Bill O'Reilly responded to viewer complaints about his calling Hearst Newspapers columnist Helen Thomas a "pinhead," by saying: "This woman is a pinhead. She's been a pinhead for decades. She will always be a pinhead. And I'm calling it the way it is." O'Reilly went on to assert: "She is consistently anti-American in her point of view." Fox News anchor Laurie Dhue then responded: "And she certainly has been in the last several years," adding: "Increasingly so."
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On his Fox News show, Bill O'Reilly stated that Warren Buffett "was not being truthful" when he said that, in Kirsten Powers' words, "he doesn't think his secretary should be paying a higher tax rate than he is." O'Reilly asserted, "His secretary isn't paying a higher tax. ... Mr. Buffett gets no salary. He gets return on his interest. And he gets capital gains tax at 15 percent. That's what it's taxed as," adding that Buffett was "being deceptive because he doesn't make a salary." But Buffett has acknowledged that most of his income is not salary, saying, "Most of my income is taxed at 15 percent, and doesn't pay a payroll. Mainly it's dividends and capital gains."
On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly stated, "Fox News turns down blatantly anti-American ads. We just turned one down recently." Fox News recently refused to air an advertisement produced by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) that claims the Bush administration is "destroying the Constitution" through its use of renditions, torture, and other tactics. However, in an email provided to Media Matters by CCR, a Fox News account executive told CCR that Fox would not run the ad "with it being [narrator] Danny Glover's opinion that the Bush Administration is destroying the Constitution. If you have documentation that it is indeed being destroyed, we can look at that."
Bill O'Reilly accused The New York Times of "rooting for a recession," citing a Times article reporting on both the possible positive and negative effects of a recession. But O'Reilly did not note an article in The Wall Street Journal -- owned by Fox News' parent company, News Corp. -- with the headline "Recession Fears Weigh Heavily on the Markets," nor did he mention that FoxNews.com columnist Susan Walker penned a column headlined "5 Reasons Why We Are Closer to a Recession."
During an O'Reilly Factor discussion of a lawsuit over two employees fired for speaking Spanish in the workplace, Republican strategist Kellyanne Conway said: "[W]hat starts out as maybe the person doesn't speak English, getting -- putting mayonnaise instead of mustard as you requested on your sandwich is one day going to blossom into two air traffic controllers who don't speak great English because political correctness has made us appoint them to those positions. They're going to have two planes crashing in the sky." In fact, the federal law prohibiting workplace discrimination contains an exception for "instances where ... national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise."
On The O'Reilly Factor, Newsmax.com chief Washington correspondent Ronald Kessler falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "voted to give Osama bin Laden the same rights that Americans have when it comes to intercepting his calls, even if he made calls within Pakistan, to Pakistan. They voted in August to not revise the FISA act." In fact, Obama and Clinton both voted for legislation sponsored by Sen. Carl Levin that would have amended FISA to allow warrantless wiretapping of foreign-to-foreign calls, regardless of whether they are transmitted through the United States.
Bill O'Reilly asserted that The New York Times is not "honest" because an article stated that "MSNBC is competitive with The [O'Reilly] Factor at 8 p.m.," claiming, "MSNBC had no overall ratings growth at 8 p.m. None. In the past five weeks, the Factor has beaten them by 225 percent in total audience and 100 percent in the key demo [the 25- to 54-year-old marketing demographic]." In fact, the article stated that MSNBC's Countdown has "[o]n some nights recently ... come tantalizingly close to surpassing" the Factor "among viewers ages 25 to 54" and noted that "[m]ost of the time, though, Mr. O'Reilly outdraws Mr. Olbermann by about 1.5 million viewers over all at the same hour, according to Nielsen Media Research."