On his radio show, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly admitted that he has "been a little unfair" to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Media Matters for America presents numerous instances in which O'Reilly was indeed "a little unfair to Mrs. Clinton."
During the May 15 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Bill O'Reilly admitted that he has "been a little unfair" to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY). Indeed. For example:
- During the April 3 broadcast of The Radio Factor, O'Reilly claimed that if Clinton were to become president, "the first thing [Osama] bin Laden and his killers are gonna do is say, 'Oh yeah, this is good,' " because they would consider Clinton "weak" enough that they could "test her."
- On the February 10, 2005, broadcast of the Factor, O'Reilly falsely claimed that "after 9-11, Mrs. Clinton didn't go to any funerals for the regular people killed. None. She's the only major politician in New York not to attend." In fact, Clinton attended several funerals and memorials, including one for 79 restaurant employees.
- O'Reilly also falsely claimed, on the November 18, 2004, broadcast of his television program, Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, that former President Bill Clinton's presidential library gives Sen. Clinton "access to money because Bill Clinton's got a checkbook that he can write anything off against that library he wants." Actually, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), a federal agency, took over the Clinton Presidential Center, including its management and funding, on the day the library opened. NARA currently administers 11 presidential libraries.
O'Reilly made the concession after he was challenged by a caller to explain his "inconsisten[cy]" when criticizing Clinton. The caller stated: "[O]n the one hand, you tell us that when we talk about Hillary Clinton, she's doing things that are disingenuous, that she's just changing her positions to get votes. ... But now that we're talking about Bush" proposing to send U.S. National Guard troops to the Southwestern border, "you're telling us ... it doesn't matter where his heart is ... what matters is what he's actually doing. I think it's inconsistent." Earlier in the broadcast, O'Reilly had said, "I don't care" if Bush is proposing to send National Guard troops to the border solely for "political reasons" because "I want him to do it so that we can get this problem under control." O'Reilly later stated he didn't "have any emotion invested in President Bush," but admitted that "maybe, I've been a little unfair to Mrs. Clinton. Perhaps, I have been in the past."
From the May 15 edition of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
CALLER 1: Okay, Bill, here's the situation. The White House offered to put some troops on the border is too little and too late. The solution, like the problem, has moved on. It's easy to put the troops on the border. It's also even easier to take them off the border. President Bush is not doing this for the right reasons or because he's had a change of heart about securing our border. He's doing it for political reasons and that --
O'REILLY: But, why do you care?
CALLER 1: Well, let me tell you --
O'REILLY: I mean, I don't care why he's doing it.
CALLER 1: Bill --
O'REILLY: I want him to do it so that we can get this problem under control.
CALLER 2: Bill --
O'REILLY: [caller] --
CALLER 2: I think you're talking out of both sides of -- I think you're talking out of both sides of your mouth. Let me explain. Thank you for letting me come on.
CALLER 2: Bill, on the one hand, you tell us that when we talk about Hillary Clinton, she's doing things that are disingenuous, that she's just changing her position to get votes and so forth. But now that we're talking about Bush -- and we know where he really stands on the border -- not with what he's doing tonight -- you're telling us this morning, don't -- it doesn't matter where or what -- where his heart is or what's all that about, what matters is what he's actually doing. And I think it's inconsistent.
O'REILLY: All right. Well, look, my position on Hillary Clinton is, I don't know where she stands on the issues. That's my position on her. Not that she's changing her stance. I don't know where she stands. Now, let me ask you a question, [caller]. Do you know what Hillary Clinton's solution to the border is?
CALLER 2: No, I don't.
O'REILLY: OK. Rest my case. So, what I'm trying to tell you is: I really don't care why President Bush does what he does or if Hillary Clinton ever gets a border solution. I don't care why, I just want to know what, because then I can vote for her or against her. Then, I can support the Bush policy or against the policy.
See this -- this is my whole thing. I don't have any emotion invested in President Bush. I'm not a Bush-hater. I think he's done some good things, and I think I've covered the man fairly in his five years in office. I think I've been very fair to him. Now, maybe, I've been a little unfair to Mrs. Clinton. Perhaps, I have been in the past. But I will submit to you, [caller], that you don't know, I don't know, and nobody listening knows where she stands on the border, how to win the war in Iraq, oil prices. We don't know. And that, to me, you can't -- you can't be giving somebody power if you don't know.