On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly reported that Michael Devlin had "pleaded guilty today to kidnapping and sexually brutalizing two young boys in Missouri. One of them he had held captive for four years." O'Reilly later said, "I'm not going to name the boys, because the boys have been through enough." However, O'Reilly did not address the statement he made regarding the boy who was "held for four years," Shawn Hornbeck, on the January 15 edition of The O'Reilly Factor: "[T]here was an element here that this kid liked about his circumstances."
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."
Discussing Rush Limbaugh's controversial remarks about "phony soldiers," Bill O'Reilly claimed that "Media Matters is peddling that Mr. Limbaugh was denigrating soldiers who dissent from the Iraq War, but that doesn't seem to be true." As evidence, O'Reilly aired a clip of Limbaugh claiming that he "was talking about one soldier with that phony soldier comment. Jesse MacBeth." However, during the September 26 broadcast of his radio show, Limbaugh -- in his original comments -- actually referred to "phony soldiers," plural. Further, Limbaugh did not refer to Jesse MacBeth until one minute and 50 seconds after making his "phony soldiers" comment.
On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly repeatedly claimed that "Media Matters has personally attacked me 109 times," but he did not offer a single example of Media Matters' alleged personal attacks. In fact, Media Matters has posted more than 125 items documenting statements by O'Reilly during the period in question, including full transcripts of his comments with corresponding audio or video.
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In defending his controversial comments about race, Bill O'Reilly claimed that "we didn't hear one complaint about the program that ran on more than 400 radio stations." Similarly, an Associated Press article stated that "O'Reilly said the [Juan] Williams conversation was carried on more than 400 radio stations and there wasn't one complaint from a listener." In fact, during the same broadcast in which O'Reilly made his controversial remarks, a caller told O'Reilly: "I think your spinning and bloviating does not do the black community justice. You're just giving fodder to your viewers who have a negative view of black people anyway, so your pointing out a couple of [rappers] Twistas and Ludacrises in the large general population is shameful."
In a discussion on MSNBC's Morning Joe of Bill O'Reilly's response to criticism of his controversial statement about dining at a Harlem restaurant, host Joe Scarborough noted, "I don't think that we're mischaracterizing it at all to say O'Reilly was surprised that a restaurant run by people of color was almost just like a normal restaurant." Scarborough also observed that "Fox has been coming up with some pretty, pretty crazy banners" describing the controversy that suggest "Bill O'Reilly has nothing to do with this at all. He didn't cause this at all."