O'Reilly covered up earlier false claim about witnesses in Schiavo caseMarch 24, 2005 5:52 PM EST ››› RAPHAEL SCHWEBER-KOREN
On the March 23 broadcast of The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly attempted to cover up his earlier false claim that Michael Schiavo was the sole witness who testified that his wife, Terri Schiavo, would not want to be kept alive in a persistent vegetative state. Responding to a viewer email, which correctly accused O'Reilly of misstating the facts the previous evening, O'Reilly suggested that the reader's question was based on "propaganda." Finally, O'Reilly recited the correct facts as though he were merely repeating what he had said the previous evening.
O'Reilly read the viewer's email, then responded by attacking the emailer and denying that he had misstated the facts:
O'REILLY: Richard Geist, Alliance, Nebraska: "Bill, you were rude to the civil rights attorney. I suggest you check the court record, where you will find there were others who testified that Terri wanted to die."
You know, if you want to believe propaganda, that's fine with me, Mr. Geist, but my job is to cut through the fog. Only Michael Schiavo and his brother and sister-in-law testified to that. The court-appointed guardian said, "Michael's hearsay testimony about Theresa's intent is necessarily adversely affected by the obvious financial benefit to him." Again, Terri's wishes cannot be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, sir.
In fact, as Media Matters for America documented, O'Reilly challenged attorney Michael Gross on March 22 to "name one human being outside of Michael Schiavo who testified that Terri Schiavo directly said I don't want any life support," and concluded, "There weren't any others." In addition, as Media Matters noted, the judge in the case found both the brother and sister-in-law's testimony to be reliable.