For Immediate Release
Contact: Naomi Seligman
(June 3, 2004, Washington, DC) - FOX News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor has refused Media Matters for America's request for time on the broadcast to discuss attacks on philanthropist George Soros by host Bill O'Reilly and by O'Reilly's guest Richard Poe, a contributing editor of the right-wing magazine NewsMax.
Poe appeared on the May 18 edition of The O'Reilly Factor to promote his NewsMax article "George Soros' Coup." Media Matters for America has issued an analysis of the Poe article, detailing factual errors and misrepresentations (05/19/04).
On May 19, Media Matters for America President and CEO David Brock wrote to O'Reilly asking for time on the broadcast to debate the anti-Soros attacks. On June 1, O'Reilly's producer denied the request, suggesting O'Reilly was no longer pursuing the subject. Yet on the June 1 broadcast of The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, O'Reilly spent nearly half his show attacking Soros; and on the June 1 O'Reilly Factor TV broadcast, O'Reilly featured unrebutted attacks on Soros by FOX News contributor Newt Gingrich.
On the June 1 editions of both The Radio Factor and FOX News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly distorted a quotation from a 1995 profile of Soros in The New Yorker to make it seem as if Soros wished his own father dead (for more information, see www.mediamatters.org). O'Reilly also said, during his radio broadcast, that Senator John Kerry's acceptance of presidential campaign support from Soros "would be like having some militia group funding the Bush campaign."
Later on the June 1 radio broadcast, following a discussion during which he and a guest attacked Soros, O'Reilly said, "I mean, we really can't get anybody in here [to defend Soros] that's not a raving, raving Far-Left person and why we would want to do that, I don't know. You got a whole network to listen to on that."
"It is hardly 'Fair and Balanced' for The O'Reilly Factor to continue to attack Mr. Soros with no opposing viewpoint, especially after they told Media Matters for America that they would no longer be discussing Mr. Soros," Media Matters for America President and CEO David Brock said today. "Media Matters for America's analysis of the Poe story on George Soros finds factual errors and inaccuracies that should be explored on The O'Reilly Factor. We hope Mr. O'Reilly finds the time on his show to discuss this story from all sides."
To learn more, please see "O'Reilly Factor guest Richard Poe smeared George Soros: A Media Matters for America analysis of a NewsMax cover story," and more analyses of conservative misinformation, on Media Matters for America's website: www.mediamatters.org.
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