In an August 1 interview with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Chris Dodd (CT), which aired on his August 2 radio and cable television shows, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, called Dodd a "propagandist" in response to Dodd's defense of the website Daily Kos and stated, "I don't have any respect for you," and, also during the interview:
- O'Reilly repeated his false claim that he takes any objectionable "postings" off BillOReilly.com "right away." As Media Matters for America documented, several objectionable comments about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) remained on his site as of 1 p.m. ET on August 1, despite being highlighted by Americablog.com more than a week earlier.
- When Dodd said that O'Reilly had previously "talk[ed] about Al Qaeda attacking San Francisco and blowing up San Francisco," O'Reilly did not deny saying it, but rather challenged Dodd to name "when" and in "what forum" he had made the comment. After Dodd said he believed it was in 2005 on O'Reilly's television show, O'Reilly responded, "No, you're wrong. I didn't say it here. You don't know what the hell I said, with all due respect." He went on to complain that Dodd "got it from Media Matters." In fact, as Media Matters noted, on the November 10, 2005, broadcast of The Radio Factor, O'Reilly, reacting to San Francisco's passage of a ballot measure urging public high schools and colleges to prohibit on-campus military recruiting, said that, if he were president, he would tell San Franciscans that "if Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead."
- After Dodd mentioned an Indiana University study which found that, on average, O'Reilly engages in name-calling once every 6.8 seconds during the "Talking Points Memo" segment of his show, O'Reilly asserted that "we" had "discredited" the study -- although his producer's attempt to do so was thoroughly flawed, as Media Matters documented.
During the interview, O'Reilly demanded that Dodd repudiate Daily Kos and its YearlyKos convention, citing a "vile" cartoon about Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-CT) on the website. In response, Dodd noted that hundreds of thousands of people participate in the Daily Kos community and said: "My point is you are not being candid. Your objection is to this community gathering. You don't like their politics." When O'Reilly again said that the site was "vile," Dodd replied, "There are a lot of things that you say on a daily basis that I find vile, to be honest with you." Dodd said that "of course" he did not approve of the "cartoon," but added, "[T]hat's not the issue here," to which O'Reilly replied: "Of course it's the issue. That's what they do. That's what they do on the site. They do that hate stuff all the time." Dodd later said, "The fact that there are objectionable people who show up here on this site doesn't discredit everyone else who participates in this in a wonderful way to share their views on a variety of subjects." O'Reilly responded: "[Y]ou talk about being disingenuous. Your description of that site is so opposite from what it is and anyone who's been on it knows the hate that they peddle every day. ... You are so dead wrong on this and you ought [to] apologize to Lieberman."
After airing the interview on the August 2 edition of The Radio Factor, O'Reilly said that Dodd "legitimizes what's going on there" and, citing his own comments about San Francisco, said Dodd "doesn't even know where I said it. He takes the propaganda that's handed to him -- I don't think he's ever seen The O'Reilly Factor." O'Reilly added, "I don't think he's ever even gone to the Kos." O'Reilly went on to ask co-host Lis Wiehl if she had visited Daily Kos and she answered, "I have. ... It's awful. It's awful every day." Pressed by O'Reilly to say whether Dodd "is lying" when he defends Daily Kos, Wiehl agreed: "In my view, yes, because it's just so horrible."
Later that day, O'Reilly re-aired the Dodd interview on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor. Afterward, he said that he is "always disappointed when people come on with propaganda like Senator Dodd did," and asserted that Dodd "obviously didn't know what I said about Al Qaeda in San Francisco." O'Reilly's then replayed his August 1 interview with comedian Dennis Miller, who said he was "a little disappointed" that O'Reilly "would give a hack like that a toe hold" by hosting him on his cable show, adding, "I must tell you as a viewer of the Factor, I don't need to hear from hacks like Chris Dodd." O'Reilly later declared that Dodd had gotten "smacked right back" and said, "I didn't like to do that to a sitting senator, I have to tell the audience. It does not give me pleasure, but I certainly have to do it."
O'Reilly concluded that he "didn't know [Dodd] was going to be dishonest" and claimed that Dodd had "pandered ... so he could get an 'atta boy' when he goes into this hateful thing over the weekend." Miller replied, "You know something? ... That convention is a loser fest. I mean, there are hookers who have put an embargo on that convention."
