CNN's Sanchez noted O'Reilly falsehood about on-air complaints

Video ››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

On CNN's Out in the Open, Rick Sanchez said Bill O'Reilly "told me on the phone that nobody complained about the show that he had done on the air," referring to the radio show in which O'Reilly made controversial comments about race. Sanchez continued: "Guess what? Somebody did complain on the air to him directly." Sanchez then aired audio of a caller's complaint -- identified by Media Matters -- about O'Reilly's race-related comments during the same radio show.

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On the September 27 edition of CNN's Out in the Open, anchor Rick Sanchez said that Fox News host Bill O'Reilly "told me on the phone that nobody complained about the show that he had done on the air," referring to the September 19 broadcast of O'Reilly's nationally syndicated radio show, in which he made controversial comments about race. Sanchez continued: "Guess what? Somebody did complain on the air to him directly." Sanchez twice aired audio -- documented by Media Matters for America -- of a caller complaining generally about O'Reilly's race-related comments during the same September 19 edition of his radio show. The caller criticized O'Reilly for "giving fodder to your viewers who have a negative view of black people." Sanchez also noted that O'Reilly "told other members of the media that. And he repeated that claim Monday on his television show." Indeed, as Media Matters noted, a September 26 Associated Press article reported that "O'Reilly said the [National Public Radio senior correspondent and Fox News contributor Juan] Williams conversation was carried on more than 400 radio stations and there wasn't one complaint from a listener."

As the blog Inside Cable News noted, Sanchez went on to say: "Here's what surprises me about this. If people are offended by something that you have said, why not just say, 'I apologize to those who were offended' and then just move on? Instead, after I called O'Reilly to get his response before we aired our report, he lambasted me. He screamed at me. He demeaned me for even considering doing a story about him." Sanchez continued: "Why not just apologize, Bill, and then just move on? Admit it was a stupid thing to say and just be done with it? Because racist or not, intentional or not, one thing is indisputable: It was a stupid thing to say."

From the September 27 edition of CNN's Out in the Open:

SANCHEZ: Tonight, in the wake of the questionable and controversial comments by Bill O'Reilly, we're going to revisit the issue of race.

We found something else, by the way. Remember that I had reported that O'Reilly told me on the phone that nobody complained about the show that he had done on the air?

Guess what? Somebody did complain on the air to him directly. And we've got that recording. Here's part of it.

[begin audio clip]

O'REILLY: John, Indianapolis. What say you, John?

CALLER: I think your spinning and bloviating does not do the black community justice. You're just giving fodder to your viewers who have a negative view of black people anyway, so your pointing out a couple of Twistas and Ludacrises in the large general population is shameful.

[end audio clip]

SANCHEZ: Important to note that he's on the record with several members of the media saying that nobody complained.

We've got a couple of reports on this controversy that we've lined up for you tonight. Stay tuned for those.

[...]

SANCHEZ: And there you have it, a couple of opinions from diners that I spoke to in Harlem at a restaurant that's called Sylvia's, the center of controversy sparked by Bill O'Reilly after he talked about dining in that restaurant on his radio show recently. Among his remarks, O'Reilly said he couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between this restaurant and other restaurants even though it was run by blacks.

Tonight, we examine this controversy sparked by what Bill O'Reilly said. And we're going to start with another fact check, because we've been looking at some of the things he said and then looking at the record. When I called him on Monday, remember I told you this, to get his response, O'Reilly told me that there wasn't one complaint from any of the listeners to his radio show the day that he made those comments. He also told other members of the media that. And he repeated that claim Monday on his television show.

O'REILLY [video clip]: Recently on The Radio Factor, I did an hour on how racism is dumb, how it is driven by fear, and I even used my own late grandmother as an example. Now, you can hear that radio hour on BillOreilly.com. It's very interesting discussion. And we didn't hear one complaint about the program that ran on more than 400 radio stations.

SANCHEZ: Not one complaint. Well, we checked the record. In fact, we listened to the recording of the entire show and found a caller who was upset and did complain. This is John on the radio calling O'Reilly's show now, from Indianapolis.

[begin audio clip]

O'REILLY: John, Indianapolis. What say you, John?

CALLER: I think your spinning and bloviating does not do the black community justice. You're just giving fodder to your viewers who have a negative view of black people anyway, so your pointing out a couple of Twistas and Ludacrises in the large general population is shameful.

[end audio clip]

SANCHEZ: Here's what surprises me about this. If people are offended by something that you have said, why not just say, "I apologize to those who were offended" and then just move on? Instead, after I called O'Reilly to get his response before we aired our report, he lambasted me. He screamed at me. He demeaned me for even considering doing a story about him. Why not just apologize, Bill, and then just move on? Admit it was a stupid thing to say and just be done with it?

Because racist or not, intentional or not, one thing is indisputable: It was a stupid thing to say.

Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
Rick Sanchez
Show/Publication
Out in the Open
Stories/Interests
Propaganda/Noise Machine
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