Several news outlets portrayed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's harsh criticism of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as a purely political maneuver to "find the exact middle" in the Democratic Party or to position herself for a potential 2008 presidential run.
On his Fox News program, Bill O'Reilly called Mel Gibson's recent anti-Semitic comments "inexcusable," but said it is "more important" to discuss the "point where the media and individual Americans start to enjoy the suffering of rich and powerful people." Guest Geraldo Rivera later suggested that O'Reilly refer to "that schmuck from MSNBC," apparently MSNBC host Keith Olbermann; Rivera added that the "schmuck from MSNBC" is a "lowlife." Rivera also asserted that Comedy Central hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert "make a living putting on video of old ladies slipping on ice and people laughing" and that they "exist in a small little place where they count for nothing."
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Bill O'Reilly baselessly attacked Oregonian columnist Peter Ames Carlin for "vilifying" O'Reilly "by using far-left website propaganda material." Carlin had written a column noting specific examples of O'Reilly's personal attacks, many of which Media Matters had previously documented.
On July 26, Bill O'Reilly baselessly attacked both The Oregonian and The Guardian newspapers for purportedly breaking "professional standards" and "attack[ing]" O'Reilly.
Numerous conservative pundits offered highly optimistic predictions about the U.S. invasion of Iraq regarding the conflict's duration, difficulty, and human and financial costs -- nearly all of which have proven to be wrong. But rather than hold these "Pollyanna pundits" accountable for their past misjudgments, the media have again provided a platform for their views about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. And echoing their rhetoric on Iraq, these conservative pundits have advocated further military action by the United States and its allies.
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In a discussion about a lawsuit filed over the presence of a large cross at a war memorial in San Diego, Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that the Red Cross "historically ... adopted" its emblem "because of the Christian philosophy of giving alms and giving assistance to people in need." In fact, according to the American Red Cross website, it was "[i]n honor of the Swiss ... [that] the symbol of a red cross on a white background (the reverse of the Swiss flag) was identified as a protective emblem in conflict areas."
On his radio show, Bill O'Reilly apparently modified his false claim that the New York Times' editorial board is "sitting ... out" the current conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, stating that the Times was "basically sitting ... out" [emphasis added] the issue. Yet during the same day's edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly repeated his previous claim that the Times was "absolutely sitting it out editorially." In fact, the Times has now published four editorials on the conflict.
Following a recent trend of portraying bad news for President Bush as a blessing in disguise for Republicans and the White House, various news outlets and media figures have uncritically echoed the Bush administration's claim that the recent outbreak of violence between Israel and Hezbollah represents a "leadership opportunity" for Bush.
During his interview with U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton, Bill O'Reilly repeatedly lashed out at the U.N., putting Bolton -- who, before being appointed ambassador to the U.N., had made comments that were harshly critical of the organization -- in the position of defending the U.N. and its Security Council.
On Fox News and his radio show, Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that, because of criticism The New York Times has received for publishing a "terror finance story," the newspaper "announced ... it was cutting 25 percent of its work force." Based on figures provided in a Times article, the announced reductions amount to just over 2 percent of the work force. Similarly, on Your World, guest host David Asman falsely suggested the Times' cutbacks were a result of the public's reaction to the paper's recent reporting. In fact, the Times announced a plan to cut half its production staff by 2017 in September 2004, well before it reported on warrantless wiretapping or the Bush administration's bank-monitoring program.
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that The New York Times editorial board has not commented on the current conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, alleging that the Times editorial board has not criticized Israel's actions because "[m]any American Jews are liberal," and "the Times cannot afford to alienate its liberal base." In fact, since the onset of the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict, the New York Times editorial page as authored three different editorials on the subject, on July 13, 15, and 18.
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly claimed he has "never said liberal America wants the USA to lose in Iraq." Media Matters for America has found numerous examples in which he has asserted that very thing.
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly renewed his false attacks on Media Matters, claiming that we, along with the Democracy Alliance, an organization of donors formed to support progressive groups, and other recipients of funding from Alliance donors, represent a "left-wing Mafia" dedicated to "nefarious purposes." O'Reilly leveled specific attacks at Media Matters -- making the blatantly false suggestion that we "give directions to" the homes of O'Reilly and others in order to "intimidate good people who may want to come into the public arena as politicians or commentators" and calling us "character assassins" and a "smear website" that "lie[s]."
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