Barbara Walters

America's at sea without a (network news) anchor

America's at sea without a (network news) anchor

On Monday night, Stephen Colbert, like each of his late-night colleagues, opened “The Late Show” with a serious and heartfelt response to the recent mass shooting in Orlando, Fla.

Then he welcomed his first guest, Bill O’Reilly.

It seemed, at first, a tone-deaf juxtaposition. O’Reilly is a staunch conservative commentator whose take-no-prisoners approach on Fox News has most certainly helped create the hyperbolic culture war that swirled around the shooting and various reactions to it.

He had been booked as a guest long before the Orlando tragedy, but far from simply making the best of a potentially awkward situation, their conversation quickly...