From the August 2 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: In The Factor "Follow-Up" segment tonight, a viewer warning. We're going to show you a hateful picture posted on a far left website, the Daily Kos, so you might want to change channels right now. As you may know, we've been reporting on most of the Democratic candidates attending the Kos convention this weekend. Despite the fact that website is full of hateful postings including this picture of President Bush and Senator Joseph Lieberman, which has been on the site for a year.
Now, yesterday I spoke with Senator Chris Dodd, who is running for president and will be at that convention.
[begin video clip]
O'REILLY: You know, you've known Senator Lieberman for 30 years. He knows President Bush. I'm sure you respect both men as patriots, and you see something like this, why don't you distance yourself from it, sir?
DODD: Well, what I'm stunned at; Mr. O'Reilly, is the fact that you spend as much time here going after an online community gathering where there are 500,000 people who visit that site on a daily basis, here. To identify five, six, seven, eight objectionable, offensive cartoons or comments that people are making, here, I find that rather stunning, to be quite honest with you, here.
O'REILLY: Well, I mean, you know this is the worst stuff on the Internet. There isn't anything worse than his.
DODD: Just let me finish -- this is a place -- this is a place where people can -- you're missing the point. You ought to be far more candid with your viewing audience, here, and tell them that your real objection here is the ideology of Daily Kos --
DODD: -- not what's on the air. This is silly, this is silliness for you to be suggesting --
O'REILLY: If you went to the --
DODD: -- 500,000, 500,000 people appearing on that site --
DODD: Let me finish. Here, 500,000 people every day on that site. Why are you attacking something like this? It broadens the debate, allows people to --
O'REILLY: Because It's vile. It's vile.
DODD: That's why?
O'REILLY: It doesn't matter how many people go in, go out, have a cup of tea.
DODD: There are a lot of things that you say are vile on a daily basis. Am I --
O'REILLY: What about that cartoon, Senator? What about it?
DODD: No, no, no, no, no -- listen.
O'REILLY: What do you mean, "no, no, no, no, no"? It's up there for a year. What about the cartoon, sir?
DODD: Mr. O'Reilly. Mr. O'Reilly, you're not listening to me, here. Mere point is you are not being candid. Your objection is to this community gathering here. You don't like their politics.
O'REILLY: I don't like their website.
DODD: That's the legitimate criticism here. Why don't you focus on that and recognize that 500,000 people a day.
O'REILLY: All right, I'll ask you the question again. You OK with that cartoon, sir?
DODD: Of course not. That's not the issue, Mr. O'Reilly.
O'REILLY: Of course it's the issue.
DODD: No, no. You're going after --
O'REILLY: That's what they do. That's what they do on the site. They do that hate stuff all the time.
DODD: No, no. You suggested -- you suggested that we ought not participate in the convention --
DODD: -- because six, seven, eight, or 10 people here have said something on this site that's objectionable --
O'REILLY: Eight or 10 people? What are you, crazy? There's thousands of vile postings on that website. Thousands.
DODD: Look, Mr. O'Reilly, there are thousands on your posting, as well, every day, I might add.
O'REILLY: No there are not. There are not any on my website.
DODD: Oh yes there are.
O'REILLY: We take them off right away.
DODD: Talking about Al Qaeda attacking San Francisco and blowing up San Francisco.
O'REILLY: When did I say that, Senator?
DODD: That's not offensive?
O'REILLY: When did I say that?
DODD: You said it in 2005, I think is correct?
O'REILLY: When? Where? What forum? When?
DODD: Right here, I believe, on your own show.
O'REILLY: No, you're wrong. I didn't say it here. You don't know what the hell I said, with all due respect.
DODD: No, I don't think so.
O'REILLY: You got it from Media Matters.
DODD: Focus on the legitimate criticism.
O'REILLY: You didn't hear it and you don't know what I did.
DODD: Focus on your legitimate criticism.
O'REILLY: Look, you're a propagandist, Senator. You're a propagandist.
DODD: No, no, no, no, no
O'REILLY: I used to respect you. I don't have any respect for you, and if I were Joseph Lieberman I would never talk to you again because this is vile and you're legitimizing it. You're legitimizing it.
DODD: Well you're not Joseph Lieberman. You're not Joseph Lieberman, and if you would sit there and just be honest about your criticism, here, rather than focusing on a few specific instances that everyone I know would find objectionable. That's not the issue here. The issue is --
O'REILLY: The issue is you're legitimizing a hateful website.
