O'Reilly on NY Times' Rich and Keller: "[W]e'll just have to get into their lives" if "personal attacks" continueJanuary 3, 2006 12:49 PM EST ››› SAM GILL
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On the January 2 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly threatened to "get into" the "lives" of New York Times columnist Frank Rich and executive editor Bill Keller. O'Reilly admonished Rich and Keller after NPR senior correspondent and Fox News contributing political analyst Juan Williams asked, "[W]hat are you going to do to them [Rich and Keller] if they engage in the politics of personal attack against the president?" Williams was referring to O'Reilly's comments during the "Talking Points Memo" portion of his program, in which he complained that the Times "routinely uses personal attacks to hurt people with whom it disagrees" and that Rich and Keller are "the two main culprits."
From the January 2 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: In the weeks to come, we'll cover the story in a fair and balanced way, even giving the benefit of the doubt to The New York Times. But there is no doubt, ladies and gentlemen, that the Times has been unfair in its coverage of the Bush White House. And the paper also routinely uses personal attacks to hurt people with whom it disagrees. If that does not stop, Bill Keller and Frank Rich -- to name the two main culprits -- will not have a happy new year. As they say in the auction world, fair warning.
WILLIAMS: Well, I couldn't - I was listening to your -- your memo, your "Talking Points," and there you are threatening Bill Keller and Frank Rich. And I thought, what are you going to do to them if they engage in the politics of personal attack against the president?
O'REILLY: It's a good question, Juan. And I don't see it as a threat. I mean, I think you have to say to people, as we do with all our guests here, this is what's likely to happen. And if they continue, those people continue to attack people personally, as Frank Rich does almost every week, and Keller allows it, then we'll just have to get into their lives.
WILLIAMS: There's a new sheriff in town.
O'REILLY: You know, I'm not -- I don't want to do it. I don't want to do it.
WILLIAMS: All right.
O'REILLY: But I can't allow this stuff to go unchecked. I'm the only person on television that's going to hold these people accountable, the only one, because everybody fears them. But both of those men have led lives. And if they want to attack people personally, Rich in print and Keller allowing it, then we're going to have to just show everybody about their lives.