Bill Maher from the left and Anderson Cooper from the center. The Oct. 26 event was postponed until Friday because of the storm that turned into Hurricane Sandy.
O'Reilly is on TV every night. He's the author of a dozen books, including two current best sellers, "Killing Lincoln" and "Killing Kennedy." His column appears in the newspaper every Saturday.
What can he deliver live that a fan can't get on one of his other platforms? O'Reilly said the 90-minute live show frees him from the time constraints of the Fox News show. During the first part, O'Reilly tells stories, giving his in-depth and behind-the-scenes perspective on everything from why Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney to what happened during his infamous 2010 appearance on 'The View' when two of the co-hosts walked off the set.
Audience members then get a chance to ask O'Reilly questions.
On Friday, he'll tape his nightly Fox News Channel show in Broward, then take to the Hard Rock stage at 8 p.m., just as the TV show goes on the air.
"It goes fast," he said of the live show. "I don't think anybody's going to be bored."
Video report: O'Reilly talks about his TV show, his books and his upcoming South Florida appearance at SunSentinel.com/BrowardPolitics
If you go
Bill O'Reilly at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood.
Doors open at 7 p.m. Friday. Show starts at 8.
Tickets are $94, $74 and $54 plus fees. Available online at http://www.myhrl.com, or by phone at 800-745-3000.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times