Bill O'Reilly stated that CNN has gone "over to the dark side" for its coverage of O'Reilly's recent statement that he was surprised "there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City ... even though it's run by blacks." O'Reilly said he "talked to CNN last night" before the controversy was discussed on CNN's Out in the Open and "explained the deal." He added, "They went ahead with the racist angle anyway." Out in the Open host Rick Sanchez responded to O'Reilly's assertion: "Never once did we utter the word 'racist' in relation to Bill O'Reilly," adding that O'Reilly "screamed at the top of his lungs for a very long period of time."
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On CNN's Out in the Open, Rick Sanchez and CNN contributor Roland Martin discussed Bill O'Reilly's statement that he was surprised there was "no difference" between Sylvia's restaurant in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan and other New York restaurants, even though Sylvia's is "run by blacks." Sanchez reported that during an "animated" phone conversation, O'Reilly denied any "racial intent" in his comments and described the story as "a hatchet job by Media Matters."
Discussing his recent dinner with Rev. Al Sharpton at the Harlem restaurant Sylvia's, Bill O'Reilly reported that he "couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship." O'Reilly added: "There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more iced tea.' "
Hardball addressed the so-called Jena Six case for the first time on September 19, but the report focused only on Rev. Jesse Jackson's reported comment that Sen. Barack Obama was "acting like he's white" in his response to the matter. By contrast, the same edition of Hardball spent nearly 14 minutes on the O.J. Simpson case. The September 20 edition of Hardball featured no coverage of the Jena Six despite a thousand-plus march in Jena that day.
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh asserted: "Three weeks ago, you had Jim Clyburn of the Congressional Black Caucus saying, 'You know, if this report is good, it presents problems for us,' meaning the Democrat [sic] Party." In fact, Clyburn did not say that good news from Iraq is bad news for Democrats in electoral terms, but rather that a recommendation from Gen. David Petraeus against withdrawal would impede Democrats' efforts to garner support in Congress for legislation to begin withdrawal. And while Limbaugh identified Clyburn merely as "of the Congressional Black Caucus," Clyburn is also House majority whip, the third-highest position in the House.
Washington Post columnist David Broder asserted that "[Karl] Rove had drunk deeply of the magic potion dispensed by Lee Atwater, the South Carolina whiz who had absorbed the anger and frustration of the white Southern blue-collar families with whom he was raised." But Broder did not mention Atwater's repeated attempts to play on white voters' sentiments about race.
On his radio show, Neal Boortz claimed that because "Muslims don't eat during the day during Ramadan" and "fast during the day and eat at night," they are "sort of like cockroaches." Immediately following the remark, Boortz said, "I did that for Media Myrmidons" -- his term for Media Matters for America.