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.
Following the National Journal's "anticipat[ion]" of the "attention" its Vote Ratings will receive "across the 2008 election cycle," on The O'Reilly Factor, Karl Rove presumably referred to the Journal's 2007 ratings when he called Barack Obama "the most liberal member of the United States Senate" -- a rating that counted as "liberal" Obama's votes to implement the 9-11 Commission's homeland security recommendations, provide more children with health insurance, expand federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, and maintain a federal minimum wage, and which conflicts with a highly respected study ranking Obama lower.
After Bill O'Reilly mistakenly said, "Trust me now, [Fox News contributor Kirsten] Powers," while talking to Fox News contributor Margaret Hoover, Hoover replied, "Get my name straight, will you? I'm Hoover." O'Reilly responded: "I know. There's a lot of blondes -- a lot of blondes in this operation. ... So if once in a while I get you mixed up -- I got [Fox News contributor Lis] Wiehl and [Fox News anchor Megyn] Kelly coming up," and adding, "I need sunglasses in here."
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Media Matters for America has identified numerous media outlets or figures who reported that the National Journal has rated Sen. Barack Obama "the most liberal senator in 2007," but did not report that the same National Journal feature stated that Sen. John McCain "did not vote frequently enough in 2007 to draw a composite score. He missed more than half of the votes in both the economic and foreign-policy categories."
Fox News' Bill O'Reilly baselessly suggested that a homeless encampment under an overpass in New Orleans that former Sen. John Edwards mentioned in a speech did not exist, saying, "[W]e called the Edwards campaign and asked where exactly is that bridge so we could help those people. Apparently, they don't know or they wouldn't tell us. The Edwards campaign can't pinpoint the bridge." Numerous media outlets have reported recently on a large encampment of homeless people under an overpass in downtown New Orleans.
Referring to Eric Boehlert's recent Media Matters column, Bill O'Reilly claimed that "the smear factory has put out an article that says Fox News will have a rough year in 2008. Well, if the January ratings are any indication, Media Matters is once again lying its 'you know what' off." But Boehlert did not address Fox News' overall ratings; he compared Fox News' and CNN's ratings during major campaign events in January to support his argument that Fox News will have a "tough year." And O'Reilly did not address any of Boehlert's specific assertions about Fox News.
Fox News' Bill O'Reilly suggested that Sen. Barack Obama may be "hurt" by the news that a publication founded by Obama's church "gave an award" to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who, O'Reilly said, is "anti-Semitic in his rhetoric and sometimes anti-white or whatever." But O'Reilly did not note that Obama issued a statement "condemn[ing]" Farrakhan's "anti-Semitic statements" and saying of the award: "[I]t is not a decision with which I agree."
Bill O'Reilly took inconsistent positions during the January 17 edition of The O'Reilly Factor on the role of the government in addressing the problem of homelessness among veterans, highlighted by John Edwards. O'Reilly said, "Certainly there are homeless veterans, but it's not because of the economy. It's mostly because of addiction and mental illness, something politicians can do little about." But when National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse president Joseph Califano later told O'Reilly that "the real tragedy here is most of those veterans have had combat experience that are suffering from drug and alcohol problems and mental health problems. And we are not taking care of them," O'Reilly replied: "And that is something that should be addressed."