O'Reilly attacked liberal Gabler -- but not conservative Thomas -- for defending Colorado teacher

Video ››› ››› ANNA DIMOND

Bill O'Reilly called liberal media writer Neal Gabler a "bomb-thrower" and a "left-wing Kool-Aid drinker" for arguing, on Fox News Watch, that the controversy over comments that Colorado high school teacher Jay Bennish made about President Bush resulted from the exploitation of the incident by the conservative media. But O'Reilly had no harsh words for fellow Fox News Watch panelist Cal Thomas, a conservative syndicated columnist, who said on the same program that he agreed that the conservative media had over-hyped the incident.

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During the March 13 edition of his syndicated radio show, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly called liberal media writer Neal Gabler a "bomb-thrower" and a "left-wing Kool-Aid drinker" for arguing, on the March 11 edition of Fox News Watch, that the controversy over comments that Colorado high school teacher Jay Bennish made about President Bush resulted from the exploitation of the incident by the conservative media. O'Reilly added: "If a teacher ever went in there [to a classroom] and said, 'Adam and Eve is real,' Neal Gabler would have a noose around his neck." But O'Reilly had no harsh words for fellow Fox News Watch panelist Cal Thomas, a conservative syndicated columnist, who said on the same program he agreed that the conservative media had over-hyped the incident. As Media Matters for America noted, Thomas said that he was "very suspect" of what the student who taped Bennish's comments -- and his father -- had done by "immediately going to the conservative media to make some big point rather than go through the system in the educational department."

O'Reilly also attacked Gabler on the February 20 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, labeling Gabler a "rabid dog" and declaring that, if it were up to him, he would "fire" Gabler from Fox News Watch "in a heartbeat" for his comments on Vice President Dick Cheney's accidental shooting of hunting partner Harry Whittington. At the time, O'Reilly also advised Fox News Watch host Eric Burns to "come down hard on this Gabler guy" for promoting "an idiot conspiracy theory" from a "far-left blog" when he said it was "not bad PR" for the administration to drag out the story of Cheney's hunting accident to deflect attention from the more substantive news of the week.

From the March 13 edition of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:

O'REILLY: And we have that sound -- let's use that sound bite. Can you get that sound bite from that Gabler guy on Fox News, that left-wing bomb-thrower? Let's get that cued up. Tell me when you have it, and I'll play that. That will tee you off. This guy Gabler -- he's on this Fox News program, Media Watch. Right, is that the name of it, Media Watch? Whatever it is. And this guy -- News Watch. This guy is just -- oh, and I mean, it's my own network. I just, oh boy -- I dislike his policies and him. Cause, you know, he's just a bomb-thrower. Roll the tape.

GABLER (audio clip): This is the case -- it's very instructive -- a case of a non-story becoming a story because the parent, the, the father went to a right-wing blog. Then they gave the audio tape to a right-wing radio show. The right-wing media flogged this story as another example of left-wing infiltration into our schools. Then the mainstream media were bullied by the right-wing media into picking up the story. And therefore, something that is of no interest really to anyone outside of this small school district is now a national story on the Today show. We're talking about it here.

O'REILLY: All right, so a left-wing Kool-Aid drinker. Yeah, it's OK -- let the teacher go in there, indoctrinate the students. If a teacher ever went in there and said, "Adam and Eve is real," Neal Gabler would have a noose around his neck.

E.D. HILL (co-host): But the other thing is, that they try to paint this parent as going to the right-wing, you know, media. This parent went to the school first. And it was only after nothing happened --

O'REILLY: So Gabler, he's just a Kool-Aid drinker. All right. And for those of you who think Fox News is, you know, unfair -- this guy is on Fox News.

Network/Outlet
Westwood One
Person
Bill O'Reilly
Show/Publication
The Radio Factor
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Progressives, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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