Laura Ingraham replayed audio clips of her appearance on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, during which Bill O'Reilly attacked Media Matters for America and the Democracy Alliance, an organization of donors formed to support progressive groups, as a "left-wing Mafia" dedicated to "nefarious purposes." Ingraham referred to the Democracy Alliance and progressive financier George Soros as "a bunch of old cranks" with "warmed-over old socialist ideas." Ingraham also asked: "But why is Bill O'Reilly afraid of George Soros?"
On the July 19 broadcast of her nationally syndicated radio show, Laura Ingraham replayed audio clips of her appearance the night before on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, during which host Bill O'Reilly attacked Media Matters for America and the Democracy Alliance, an organization of donors formed to support progressive groups, as a "left-wing Mafia" dedicated to "nefarious purposes." Ingraham referred to the Democracy Alliance and progressive financier George Soros as "a bunch of old cranks" with "warmed-over old socialist ideas." She went on to assert that "Soros and company" appear to be "cheering against America" and described them as "vicious," "nasty," and without "any sense of moral grounding or principles." Before launching her attack on Soros, Ingraham criticized O'Reilly for worrying about Soros: "But why is Bill O'Reilly afraid of George Soros? Can you explain that to me?" to which her producer, Matt Fox, replied, "I think Bill is more afraid of being stalked."
Later in the show, Ingraham stated that Hearst Newspapers columnist Helen Thomas -- who is of Lebanese descent -- "represents Hezbollah in the White House press room." Ingraham's comment came after she played an audio clip of a similar remark made by White House press secretary Tony Snow during a July 18 press briefing. During the briefing, Thomas asserted that the United States has not made an effort to stop Israel's recent attacks on Lebanon and that the "perception of the United States" is that the government supports "collective punishment against all of Lebanon and Palestine." Snow responded, "Well, thank you for the Hezbollah view." Ingraham described Snow's remark as "the best put-down of a quote-unquote journalist in recent days."
From the July 19 broadcast of Talk Radio Network's The Laura Ingraham Show:
INGRAHAM: Who saw me on O'Reilly?
MATT FOX (producer): I did.
INGRAHAM: Did you? OK. What --
INGRAHAM: Why is --
FOX: What's the problem here?
INGRAHAM: Well, we'll get to the things that don't matter later. But why is Bill O'Reilly afraid of George Soros? Can you explain that to me? "Well, George" --
FOX: I think Bill is more afraid of being stalked.
INGRAHAM: "George Soros is giving money to this Democrat [sic] Alliance, and it's a shadowy group and it's like the new left wing mafia." It's like, yeah, bring it. "Left-wing mafia." They've got a bunch of warmed-over old socialist ideas that haven't sold in the last 26 years in this country. And they've been trying to sell these ideas and sell them and sell them. And who cares what they do? I mean, you can't -- if you want to play this political game, you cannot be bothered by what the gnats like Soros and company are doing. I mean, they're just a bunch of old cranks.
And my point to him was: I think you should be ecstatic that George Soros is draining his bank account once again. I mean, what did he spend last election? Sixty million? Something like that? Thirty? Sixty? Who knows? Who cares? But the point is, he spent a lot of money. And they thought when they dragged around Bon Jovi and Springspreen [sic] and Ben Affleck and this whole crowd, that they were going to somehow take the nation over. And it was going to be the youth vote, remember? "Vote or Die." Remember P. Diddy? "Vote or Die."
FOX: Soros couldn't even put a coherent thought together, remember?
INGRAHAM: Soros -- yeah, Soros cannot even speak coherently.
SOROS [audio clip]: But I don't think this is a normal election -- this -- um -- the Bush doctrine --
INGRAHAM: [laughs] Whatever. Yeah, I'm really worried about George Soros and company.
INGRAHAM: Yeah, but Bill Clinton is the smartest person in the Democrat Party still. And I bet if Soros sat down with Clinton, they'd have a lot -- they'd have some different views on how to win. So, my point to O'Reilly was: Let these lefties have their moment. Let them organize. Let them come out in this bizarre way of blaming America for Hezbollah, if that's what they're going to do now.
INGRAHAM: I don't think Soros is really going to be connected with the American people with his ideas, OK? Not worried.
FOX: But he's got that great new book.
INGRAHAM: Ah, who is --
INGRAHAM: How about "The Age of Incoherence"? How about naming the book that? So, I'm not losing any sleep over what the far left is doing in the United States. And oh, they have websites. Oh, they're publishing these things. Who cares? Let them publish whatever they want. Most of them seem to lack any sense of moral grounding or principles. So, they're going to get vicious and nasty, and I hope that works for them in the afterlife. I hope that makes their souls feel good. Because I don't imagine in the end it will. And I don't think it works. The American people are smarter than that.
[begin audio clip]
O'REILLY: Look, Laura, we've got omerta. You know what omerta is? That's when the Mafia swears silence. OK. You've gotta have that. That's in Democracy Alliance. You've got to wet the beak. You've got to pay them up front: $55,000 just to get in the door. Another $200,000 a year to -- where they tell you to give it. OK? So, is this not the Mafia? And then they're funding character assassins: Media Matters. Come on -- ridiculous.
INGRAHAM: First of all, I think you should be doing the Snoopy dance, Bill, because anytime George Soros can have money drained from his bank account, I think it's a good thing for the United States.
INGRAHAM: But you should be happy.
O'REILLY: OK. I'm not happy, and I'll tell you why.
O'REILLY: Because this money's going to be used for, as I said, nefarious purposes. And here's how it's going to be used. The pipeline is -- the money goes to smear websites, right? Gets into the smear websites. And the websites can say anything about Laura Ingraham or Bill O'Reilly they want to say. OK?
O'REILLY: They can lie. They can give directions to our homes.
INGRAHAM: So what?
O'REILLY: OK. Well, puts us in some physical danger, No. 1.
INGRAHAM: No, I'm not worried.
O'REILLY: There's defamation, No. 2. You're more courageous than I am.
[end audio clip]
INGRAHAM: Let's end the clip right there, shall we? I mean, who cares, OK? They are the nasty, negative people, and that will ultimately bring them down. You can only be so nasty and so negative and so smearing for so long. And at some point, you have to come up with something called an idea that motivates the American people and gets them cheering for your side. But you know what they see when they see Soros and company? They see people who seem to be cheering for the other side, over there in the Middle East. Dealing in the war in Iraq. The list goes on. So, you look like you're cheering against America, and people aren't going to support you. They're going to think you're nasty, negative, and not patriotic. End of story.
INGRAHAM: No, the best put-down of a quote-unquote journalist in recent days has been this. Absolutely, no doubt about it.
[begin audio clip]
SNOW: Well, thank you for the Hezbollah view, but I would encourage you --
THOMAS: Nobody's accepting your explanation. What does it say, to call for --
SNOW: I'll tell you, what's interesting, Helen --
[end audio clip]
INGRAHAM: Oh, come on, grandma, I can't -- I can't -- I can't -- Grandma, grandma, you gotta stop. Was she in her rocker when she was asking those questions? That's my question.
FOX: A walker or a rocker?
INGRAHAM: She should grab a -- no, she should grab a couple of knitting needles and get to work. OK, just enough.
[audio clip: "Help, I've fallen, and I can't get up!"]
INGRAHAM: I got it. I think she's got to stop representing Hezbollah at the White House briefing room.