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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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."
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."
In segments on University of Florida student Andrew Meyer, who was shocked with a Taser by campus police, Glenn Beck asserted: "To me, Taser videos are a little like potato chips. I just can't watch just one," and Bill O'Reilly announced that "[a]nyone buying anything on BillOReilly.com will receive a 'Don't Taze me, bro!' bumper sticker."
During a Fox & Friends segment discussing an August 28 column by Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, on-screen text falsely asserted, "CASTRO'S DREAM TEAM: WANTS CLINTON AND OBAMA IN '08," referring to Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Also during the segment, an on-screen graphic depicted Castro, Clinton, and Obama enclosed in a red heart. In fact, at no point in his column did Castro endorse Clinton or Obama. Indeed, he attributed to Clinton and Obama a pro-democratic view that he called an "error," and he said of Clinton and Obama, "They are not making politics: they are playing a game of cards on a Sunday afternoon."
Keith Olbermann named Rush Limbaugh the "winner" of his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment for claiming that Democratic opponents of the Iraq war have focused on the genocide in Darfur in order to secure a percentage of the black "voting bloc." Olbermann also named Bill O'Reilly the "runner-up" for telling "his cable audience, quote, 'We know that journalists, most journalists, give money to Democrats.' " Olbermann asserted: "Not really, no. The report said that most journalists who do give money to political groups give that money to Democrats. But the report only found 127 American journalists who had given money to Democrats out of about 100,000."
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On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly stated: "[A]ll the money from the elites. We know that journalists -- most journalists give money to Democrats." However, the study O'Reilly was apparently referring to showed that of the small fraction of journalists who donated money at all to campaigns, more gave to Democrats than Republicans -- not that "most journalists give money to Democrats."
On the August 16 O'Reilly Factor, Fox News contributor Bernard Goldberg asserted that "news executives ... don't seem to care very much about intellectual diversity of opinion." "[T]hat's why journalists can boo ... cheer ... bash Christians, and they're not afraid of what will happen." He concluded: "[T]his isn't that much different from how the Ku Klux Klan operates." O'Reilly responded: "I think it's even beyond that, Bernie." As Media Matters has documented, O'Reilly has repeatedly compared Daily Kos to the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.
When a viewer email questioned his previous remarks that Bill Richardson "looked bad by saying he believed homosexuality was a choice," Fox News' Bill O'Reilly responded, "I think everybody's got to relax on all this gay stuff." But, as Media Matters for America has documented, O'Reilly has repeatedly demonstrated his own inability to "relax on all this gay stuff" with a history of controversial, misleading, and false claims about gays and lesbians.
On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly noted a viewer's complaint that during his August 14 interview with Rudy Giuliani, O'Reilly failed to confront Giuliani "about what he said 10 years ago on illegal immigration. He protected illegals." O'Reilly did not bring up a 1994 speech in which then-Mayor Giuliani reportedly vowed to "protect" illegal immigrants and stated: "If you come here and you work hard and you happen to be in an undocumented status, you're one of the people who we want in this city."
On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly read a letter criticizing him for "erroneously report[ing] that a poll found most Americans would not vote for a presidential candidate endorsed by a gay rights organization." But while O'Reilly noted that the poll was taken "in a few states," not nationally as he had earlier suggested, he did not acknowledge that his original assertion that the result applied to a "majority" of respondents was false.