FOX News Channel host Bill O'Reilly joined a long line of media figures in echoing the Republican suggestion that terrorists would like to see Senator John Kerry beat President George W. Bush in the November presidential election. O'Reilly appeared as a guest on NBC's Today show ostensibly to tout his new book aimed at children and teenagers, The O'Reilly Factor for Kids: A Survival Guide for America's Families (HarperEntertainment, September 2004).
From the October 7 edition of NBC's Today show:
O'REILLY: [I]f you're sitting in a cave and you're watching satellite TV, if you're watching [Today co-host Matt] Lauer or O'Reilly, okay, you're looking at these two guys, Edwards or Cheney, who are you more afraid of? If you're Osama [bin Laden] and you've got a picture of Edwards and Cheney in the cave, who are you more afraid of? So it works to his advantage -- Cheney's.
As Media Matters for America has noted, there is a conspicuous lack of evidence to support O'Reilly's suggestion; however, there is some evidence suggesting precisely the opposite: that terrorists would prefer four more years of the Bush administration. Nonetheless, conservative members of the media have echoed prominent Republicans -- including President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) -- who have said or suggested that terrorists prefer Kerry.