Inside Edition' news anchor is just a regular Joe Bill O'Reilly and his syndicated show have Moore success in Hawaii By Burl Burllngame Star-Bulletin' Bill O'Reilly "one of the last few all-Irishmen in the United States, me and folded his long, long frame into a chair and tried not to look wasted. "Fourteen-hour flight to Hong Kong, went along on a police raid, then to Japan, three shows there, then here to do the Lisa Au story," he said, referring to tomorrow's 10 p.m. show. "They told me I looked pretty good from Tokyo last night, but He blinked, and put on shades. O'Reilly, obviously, is a travelin' man. The anchor for the independent magazine show "Inside Edition," spends much of his time inside airliners, prepping for the next big investigative piece. The show follows the 10 p.m. KHON news here, and O'Reilly shares many of the qualities that make Joe Moore a ratings success; he's personable, peppy, exudes a regular-guy outlook and is earnest to the point of almost-goofiness. No surprise, then, that "Inside Edition" is a ratings success here. "Hawaii is one of our best markets," he said. "I heard we did fantastic in November. A 40-share? Actually, 'Inside Edition' regularly crushes Koppel and 'Nightline' in at least 10 cities and the ratings for 'Inside Edition' are better than the three network morning shows combined." He gloated the way a kid does when he goes home with all the marbles. Later, O'Reilly pointed out that, "If the ratings slip, I'm gone, I'm history, I'm a coconut, man. That's what we live with in the TV business. Jennings, Koppel, Rather, Brokaw they're not only extremely intelligent, good reporters, they're tough enough to ride the ratings." "Inside Edition" was created by a couple of producers fleeing the gloss of "A Current Affair," the seminal show that created the concept of tab-TV. Linking his show to tabloid journalism irks O'Reilly, though he understands the connection. "'Inside, Edition' actually falls into a niche between the just-the-f acts network news and local news," he said. "Our show is more concerned with real news than any of these others. 'Current Affair' or 'Hard Copy' wouldn't have sent anyone to Japan to do trade-balance stories, for example." O'Reilly is closely Identified with the popular show, but the original anchor was actually David Frost "David lasted about three weeks, maybe because he was British. I 1 was brought over from ABC News, and I jumped at the chance to do stories where I could show emotion. Americans want to know more about their country and our show taps into that. Most news is about events, and we're about people." A key element to "Inside Edition's" success is O'Reilly's all-too-human reactions to stories. How he feels is never in doubt. "The people at '60 Minutes' take themselves extremely seriously, and yet you never know what they're thinking. There's a place for unemotional network newscasting Jennings is just the best and I hope it never goes away. But I could never do something like he shuddered. With "Edition" in the top-six of syndicated shows, O'Reilly finds himself, at 40, the youngest widely known news anchor. With an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a master's degree from Boston University, he's "way over-qualified for the job! And I'm blue-collar, from Levittown, N.Y. Am I recognized? Only if I stop moving! Then people tell me I'm both taller and younger than they expected." Then, in true TV-news style, he turned the conversation to the really important stuff. "How much does Joe Moore make?" he wondered aloud. a year and he's happy?" Ho ho! Let's try cracking a simpler mystery, like quantum mechanics.