One week after right-wing radio host Michael Savage compared progressive financier, philanthropist, and political activist George Soros to Hitler's minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, TV and radio host Bill O'Reilly compared both author/documentarian Michael Moore and radio host Al Franken to Goebbels. O'Reilly also likened a group of Hollywood celebrities who attended a recent premier of Moore's new film, Fahrenheit 9/11, to the Nazi faithful. In the process, O'Reilly falsely accused Franken of lying.
From the June 10 broadcast of The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: Joseph Goebbels was the Minister of Propaganda for the Nazi regime and whose very famous quote was, "If you tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth." All right? "If you tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth."
And that's what Stuart Smalley [O'Reilly regularly refers to Franken as Stuart Smalley, a character Franken created on Saturday Night Live], and Michael Moore and all of these guys do. They just run around.
O'Reilly then provided what he claimed to be an example of Franken's alleged propaganda; yet in the example O'Reilly provided, Franken was telling the truth:
O'REILLY: Stuart Smalley is actually telling people in the media that he's beating Rush Limbaugh in New York City on the radio.
I mean, it's -- those of us in the media who know -- all right -- is -- Stuart Smalley can -- why don't you just say you're 6'4"? [laughter] OK? I mean, that's how blatant a lie that is. It's just an absolute lie. And people just stare -- you just stare at that. And he runs around, saying it.
As Media Matters for America previously noted, on May 31, The New York Times reported that, among listeners ages 25 to 54, midday ratings for WLIB-AM in New York, which include three hours of Al Franken's radio program, The O'Franken Factor, have been higher than the midday ratings for WABC-AM, which include three hours of The Rush Limbaugh Show.
O'Reilly concluded by smearing Hollywood celebrities who attended the premiere of Fahrenheit 9/11 as equivalent to Goebbels's credulous followers:
O'REILLY: So who turns out for the screening of this movie [Fahrenheit 9/11] last night? You ready? Now, here are the celebrities that turn out. Here are the people who would turn out to see Josef Goebbels convince you that Poland invaded the Third Reich. It's the same thing, by the way. Propaganda is propaganda. OK?
Billy Crystal. Martin Sheen. Leonardo DiCaprio. Ellen DeGeneres. David Duchovny. Sharon Stone. Meg Ryan. Ashton Kutcher. Demi Moore. Norman Lear. Rob Reiner. Jodie Foster. Chris Rock. Larry David. Jack Black. Matthew Perry. Diane Lane.
On his FOX News Channel show that same day, O'Reilly continued the Nazi analogy by comparing Moore to infamous Nazi-propaganda filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl.
From the June 10 edition of FOX News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: No, no, no, but I think it's [the effort by some Hollywood celebrities to help defeat President George W. Bush] more organized than ever before and I think they [anti-Bush Hollywood celebrities] have more access to the media than ever before because the celebrity media, as I said, is so profitable and pervasive. So now it becomes a Leni Riefenstahl Third Reich propaganda proposition where what they say and do is put in everybody's face.