Brock to O'Reilly: Stop distorting Jeremy Glick's words

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

September 27, 2005

Bill O'Reilly
Fox News Channel
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036

Dear Mr. O'Reilly:

Once again, you have revived the false allegation that Jeremy Glick, a former O'Reilly Factor guest whose father was killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, "accused the president of the United States of orchestrating 9-11" during his appearance on your program. This is at least the third time you have made this false allegation about Glick:

  • On September 21, you made this outrageous claim during an exchange with Phil Donahue, saying that "Jeremy Glick came on this program and accused the president of the United States of orchestrating 9-11."
  • On July 20, 2004, in the course of criticizing New York Times chief film critic A.O. Scott's review of the documentary film Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, you again falsely attacked Glick:

But who is this guy, really? Well, on this program, Glick said President [George W.] Bush and his father [former President George H.W. Bush] were responsible for his [Glick's] father's death. He said George W. Bush pulled off a coup to get elected. He implied the U.S.A. itself was a terrorist nation. And he called his father's death at the hands of an Al Qaeda "alleged assassination." He said America itself was responsible for the 9-11 attack because it is an imperialistic, aggressive nation. Glick was dismissed from The Factor because he was completely off the wall. Security actually had to take the guy out of the building, he was that out of control.

  • When you were interviewed by Terry Gross on the public radio program Fresh Air on October 8, 2003 (the interview from which you stormed off the set), you claimed of Glick: "[H]e proceeded to blame President Bush and his father, Bush the elder, for orchestrating an attack on their own country."

But Glick never said that "President Bush and his father were responsible for his [Glick's] father's death." He never "accused the president of the United States of orchestrating 9-11." What Glick did say, on the February 4, 2003, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, was the following: "[O]ur current president now inherited a legacy from his father and inherited a political legacy that's responsible for training militarily, economically, and situating geopolitically the parties involved in the alleged assassination and the murder of my father and countless of thousands of others." Your claim that Glick "implied the U.S.A. itself was a terrorist nation" is also a distortion. In 2003, you said to Glick, "I don't think he'd [your father] be equating this country as a terrorist nation as you are." In response, Glick specifically told you that you mischaracterized his position: "Well, I wasn't saying that it was necessarily like that. ... What I'm saying is ... is that in -- six months before the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, starting in the Carter administration and continuing and escalating while Bush's father was head of the CIA, we recruited a hundred thousand radical mujahedeens to combat a democratic government in Afghanistan, the Turaki government." Media Matters for America has noted that Glick's assertion was inaccurate, but that does not change the fact that over the last two and a half years, you have repeatedly misrepresented what Glick said on your show.

You show your viewers disrespect by repeating the same falsehood, even after it has been brought to your attention. Please stop doing that, Mr. O'Reilly.

Sincerely,

David Brock
President and CEO
Media Matters for America

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, Terrorism
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