Olbermann "Worst Person" awards: O'Reilly for French "boycott" misinformation, PBS NewsHour for Melanie Morgan

Video ››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER

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On the May 10 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann named Fox News host Bill O'Reilly the "winner" in his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment for repeatedly misrepresenting the purported effects of his boycott of France, which he called for in March 2003 because of France's opposition to the Iraq war. As Media Matters for America documented, on the May 7 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly declared that "The Factor is lifting the boycott of France" due to the recent election of Nicolas Sarkozy as France's next president.

Media Matters has noted several of O'Reilly's falsehoods and exaggerations concerning his boycott, including his July 14, 2004, claim that "French exports to the USA have fallen by more than a billion dollars from 2001 to 2003," and his April 27, 2004, claim that "they've lost billions of dollars in France according to the Paris Business Review." During the May 10 broadcast, Olbermann cited Media Matters' evidence debunking O'Reilly's claims, saying: "A, it turns out Americans bought more goods during Bill-O's fantasy of world domination boycott, not less. And B, there is no publication called the Paris Business Review. Bill Orally, in any language, today's 'Worst Person in the World.' "

Also on May 10, Olbermann awarded the producers of PBS' The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer the "bronze" in the "Worst Person" segment for hosting Move America Forward (MAF) chairwoman and conservative radio host Melanie Morgan on the May 8 edition of NewsHour despite Morgan's history of spreading false, misleading, and unsubstantiated claims regarding the Iraq war, as Media Matters also documented. Olbermann said the producers of NewsHour were trying to "balance a discussion of the soldier's view of Iraq," and added: "This would be the first time the word 'balance' has ever been associated with Melanie Morgan."

As Media Matters has noted (here, here, here, and here), Olbermann frequently recognizes O'Reilly in his "Worst Person" segment.

From the May 10 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann:

OLBERMANN: First, time for Countdown's latest list of nominees for "Worst Person in the World." The bronze, the producers of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Trying to balance a discussion of the soldier's view of Iraq, had our friend Jon Soltz from VoteVets.org on, and as his balance, anti-American San Francisco radio talker Melanie Morgan, the one who said George Soros helped the Nazis to promote his own career. This would be the first time the word "balance" has ever been associated with Melanie Morgan.

Our runners-up tonight, the Chemical Warfare Department, which left at least 130 vials full of toxic agents in the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma, specifically in the area where tourists are told to go and search for crystals. A Boy Scout found one of the vials last week and had to be treated for exposure to an unknown yellowish liquid inside.

But the winner, Bill-O. With the presidential victory of the conservative Nicolas Sarkozy in France, Bill has now called off his famous boycott of France. You know, the one that the Almighty Gazoo of Fox Noise claimed crippled the French economy? "They lost billions of dollars in France, according to the Paris Business Review."

A, it turns out Americans bought more goods during Bill-O's fantasy of world domination boycott, not less. And B, there is no publication called the Paris Business Review. Bill Orally, in any language, today's "Worst Person in the World."

Person
Bill O'Reilly, Melanie Morgan
Show/Publication
PBS NewsHour
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