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During the March 25 edition of his Fox News program, Bill O'Reilly called Media Matters for America an "awful, despicable ... outfit," and said: "[T]alk about anti-Americanism. I mean, these Media Matters ... these are fascists. They're dishonest people." O'Reilly made the comments in the context of discussing a March 25 article in the American Prospect by Media Matters senior fellow Paul Waldman concerning the controversy over statements by Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Sen. Barack Obama's recently retired pastor.
From the March 25 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: Oh, absolutely. It'll be interesting to see if Obama or his supporters do anything on this. And if they do, it'll be on the far-left blogs, which are really vile -- just vile. And on that subject, you broke a story -- or you're following a story -- about the awful, despicable Media Matters outfit. What are they doing now?
LAURA INGRAHAM (Fox News contributor and conservative radio host): Well, this guy named Paul Waldman, who works for Media Matters, and I don't -- I don't -- I'm not familiar with his work -- but he wrote a piece essentially saying that because conservatives and others are talking about Reverend Wright, they are, quote, "putting down a marker" to bring this -- bring the campaign into one of the more ugly aspects of racial prejudice.
In other words, Bill, a guy who wants to be president of the United States, have the ability and the authority to launch nuclear weapons, start a war, veto spending bills, should not be vetted. We should not be able to look at his closest relationships that have followed a course of 23 years, especially when it comes to someone like Reverend Wright. If we do that, we are going to be branded racist. That's how scared they are about this Reverend Wright issue. They know it's explosive.
O'REILLY: Well, they're going to brand people racist anyway. That's what Media --
O'REILLY: -- Matters does. That's what they do. But here's the interesting part about this: That outfit has been very, very pro-Hillary Clinton up and to this point; very silent about any attacks on Barack Obama. This is the first time as far as I know -- I don't read them all the time; they're just disgusting -- but they've been basically in the tank for Hillary Clinton, because the Clintons and John Podesta, their close confidante, were in -- and we don't know the extent of it -- but did have something to do with the creation of Media Matters. There's very close ties there. But I think you're right. This is basically throwing out the first salvo that if Barack Obama is the nominee, any criticism --
INGRAHAM: Tread carefully.
INGRAHAM: Yeah, tread carefully.
O'REILLY: -- any criticism you make about him will -- that's a racist criticism. Anything.
INGRAHAM: They're inoculating Barack Obama or attempting to do so. And Bill, I think this really shows the weakness of the Obama campaign right now. The fact that Media Matters and other groups like it have to be out there saying, "Hey, don't you do that. You're making this a race thing. And you're showing the country what you really think about black people," when, in fact, Bill, you know this as well as I do, this story about Reverend Wright isn't about race. It's about anti-Americanism.
O'REILLY: Oh, absolutely, absolutely.
INGRAHAM: It's about the vile anti-Americanism spewing forth from that pulpit week after week and a man like Barack Obama, who knows better, sitting there week after week because he thought he would get street credibility by being associated with that Trinity Church. Now he doesn't need them anymore, so it'll be interesting to see how he reacts in the days and weeks to come.
O'REILLY: But Barack Obama -- and I don't believe this to be true, I could be wrong -- he doesn't have anything to do with what Media Matters or the Daily Kos or any of these people do. And I want everybody to be clear about this. None of the candidates can control the kind of filth and -- talk about anti-Americanism. I mean, these Media Matters --
INGRAHAM: Yeah, it's unbelievable. It's unbelievable.
O'REILLY: -- Huffington Post, Daily Kos -- I mean, these are fascists. They're dishonest people.
INGRAHAM: But, Bill, here's the deal.
O'REILLY: But the candidates --
INGRAHAM: Yeah. OK.
O'REILLY: -- don't have anything to do with them other than currying, pandering to them.