Several media figures have falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama contradicted previous statements when he said during a March 18 speech on race: "Did I ever hear him [Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's former pastor] make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in the church? Yes." In fact, Obama previously asserted he had not been present for particular statements Wright made that were repeated by various media outlets and that spurred the recent controversy. He did not claim to have never heard Wright make "remarks that could be considered controversial."
After airing portions of a controversial sermon by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, former pastor of Sen. Barack Obama's church, Bill O'Reilly -- who described Wright's comments as "anti-American, to say the least" -- asked Dick Morris, "If you were [Sen. John] McCain, do you use this against Obama?" Morris replied, "He doesn't have to. You just did. And the talk radio people around the country" will. Morris continued: "[T]he other media, the other conservative media can make a big deal of it."
Despite discussing on The O'Reilly Factor how Sen. John McCain should run against Sen. Barack Obama if he is the Democratic nominee, neither Karl Rove nor host Bill O'Reilly addressed Rove's reported role in "informally advising" McCain's campaign. Further, Rove did not disclose that he has reportedly given $2,300 to McCain's campaign.
During a segment of The O'Reilly Factor to discuss "What is the downside of having a woman become the president of the United States?" author Marc Rudov's initial response to the question was, "You mean besides the PMS and the mood swings, right?" Rudov later asserted: "Well, you know, I'm joking. Of course, the main problem I have is if a woman has a female agenda."
Bill O'Reilly again attacked The Huffington Post, claiming that reader comments on the website employ "the same exact tactics that the Nazis used in the late '20s and early '30s to demonize certain groups of people, so it would become easier for them, the Nazis, when they took power, to hurt those people." O'Reilly specifically mentioned his own site, where he said, "Those people do not have a right to spread hatred around." But several reader comments -- still on the site -- do just that.
Responding to a viewer's email about whether the current global warming "scare" is "natural" or "man-made," Fox News' Bill O'Reilly asserted: "It's all guesswork." Contrary to O'Reilly's assertion, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that the Earth is warming and human activity is very likely responsible for most of that warming.
On The O'Reilly Factor, Rush Limbaugh said, referring to a photograph of Sen. Barack Obama dressed in traditional Somali clothing, "I think that Michelle Obama is seething over the attacks that the Clintons have made against her husband with that photo with, you know, Obama looking like [Osama bin Laden's chief collaborator] Ayman [al-]Zawahiri, all of this talk about his middle name and so forth." In fact, Hillary Clinton has denied any knowledge of the photo's release and said, "[T]hat's not the kind of behavior that I condone or expect from the people working in my campaign." Limbaugh added that Mrs. Obama responded "with a womb-to-womb frontal attack on Hillary Clinton."
On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly responded to a viewer's letter -- criticizing O'Reilly for a "lapse of judgment" regarding his statement that he did not "see any difference between [Huffington Post founder Arianna] Huffington and the Nazis" -- by defending the statement. O'Reilly said: "If you look back at what happened in Germany, you cannot escape the similarities between what Hitler and his cutthroats did back then and the hate-filled blogs, what they're doing now."
While discussing comments posted to an item on The Huffington Post, Bill O'Reilly said of the website's founder, "Arianna Huffington, I have no respect for that woman. I think that she is hurting the country." O'Reilly asked: "[W]hat's the difference between the Ku Klux Klan and Arianna Huffington?" and later stated: "I don't see any difference between Huffington and the Nazis." O'Reilly frequently attacks those with whom he disagrees, comparing them to the Nazis or the Ku Klux Klan.
While discussing a New York Times article on Sen. John McCain's relationship with a lobbyist, Bill O'Reilly aired a clip of McCain's attorney Robert Bennett defending McCain against the article's allegations, but did not disclose that Bennett represents McCain and was reportedly hired for the explicit purpose of dealing with the controversy.
Bill O'Reilly falsely asserted that the ACLU's lawsuit over the Bush administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program "was basically an attempt ... to try to overcome a law which was passed by Congress, through the courts." In fact, the ACLU's lawsuit claimed, in part, that the program was in violation of several, as O'Reilly put it, "law[s] ... passed by Congress," including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, and asked that the courts enforce those laws by ordering the program shut down.
Bill O'Reilly falsely asserted on his Fox News show that Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorial page editor Cynthia Tucker -- whom he called "an antireligionist and a far-left zealot" -- wrote that former Gov. Mike Huckabee "is unfit to hold any national office because of his belief in God." In fact, Tucker did not cite "his faith in God" as the reason Huckabee "shouldn't be on any ticket"; she specifically noted his support for constitutional amendments banning abortion and same-sex marriage and quoted Huckabee on what he said was the need "to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards."
On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly aired a portion of a speech in which Sen. Barack Obama said in part, "[T]here's never been anything false about hope." O'Reilly then stated: "Got it. Faith and charity are good, too. We love hope, faith, charity, all that. But that doesn't wipe out the Taliban inside Pakistan or pay for a trillion-dollar entitlement, universal health care." But contrary to O'Reilly's suggestion, Obama has outlined a strategy to combat terrorism in Pakistan and laid out how he plans to pay for his health-care proposal.