Bill O'Reilly lashed out at Media Matters for America President and CEO David Brock for what O'Reilly called "the vicious far-left assaults on me and Rush Limbaugh over the past few days." After calling Brock "a hatchet man," O'Reilly stated: "[A]t this point, this guy has emerged as the biggest villain, in my opinion, in the country. He'll do anything. He'll say anything -- doesn't matter if it's true -- for money."
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During the October 2 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly lashed out at Media Matters for America President and CEO David Brock for what O'Reilly called "the vicious far-left assaults on me and Rush Limbaugh over the past few days," asserting: "[T]here's no question that this guy's a hatchet man. I mean, nobody on earth could read his stuff and come to the -- a conclusion that he's not a hatchet man. He is." O'Reilly went on to claim: "[A]t this point, this guy has emerged as the biggest villain, in my opinion, in the country. He'll do anything. He'll say anything -- doesn't matter if it's true -- for money." He later asserted: "Because this is number one, dishonest. Number two, it's dangerous, because anybody with whom Mr. Brock disagrees is going to be smeared, defamed, and slimed with no regard to the truth." O'Reilly concluded his attack by calling Brock "a despicable human being."
As Media Matters has documented, O'Reilly routinely attacks Media Matters. For example, on the September 25 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly repeatedly claimed that "Media Matters has personally attacked me 109 times." In fact, Media Matters has posted more than 125 items (between September 25, 2006, and September 25, 2007) documenting statements by O'Reilly, while providing full transcripts of his comments with corresponding audio or video. Moreover, O'Reilly has a long history of personally attacking those with whom he disagrees.
From the October 2 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: "Unresolved Problem" segment tonight: With the vicious far-left assaults on me and Rush Limbaugh over the past few days, some Americans are asking, "Who's behind all the smearing?"
Well, it is this man, David Brock, the president of Media Matters. Brock is paid almost $200,000 a year to attack non-liberal commentators and politicians using a daily smear campaign on the Internet.
Now, Brock used to be a conservative hit man. In 1992, he called Anita Hill, quote, "a bit nutty and a bit slutty," unquote. But now he smears from the far left.
Joining us from Washington, Genevieve Wood, the director of strategic operations at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
When did you first become aware of Mr. Brock?
WOOD: Well, Bill, back in, I guess, late '93, I was working at the time for a network called National Empowerment Television, which was a conservative political TV network. This is pre-Fox days and MSNBC days. And David Brock was a guest a few times on our network primarily about a book he wrote called The Real Anita Hill. And I think you may have actually quoted from it just there.
But as you might know from there, he went on to work for an organization called The American Spectator, which is a conservative publication, who's done a lot of good reporting over the years. And David Brock was a reporter for them. He did a lot of investigations in what became known as Troopergate and looking into the Clinton administration.
But not long after that, he decided that he was no longer a conservative, and decided to go more on the left side of things.
Now what became confusing about all of this is that he didn't just say well, I've changed my political philosophy, which people do. Some people are Republicans, they become Democrats and vice versa.
But all of a sudden, he started saying that well, what I've been reporting were actually lies. I really -- you know, a lot of what I talked about wasn't true. But the fact is we don't really know what was true and what wasn't.
O'REILLY: All right. So let me start with this. So he writes this book about Anita Hill, where he attacks her personally. Right?
WOOD: That's right.
O'REILLY: All right? He cuts her up. Nasty piece of business. And then, a few years later, he says what I wrote I knew wasn't true, and I wrote it anyway. Is that what he said?
WOOD: He said -- well, he doesn't say specifically about which parts of the book, but he says a lot of what I wrote wasn't true.
O'REILLY: But my point is --
WOOD: And he says the same thing about the Clinton investigations.
O'REILLY: Genevieve, my point is did he say that I knew it wasn't true, but wrote it anyway?
WOOD: I don't know that he said I knew it wasn't true, but looking back, a lot of things I wrote he said were not true.
O'REILLY: OK, well that could mean --
WOOD: When he stumbled across that --
O'REILLY: -- it was erroneous, I had bad information, whatever. But --
WOOD: Could be. But, Bill, it's different if that happens once. But when somebody calls himself an investigative journalist, and all of a sudden, you have a pattern of this when you're reporting on the right, when you're reporting on the left, doesn't matter who you're talking...
O'REILLY: Well, there's no question that this guy's a hatchet man. I mean, nobody on earth --
O'REILLY: -- could read his stuff and come to the -- a conclusion that he's not a hatchet man. He is.
O'REILLY: The matter is how calculated is he? Or does he sell himself to the highest bidder? Now, he's being paid a lot of money to put out this dishonest garbage, which he does. He has, obviously, mainstream media access, which the right wing does not have, because the right wing has character assassins, too.
O'REILLY: But at this point, this guy has emerged as the biggest villain, in my opinion, in the country. He'll do anything. He'll say anything -- doesn't matter if it's true -- for money. And the money's coming from the far left.
O'REILLY: George Soros and some of his organizations are funding this. But maybe I'm wrong. Do I have this wrong?
WOOD: Well, I -- there's a lot of villains out there. Whether he's the biggest, I don't know. But look, there's a lot of people that look like this guy and like this organization Media Matters that you could say, well, you know what, let's not give them a platform. Let's not give them air time --
O'REILLY: Well, you have to now.
WOOD: Let me keep -- well, but the problem with him is that it's not just him putting out these press releases. You have people like the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D-NV] --
O'REILLY: Yes, that's why I'm saying you have to --
WOOD: Well, yes.
O'REILLY: -- well, you have CNN and MSNBC, who are now in bed with Media Matters. And when you have Harry Reid, who you're looking at, who goes to the Senate floor and wastes all the taxpayer's time, talking about propaganda designed to diminish a commentator he disagrees with, Reid disagrees with, then you have to bring it to the attention of the American public.
WOOD: You absolutely do.
O'REILLY: Because this is, number one, dishonest. Number two, it's dangerous, because anybody with whom Mr. Brock disagrees is going to be smeared, defamed, and slimed with no regard to the truth. Now --
WOOD: And the difference, Bill, between -- I mean, you know, look, you and Rush have had to put up with a lot already, but the good thing is that you and Rush have a daily show, where you can actually --
O'REILLY: Yeah, we can repudiate. But others can't.
WOOD: -- defend yourself. But that's right.
O'REILLY: Others can't.
WOOD: And you've got to --
O'REILLY: They get smeared and slimed by this guy.
WOOD: That's right.
O'REILLY: Anita Hill didn't have -- she didn't have a daily platform when this guy attacked her. And she had to just absorb it. But anyway, I think he's a despicable human being. And I'm glad you came on. And it took a little bravery, because now he's going to go after you, Genevieve.
WOOD: Oh, I'm sure. Well, he already has, but he's reported it wrong in the past. We'll see what he does now.
O'REILLY: All right, well if he does, you let us know and we'll --
WOOD: All right, thank you.
O'REILLY: -- revisit him again.