On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly again claimed that "the media" -- including Time magazine and CNN's Larry King Live -- "ignore" right-wing media figures, and "so do I, unless they do something that affects you [the viewer]." In fact, these media outlets, as well as O'Reilly's show, have all featured right-wing pundits on numerous occasions, and O'Reilly himself has appeared several times on mainstream media programs such as NBC's Today.
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On the May 24 broadcast of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly again claimed that "the media" -- including Time magazine and CNN's Larry King Live -- "ignore" right-wing media figures, and "so do I, unless they do something that affects you [the viewer]." In fact, Time, Larry King Live, and O'Reilly's own program have all featured right-wing pundits on numerous occasions, and O'Reilly himself has appeared several times on mainstream media programs such as NBC's Today.
O'Reilly was responding to a viewer's e-mail, which asked, "Bill, if you're so fair, why don't you speak out about far-right kooks," as opposed to only people O'Reilly has routinely described as "far left." O'Reilly replied, "Because they're not visible." He then added: "Are far-right people shouting down senators? Are they on the cover of Time magazine? Are they popping off on Larry King? Yes, they're out there, but the media ignores them, and so do I, unless they do something that affects you."
But neither the mainstream media nor the Factor have ignored right-wing media figures as O'Reilly claimed.
As Media Matters for America noted when O'Reilly claimed on May 22 that Time hasn't featured the "far right" on its cover, among those who have been featured on the magazine's cover are right-wing pundit Ann Coulter and Focus on the Family founder and chairman James C. Dobson.
Larry King Live has hosted several right-wing media figures as well. For instance:
- Jonah Goldberg: National Review Online editor at large Jonah Goldberg appeared on the May 18 edition of Larry King to discuss the divide within the Republican Party. Goldberg has previously defended radio host and CNN political analyst Bill Bennett's controversial comment that "you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down" by claiming "his argument wasn't about race at all." Goldberg has also distorted comments by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), called syndicated columnist Helen Thomas a "thespian carbuncle of bile," and accused former President Jimmy Carter of engaging in a "mildly ghoulish exploitation of Coretta Scott King's funeral."
- Martha Zoller: Conservative radio talk show host and author Martha Zoller appeared on Larry King on March 31 as part of a roundtable discussion of current political issues. Among other things, Zoller has a history of invoking the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, to either criticize Democrats or argue in support of Republicans. For instance, during the May 2 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, Zoller invoked 9-11 to attack Comedy Central faux news host Steven Colbert for lampooning President Bush at the April 29 White House Correspondents Association's dinner. She stated: "What came to mind" was that "9-11 was a Tuesday ... and he [Colbert] didn't even think about that, but for me, having lost friends in the World Trade Towers that was the first thing I thought of." Zoller was responding to a portion of Colbert's sketch, in which, referring to Bush, Colbert stated: "The greatest thing about this man is he's steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday."
- Janet Parshall: Conservative radio show host Janet Parshall appeared on the January 17 edition of Larry King to discuss the award-winning film Brokeback Mountain (Focus Features, 2005), gay marriage, and other issues relating to sexual orientation. As Media Matters noted, Parshall referred to the adoption of children by same-sex couples as "state-sanctioned child abuse" and implied that the "lifestyle" of Matthew Shepard, a gay man, was partly to blame for his 1998 murder. Parshall has previously suggested that the terrorists preferred Kerry to Bush in the 2004 presidential election and revived a debunked smear about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) to accuse Clinton of religious opportunism: "Hillary's already calling herself an evangelistic -- evangelical Christian. And last time around, she was Jewish. So, before it's all said and done, she will be an evangelical Jewish Muslim. Trust me."
Additionally, contrary to his claim, O'Reilly has featured many right-wing guests on his own Fox News program. Notably, O'Reilly has hosted right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin at least nine different times since January. As Media Matters has previously noted, Malkin has claimed that "the vast majority of Hispanic politicians" believe that "the American Southwest belongs to Mexico;" has referred to certain Californian politicians as "Latino supremacists;" and characterized recent immigration protests as "militant racism" marked by "virulent anti-American hatred." O'Reilly has also hosted Coulter -- whom O'Reilly himself recently described as the "best right-wing" example of "somebody who takes rhetoric to the extreme" -- at least 17 different times since April 1999.
Further, O'Reilly -- who has his own history of "popping off" at senators, including at Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), whom he called a "nut" based on misrepresentations; Kerry, whom he called a "sissy"; and Clinton, who, he suggested, would be welcomed as president by Osama bin Laden -- has appeared on NBC's Today show at least 8 times since November 2001.
Media Matters has compiled a full list of O'Reilly Factor guests since January here.
From the May 24 edition of Fox News'The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: Nancy Goodwin of Valrico, Florida: "Bill, if you're so fair, why don't you speak about the far-right kooks?"
Because they're not visible, Nancy. Are far-right people shouting down senators? Are they on the cover of Time magazine? Are they popping off on Larry King? Yes, they're out there, but the media ignores them, and so do I, unless they do something that affects you.