O'Reilly asserted "most journalists give money to Democrats" -- but study on subject refutes him
Research ››› ››› ANDREW IRONSIDE
On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly stated: "[A]ll the money from the elites. We know that journalists -- most journalists give money to Democrats." However, the study O'Reilly was apparently referring to showed that of the small fraction of journalists who donated money at all to campaigns, more gave to Democrats than Republicans -- not that "most journalists give money to Democrats."
During the August 23 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, discussing a recent study by the Center for Responsive Politics that found educators donate more money to Democratic campaigns than to Republican ones, host Bill O'Reilly stated: "[A]ll the money from the elites. We know that journalists -- most journalists give money to Democrats, and now we know teachers do." In referencing donations by journalists, O'Reilly was apparently referring to an MSNBC report's finding that of the small fraction of journalists who donated money at all to campaigns, more gave to Democrats than Republicans. However, as Media Matters for America documented, the MSNBC report did not find that "most journalists give money to Democrats." Rather, it stated that the 143 journalists identified in the study as having made political contributions "are a tiny fraction of the roughly 100,000 staffers in newsrooms across the nation." In fact, the people named in the MSNBC report represent less than two-tenths of 1 percent of news staff in the United States.
The MSNBC report also noted: "Conservative-leaning journalists tended to greater generosity. Ann Stewart Banker, a producer for Bill O'Reilly at Fox News Channel, gave $5,000 to Republicans." The MSNBC study further explained that Banker's $5,000 donation was to "Volunteer PAC, which gave to Republican candidates."
During the segment, Fox News analyst Tammy Bruce asserted: "Well, it shouldn't surprise us, of course, that the academy is giving that kind of volume of money to Democrats. The only other place where there is more white, rich liberal Democrats are in the drug and alcohol rehab centers in Santa Monica [California]. So you have a sense of where the money is going to come from."
From the August 23 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly. In the "Weekdays with Bernie and Jane" segment tonight, no Bernie. He's off. But replacing him, from Los Angeles, Fox News analyst Tammy Bruce. And of course, in Washington, Jane Hall, also a Fox News analyst.
Now, ladies, I'm going to put a chart up on the screen. A new study says 76 percent of all donations made by teachers in America, teachers, go to Democrats, and overwhelmingly in the nation's university systems, the Dems are getting the dough.
Eighty-one percent at my alma mater, Harvard, go to Democrats, of teachers' donations. William and Mary -- look at that -- 99 percent. University of Chicago, 92 percent.
O'REILLY: Now, Tammy, all the money from the elites. We know that journalists -- most journalists give money to Democrats, and now we know teachers do. At an enormous level. I mean, the disparity is just off the chart. How do you process that?
BRUCE: Well, it shouldn't surprise us, of course, that the academy is giving that kind of volume of money to Democrats. The only other place where there is more white, rich liberal Democrats are in the drug and alcohol rehab centers in Santa Monica. So you have a sense of where the money is going to come from.
The truth of the matter is, though, what's interesting is that the hypocrisy here is that the Democrats complain about the oil and gas industry supposedly influencing government, that it's unfair, and that it's this big, weird corporation that wants to undo the impact of the American people, whereas they're getting that kind of money and more from the academy and from that level of elite. And those elites don't even send the American people dividend checks every month.
O'REILLY: Yeah, but it's not really a valid comparison, Tammy, because the oil companies do have a very tremendous lobby, and they are gouging us.
BRUCE: Oh, and so does the academy.
O'REILLY: I'm on the side of Democrats here.
BRUCE: So does the academy.
O'REILLY: But -- wait, wait Jane.
HALL: Yeah, but wait a minute.
O'REILLY: Wait a minute, Jane. Tammy, the teachers can't really do much. I mean, they just --
BRUCE: Oh, yes, they do.
O'REILLY: It's all an emotional ideology. "We want this person."
BRUCE: They're control-- yes, but at the same time, they're controlling the minds of the young people sitting in those chairs.
O'REILLY: That's what it is, though. You're not -- how can you change that?
BRUCE: They're getting federal grants. They're running think tanks. They're running issue tanks, where you're -- Jane knows the dynamic of the academy. It's incredibly influential and always will be. And when it's one singular mentality, this at least exposes that --
O'REILLY: Oh, it definitely exposes it.
BRUCE: -- and it exposes the hypocrisy of the Democrats.
O'REILLY: All right, Jane, you're a teacher. What do you think?
HALL: Well, first of all, you know, when I looked way into it, the William and Mary was basically one professor. I mean, he makes more money than I do. But 99 percent of 135,000. You know, Mitt Romney got 440-something thousand, was third there. These figures are not totally clear.
I don't dispute, you know, the overall tendency in recent years. I think we've got a more polarized climate. I think there are questions about the Bush administration and funding of science and opposition to the Patriot Act, all of which are influencing this.
But professors are not writing legislation the way Wall Street, chemical companies, a lot of other industries that are heavily partisan the other way that are very organized. You know, we're not that organized in the academics.