O'Reilly: "FOX does tilt right"; said GOP "very uneasy with FOX" -- even after Cheney, Ralph Reed touted FOX

››› ››› GABE WILDAU

FOX News Channel host Bill O'Reilly admitted on July 19 that FOX News Channel "does tilt right," but O'Reilly insisted that FOX does not "try to help Bush-Cheney" and that "it's not like the Bush administration is cozying up" to FOX News Channel. However, Media Matters for America has documented numerous examples of FOX News Channel's on-air personalities echoing Republican and Bush-Cheney '04 talking points. And Vice President Dick Cheney and Republican strategist Ralph Reed have both explicitly endorsed FOX News Channel to Republican audiences in campaign statements.

From the July 19 broadcast of The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:

O'REILLY: And FOX does tilt right, I believe. But they don't actively campaign or try to help Bush-Cheney. In fact, I can tell you from the inside that the Republicans are, you know, very uneasy with FOX, because FOX is a very aggressive network. And we are -- FOX reported the drunk driving thing what, five days before the election, four days before the election in 2000, the Bush drunk driving Maine thing?

So, you know, it's not like the Bush administration is cozying up here. They're -- they're very uneasy with FOX because they know FOX has a tremendous amount of power in the Republican/conservative independent arena.

As Media Matters for America noted previously, far from expressing uneasiness about FOX News Channel, Cheney singled out the channel for exceptional praise and recommendation: In an April 29 conference call, Cheney told thousands of Bush-Cheney '04 supporters: "I end up spending a lot of time watching Fox News, because they're more accurate in my experience, in those events that I'm personally involved in, than many of the other outlets," according to an April 30 article by Washington Post staff writer Mike Allen. Allen also noted, "It is unusual for a president or vice president to single out a commercial enterprise for public praise."

As MMFA noted in the same item, former Christian Coalition executive director Ralph Reed, who is currently a Republican political strategist and a Bush-Cheney '04 campaign regional chairman, also recommended FOX News Channel to a Republican audience on April 30, according to a May 1 Associated Press report. Reed promoted FOX News Channel in the same breath as he praised Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. -G.W.

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