DODD: Can I please finish? Can I please finish a thought with you, here? That you object to the fact that 1,500 people are going to gather in Chicago representing hundreds of thousands of people who utilize this community gathering, this community site, as a way to express their views every day --
O'REILLY: It's hard to believe.
DODD: -- which is not a bad way to do this.
O'REILLY: It's hard to believe.
DODD: The fact that there are objectionable people who show up here on this site doesn't discredit everyone else who participates in this in a wonderful way to share their views on a variety of subjects.
O'REILLY: OK, OK. [inaudible] Little Bo Peep fight? Look, you talk about being disingenuous. Your description of that site is so opposite from what it is, and anybody who's been on it knows the hate that they peddle every day. Look, Senator, I appreciate you coming on here --
DODD: Mr. O'Reilly, Mr. O'Reilly.
O'REILLY: -- I appreciate it. But you are so dead wrong on this, and I'm going to give you the last word. You are so dead wrong on this and you ought to apologize to Lieberman.
DODD: Indiana University -- no, no. Listen to me. Indiana University has suggested that once every 6.8 seconds you say something derogatory --
O'REILLY: Yeah, and we discredited it. It's bogus.
DODD: Let me finish. You make derogatory comments about individuals and groups once every 6.8 seconds. That's nine times a minute. That's your history here. Go after the ideology.
O'REILLY: And you believe that? You believe that?
DODD: Let me finish. That's a legitimate point for you to attack the ideology of Daily Kos but don't --
O'REILLY: It isn't a legitimate a point. It's a bogus study. We've already discredited it.
DODD: Don't suggest here, don't suggest here that this is real debate you're having about Daily Kos. You object to the ideology. You are using a few instances here --
O'REILLY: A few --
DODD: -- that everybody would find objectionable as a way of saying we ought not participate.
O'REILLY: All right.
DODD: That's terribly wrong in my view.
O'REILLY: OK. I want everybody to go to that site and remember what Senator Dodd said and make up your own mind. And there go, Senator --
DODD: Good. 500,000 visits a day.
O'REILLY: They'll make up their own mind. We appreciate you coming in and taking the fire though.
[end video clip]
O'REILLY: After we spoke with Senator Dodd yesterday, we spoke with Dennis Miller, who was listening to the interview. As usual, Miller had some insights. Roll the tape.
[begin video clip]
O'REILLY: You know, I am always disappointed when people come on with propaganda like Senator Dodd did. He obviously didn't know what I said about Al Qaeda in San Francisco. He didn't know what program I said it on. It was fed to him. But he and others are basically defiant, and they're going to do what they want to do. Didn't -- never addressed the picture and the morality of the picture, just kind of sloughed it off like this is not what is prevailing on this website, which is just absolutely untrue.
MILLER: Well, let me tell you, you're disappointed in him. As a fan of The Factor -- and when I'm not on I don't miss a night -- I'm a little disappointed that you would give a hack like that a toe hold.
You know, these people aren't going to come on and debate on Fox which is the pre-eminent cable news organization in the country, if I am to believe your ratings that I read on your Internet, probably eight times when the Daily Kos gets on any given day.
MILLER: For you to let him come in and sandbag you like that, I must tell you as a viewer of The Factor, I don't need to hear from hacks like Chris Dodd. OK.
O'REILLY: No, no, no. Wait a minute. That's interesting. And I know I'm going to get mail that says you are right on that.
But look, he comes in, and I want people to see him no matter what he said. If he denied, denied, denied, which he did. You know, you would think he was talking about the Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm website, you know, from his description of it. It was totally inaccurate, totally not true, and people can see for themselves.
But I have to present these guys to the American public as best I can. Now certainly, he was challenged every step of the way.
O'REILLY: But don't you think most people see that? Don't you think that when he comes on and does that and got smacked right back -- all right -- and I didn't like to do that to a sitting senator, I have to tell the audience. It does not give me pleasure, but I certainly have to do it.
Don't you think the audience then does exactly what you do, sees through it, knows the game, and then basically says this is what is going there?
MILLER: No. I don't think most of your audience does. I think you'd be better off having [Rep. Dennis] Kucinich [D-OH] on. Because as much as I am not voting for Dennis Kucinich, I have to admire that he takes a stand, and says his piece and at least has some policy.
