During an interview with Democratic strategists James Carville and Paul Begala, Bill O'Reilly called Carville and Begala "stupid" "propagandists" and attacked Media Matters and the Center for American Progress as "[h]ired guns" who "are paid to smear people they disagree with." O'Reilly also defended Fox News' self-description as "fair and balanced" with a series of dubious or false claims.
Bill O'Reilly attacked Rosie O'Donnell for stating on September 22 that, despite O'Reilly's claims to the contrary, O'Reilly wasn't "that working class" while growing up because "[h]e went to the [high] school where all the rich Catholic kids went." O'Reilly called O'Donnell a "blithering fool" and announced that he would "tell her that to her face" during his upcoming appearance on ABC's The View, which O'Donnell co-hosts.
Many television news outlets touted a USA Today/Gallup poll putting President Bush's job approval rating at 44 percent as a success for Bush, asserting that his rating is "the highest it's been in a year." But four days earlier, the same news organizations ignored a Pew Research Center poll showing Bush's approval rating at 37 percent.
Bill O'Reilly selectively cited a New York Times article to suggest that government officials involved in the interrogation of Al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah agree that Zubaydah provided critical information to the United States after the CIA used "harsh" interrogation techniques. But in that same Times article, other government officials challenged the efficacy of the interrogation techniques used on Zubaydah.
When a guest on The O'Reilly Factor questioned Bill O'Reilly's assertion that a hospital that treated a wounded Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was "run by Uday Hussein," O'Reilly replied: "No, that's Stephen Hayes, and he stands behind his reporting, although he did make a mistake. ... He said that Zarqawi's leg was amputated, and it wasn't."
Several media figures and news outlets have uncritically repeated or lent credence to the false Republican talking point that Democrats, for all their criticism of the Bush administration's Iraq war policy, have no plan of their own to deal with Iraq, terrorism, and national security in general. In fact, Democrats have offered several plans for addressing various issues related to U.S. involvement in Iraq and national security.
In his third appearance on an NBC-owned channel in two days to promote his new book, Pat Buchanan asserted that "the Mexican government is interested in basically the reconquista of the American Southwest." Meanwhile, on The O'Reilly Factor, Michelle Malkin claimed the idea of reconquista is "mainstream" among immigrants.
Bill O'Reilly baselessly claimed that the federal judge who struck down the Bush administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program "would oppose every anti-terror measure the Bush administration has put in just because they are the Bush administration." In fact, the judge made a ruling in the administration's favor, dismissing the claim that the National Security Agency's "data-mining practices" are unconstitutional.
Loading the player leg...
In the wake of the recent thwarting of an alleged terrorist plot in Britain, numerous media outlets have posed the question of whether news of the event would benefit President Bush, often letting conservatives or Republican officials spin the news in favor of the administration. Many of the reports neglected to consider whether the news could actually hurt Bush politically.
Addressing "anti-Semitic stuff directed at [Sen.] Joe Lieberman," Bill O'Reilly stated that "the far left in America is dominated by haters, people who despise their own country," adding that "[t]he smear merchants are now all over the mainstream media and have spread like lice on the net."
On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly accused liberal columnists of consistently "labeling people" with whom they may disagree "bigots." By contrast, O'Reilly claimed, "we have researched right-wing columnists" and "[w]e didn't come up with anybody on the right who did" the same. In fact, O'Reilly himself has.
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."
Loading the player leg...