O'Reilly: Fox News altered NY Times reporter's photo to "ma[ke] fun of him ... for painting a distorted ratings picture ... and propping up MSNBC"

››› ››› CHRISTINE SCHWEN

Commenting on Fox & Friends' airing of an altered photo of New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly said: "You may remember Fox News made fun of him recently for painting a distorted ratings picture -- that's why they distorted his picture -- and propping up MSNBC." O'Reilly previously compared the altered photo, which Fox & Friends did not indicate was distorted, to a Times illustration of him.

On the July 17 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly again commented on Fox & Friends' airing of an altered photo of New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg, saying: "You may remember Fox News made fun of him recently for painting a distorted ratings picture -- that's why they distorted his picture -- and propping up MSNBC. Well, today, another wet kiss for that failing cable operation. In fact, in the past two years, Steinberg has written 32 favorable mentions about NBC News -- 32. He may be a pinhead, but Steinberg is NBC's pinhead." During the segment, O'Reilly aired both the altered and original photo of Steinberg. Steinberg wrote a July 17 Times article on the possibility of Air America Radio host Rachel Maddow getting her own MSNBC show.

As Media Matters for America documented, on July 2, Fox & Friends aired altered photos of Steinberg and of Steven Reddicliffe, a New York Times editor, during a segment in which co-host Steve Doocy claimed that Steinberg's June 28 article on the "ominous trend" in Fox News' ratings was a "hit piece." Fox & Friends co-hosts did not note that the images had been altered.

On the July 7 edition of his program O'Reilly compared the airing of the altered photo of Steinberg to what was clearly an illustration of O'Reilly published by the Times in January 2007. He said of the photos controversy: "Well, some folks at the Times are outraged, as are the far-left loons at Media Matters. Now, this is rich, because here are the caricatures The New York Times used of me when they slashed my book, Culture Warrior. Nice images ... you notice the horn in there? Isn't that nice?" According to a July 7 Times column by David Carr, Times television reporter Bill Carter considered the altered photo -- the display of which constituted, according to O'Reilly, "pok[ing] a little fun at Steinberg" -- "an anti-Semitic caricature." Carr also wrote that Brian Lewis, Fox News' executive vice president for corporate communications, called the "suggestion that there was something anti-Semitic about the depiction of Mr. Steinberg 'vile and untrue.' "

From the July 17 broadcast of The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: On the pinhead front: hello New York Times TV writer Jacques Steinberg. You may remember Fox News made fun of him recently for painting a distorted ratings picture -- that's why they distorted his picture -- and propping up MSNBC.

Well, today, another wet kiss for that failing cable operation. In fact, in the past two years, Steinberg has written 32 favorable mentions about NBC News -- 32. He may be a pinhead, but Steinberg is NBC's pinhead. Thirty-two.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Race & Ethnicity
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bill O'Reilly
Show/Publication
The O'Reilly Factor
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