O’Reilly Factors Code Pink

One of the peculiar things about the Fox News Channel is that they actually do invite progressive guests onto some of the shows. Last night on the O’Reilly Factor (3/22/11), we saw Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin talkingabout Libya. Of course, there’s a political point O’Reilly is trying to make; in this case, he was contrasting Benjamin’s anti-war position to the pro-war positions expressed by some Obama-friendly MSNBC hosts.

O’Reilly’s got a point there. (This is not something I’m used to saying.) But never fear–he’s still perfectly capable of making his own completely absurd arguments. Like this:

O’REILLY: They have succeeded in stopping a slaughter that would have happened had they not started the bombing. Correct?

BENJAMIN: Well, we don’t know what would have happened. You can’t tell.

O’REILLY: Well, come on, Medea, you’ve got to do the math. You know? You’ve got to do the math.

BENJAMIN: How you can know what would have happened?

O’REILLY: Based on history. Based on what had happened in the past.

BENJAMIN: Look what happened when we were going to overthrow another terrible dictator, Saddam Hussein.

O’REILLY: Yes. Look what happened? He couldn’t kill anybody. We got him out of there.

BENJAMIN: We have Iraqis that….

O’REILLY: OK, that war didn’t turn out well, but it did — it did neutralize Saddam Hussein, and he couldn’t murder anybody else. And that’s why this action was taken.

BENJAMIN: And Iraqis now say they’re worse off, with millions of them having fled the country. We unleashed…

O’REILLY: They’re better off now than they were. Medea, they’re much better off.

I don’t think they are.

O’REILLY: You can go to Iraq and walk around. OK? You couldn’t do that under Saddam Hussein.

BENJAMIN: You can’t walk around very much right now.

O’REILLY: Let’s get back to Libya.

If I were Bill O’Reilly, I think I’d probably want to avoid bringing up the Iraq War as a model for the Libya bombings.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.