O'REILLY: Kucinich is welcome at any time. But this is the first time Dodd has ever been on.
MILLER: This guy had nothing. Bill, this guy had nothing except standing up to you, who they assume to be the symbol of the right wing and all that. And he was boring. He was tedious. He doesn't know anything about you.
O'REILLY: And it will be interesting to see if people agree with you or not. I think it's worthy to put them on. And I think it's worthy, when they spout stuff that isn't true, to challenge them. And I don't think it was a boring segment, Dennis. I've got to disagree. It wasn't boring.
MILLER: I don't think it was boring. But I think Bob's hairs--
O'REILLY: Everybody is going to be talking about it tomorrow. But you may have a point. Putting on -- and I didn't know he was going to be dishonest. I actually thought he would engage in the -- in the picture. Because he knows Lieberman for 30 years. Yeah, he turned on Lieberman in the election. But you're right, he pandered, and so he could get an "atta boy" when he goes into this hateful thing over the weekend.
MILLER: Yeah. He'll be a big guy. You know something?
O'REILLY: No, he won't.
MILLER: That convention is a loser fest. I mean, there are hookers who have put an embargo on that convention.
From the August 2 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: Now, as we have been reporting, in Chicago this weekend there is a convention sponsored by this website the Kos, which is hateful. It has a cartoon that's been posted on there for a year of Senator Joseph Lieberman [I-CT] kneeling in a sexual position before President Bush. All the Democratic candidates with the exception of [Sen. Joseph] Biden [D-DE] are going, and Biden wants to go. So, they're all in the same soup.
Now, why do they -- why are they going? They are afraid of this outfit -- they're afraid of them. Now [Sen.] Chris Dodd [D-CT], you probably didn't know this, is running for president. You know, it's no shock, you know, the guy is -- and I don't' respect him so -- I mean he just -- whatever he's doing, he's doing. Anyway, he came in and I wanted him on the show because he knows Lieberman -- he's a senator from Connecticut, so is Lieberman, he's known Lieberman for 30 years.
Now Dodd turned on Lieberman in the primary, which is why Lieberman had to run as an independent. Dodd supported the far-left candidate last November, Ned Lamont, who lost to Lieberman and I'm sure that Lieberman didn't appreciate that after 30 years.
But anyway, they've know each other for 30 years, and this cartoon is vile. I'll show it again tonight. I've already showed it once on TV, if you haven't seen it. And so Dodd comes in, role the tape:
O'REILLY: And the average person who goes to that website stays there one second.
WIEHL: That's it?
O'REILLY: One second. Now, you know, what are you going to do with a guy like Dodd? What are you going to do? You make up your own mind. You know what that is. You know, I mean, this guy legitimizes what's on there. He's supposed to be a leader? He's running for president? I mean, you know -- I mean, "You said that San Francisco should be attacked." The guy doesn't even know where I said it. He takes the propaganda that's handed to him -- I don't even think he's ever seen The O'Reilly Factor.
WIEHL: Doesn't sound like it.
O'REILLY: I don't think he's ever even gone to the Kos. That's what Miller said, Dennis Miller. We have a Miller interview about that interview coming up tonight, too. But, look, be that as it may, be that as it may, there is no question. You have no one in any leadership position speaking out against hate in America today. No one. You know why? They're afraid. If one of those Democrats were showing up at that despicable convention said I'm not going because of that Lieberman cartoon, they would kill him on that website. They would tear that person to pieces. That's why they are going.
They're afraid. So this website has intimidated the Democratic leadership in the United States of America. That is frightening, and that's the power of the net. That is the power that these people have.
Now, you've been to that website.
WIEHL: I have. I just was looking --
O'REILLY: Is Dodd -- is he lying?
WIEHL: It's awful.
O'REILLY: OK, so he's lying?
WIEHL: It's awful every day. The crap that's on there, excuse my language, that's on there today I can't even say it.
O'REILLY: So, Dodd is lying?
WIEHL: In my view, yes, because it's just so horrible.
O'REILLY: OK, He has to -- he's either -- you can cut him some slack if he hasn't seen it.
WIEHL: Exactly, if hasn't gone on.
O'REILLY: But then he's got to say he hasn't seen it.
WIEHL: Go on, please.
O'REILLY: You know, what he said in that interview is flat-out false and you go there right this second and prove it to yourself.