Bill O'Reilly stated that CNN has gone "over to the dark side" for its coverage of O'Reilly's recent statement that he was surprised "there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City ... even though it's run by blacks." O'Reilly said he "talked to CNN last night" before the controversy was discussed on CNN's Out in the Open and "explained the deal." He added, "They went ahead with the racist angle anyway." Out in the Open host Rick Sanchez responded to O'Reilly's assertion: "Never once did we utter the word 'racist' in relation to Bill O'Reilly," adding that O'Reilly "screamed at the top of his lungs for a very long period of time."
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While discussing what he suggested might be "hypocrisy when it comes to political attacks" with regard to a MoveOn.org ad headlined "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" and comments by Rush Limbaugh about "Senator Betrayus, new name for Senator Hagel," MSNBC's David Shuster asked Rep. Marsha Blackburn, "Where was the outrage when Rush Limbaugh said this about Republican Senator Chuck Hagel over one of the senator's stances on Iraq?"
On CNN's Out in the Open, Rick Sanchez and CNN contributor Roland Martin discussed Bill O'Reilly's statement that he was surprised there was "no difference" between Sylvia's restaurant in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan and other New York restaurants, even though Sylvia's is "run by blacks." Sanchez reported that during an "animated" phone conversation, O'Reilly denied any "racial intent" in his comments and described the story as "a hatchet job by Media Matters."
Bill O'Reilly told a listener: "I didn't call for any boycott. I never do that, except for France, and that's lifted." It was not the first time that O'Reilly falsely claimed that he "never" calls for boycotts. As Media Matters for America has documented, O'Reilly has previously denied calling for boycotts, but has in fact called for them on several occasions.
On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly responded to a viewer who asked him to "stop labeling those who criticize our continued stay in Iraq as anti-American" by asserting: "I respect dissent on the Iraq war." After Fox News anchor Laurie Dhue stated that "[w]e welcome dissent in this country," O'Reilly replied, "We do. And on this program." In fact, O'Reilly has repeatedly attacked both the members of the anti-war movement and the media for their coverage of the war, asserting that they are "declar[ing] defeat" and "rooting for the USA to lose in Iraq."
Discussing his recent dinner with Rev. Al Sharpton at the Harlem restaurant Sylvia's, Bill O'Reilly reported that he "couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship." O'Reilly added: "There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more iced tea.' "