Apr
03
2012

The White House and the Fear of Fox

Today the New York Times (4/3/12) has a long report detailing how the Obama White House has politicized the regulatory process, apparently partly out of a fear of being portrayed by Republicans as "an overzealous and job-killing regulator." It's an interesting piece, covering an array of regulatory decisions. One of the more interesting media anecdotes was the suggestion that fear of Fox News motivates some of the White House's decision-making. A recommendation that calorie information for movie popcorn should be made public, for instance, was thought to be unnecessary and would probably be lampooned on Fox News as an especially […]

Mar
23
2012

The New Campaign to 'Silence' Rush Limbaugh

Conservative talker Rush Limbaugh used to tell his listeners that the government was trying to silence him, based on a completely bogus tale about what the Fairness Doctrine would do. This time around, it's an ad campaign by the liberal group Media Matters for America directed at some of the stations that air Limbaugh's show. The group is encouraging citizens to contact stations and let them know they object to Limbaugh's degrading, sexist comments about Sandra Fluke. So what's the controversy? Fox News host Bill O'Reilly thundered (3/22/12) that "the far-left is a primary source of censorship in America." He […]

Mar
02
2012

Bill O'Reilly and the Invention of the Internet

Last night Fox's Bill O'Reilly (3/1/12) asked guest Tamara Draut from the think tank Demos to name just one green energy success story. She tried to resist the question, explaining that in some cases, the benefits of government funding can come much later. Like, she mentioned, what happened with the Internet. But O'Reilly wasn't going to let those facts get in the way: O'REILLY: Let me break this to you. The Internet– DRAUT: It's too short of a time frame. O'REILLY: — private money. DRAUT: No, it was public money. Department of Defense, federal money. O'REILLY: Hold it. Have you […]

Feb
14
2012

Bill O'Reilly Admits He Has 'No Blanking Idea'

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly celebrated the release of the White House budget by demonstrating on last night's program (2/13/12) that there are a lot of things doesn't understand. Or at least pretends not to understand. He started by making the same point many others in the press have seized on: Obama promised to cut the deficit in half in his first term, and he will fall short of that goal. O'Reilly played a clip of his Fox colleague Chris Wallace putting this to White House chief of staff Jack Lew: WALLACE: The president isn't close to keeping his promise […]

Feb
06
2012

Bill O'Reilly vs. Reality on Planned Parenthood

It was inevitable that Fox host Bill O'Reilly would weigh in on the Planned Parenthood/Komen Foundation controversy. And perhaps just as inevitable that he'd mangle the facts along the way. Here he is, on Friday night (2/3/12): Last year the Komen Foundation gave Planned Parenthood $680,000. Now, that is the source of controversy because as you know, Planned Parenthood is primarily in business to provide abortions, more than 300,000 each year. Later he added: Planned Parenthood does not give women who visit its clinics the other side of the abortion story because again PP is in business for abortion. Here […]

Jan
19
2012

O'Reilly's Comes to Romney's Aid on Taxes–Armed with Inaccuracies

Mitt Romney might need some help defending his considerable wealth or controversial career in private equity. But he doesn't need the kind of help Bill O'Reilly is offering. Mitt Romney's declaration that he pays about a 15 percent tax rate on his income has generated plenty of chatter, in part because it confirms that much of the Republican candidate's yearly income is taxed at a rate appropriate for capital gains and dividend income–much lower than if Romney were actually working for a living. But enter into the picture Fox host Bill O'Reilly, who apparently thought he should rescue Romney by […]

Dec
09
2011

Do as Bill O'Reilly Does and He'll Hit You With His Umbrella

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly claims he was accosted by a "screaming" man "armed with a cell phone camera" on December 7 while walking to a media party at the White House in Washington, D.C. On his show the next night (O'Reilly Factor, 12/8/11), O'Reilly explained, I told the guy to get lost, but he came closer and closer, armed with a cell phone camera. When he was about a foot away, I turned to shield myself and my assistant with an umbrella. At this point, we were just a few feet away from the White House gate. According to […]

Nov
23
2011

A Fox News Blacklist?

Conservative David Frum writes in the new issue of New York: Back in 2009, I wrote a piece for Newsweek arguing that Republicans would regret conceding so much power to Rush Limbaugh. Until that point, I'd been a frequent guest on Fox News, but thenceforward some kind of fatwa was laid down upon me. Over the next few months, I'd occasionally receive morning calls from young TV bookers asking if I was available to appear that day. For sport, I'd always answer, "I'm available–but does your senior producer know you've called me?" An hour later, I'd receive an embarrassed second […]

Oct
31
2011

Up Is Down, Down Is Up: Bill O'Reilly Explains OWS

On his Friday night show, Bill O'Reilly took his viewers to a magical place–one where the right-wing Koch brothers have no connection to the Tea Party movement, while Occupy Wall Street is a secret project directed and financed by the likes of Moveon.org, SEIU and George Soros. At the top of his broadcast, O'Reilly wondered if we are now in "phase two of the campaign to undermine America"–this would apparently be the phase where activists protest against police brutality, with an assist from "the radical MoveOn organization, which is funding some of the occupiers." As he explained his conspiracy theory: […]

Oct
19
2011

O'Reilly as Paul Revere: '1 if by Land, 17 if by Sea'

The country is on the brink of bankruptcy, Fox host Bill O'Reilly warned last night–all because Barack Obama is spending too much money. Drastic cuts are required, but "the far-left loons want to spend more." And he's got the number to prove it: In 2007, during the Bush administration, federal deficit spending was $161 billion, despite the Iraq and Afghan wars. Four years later under President Obama, the deficit spending is $1.3 trillion, eight times as much. To be fair, the economy collapsed on Bush's watch, and both Republicans and Democrats committed almost a trillion dollars to prop up the […]

Oct
17
2011

Fox Coverage of OWS: Now Even Beckier!

Fox's coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement has often looked and sounded like Glenn Beck were still working there. On Friday's broadcast of the O'Reilly Factor (10/14/11), Beck was there to show how wild conspiracy-mongering is done: O'REILLY: What's the George Soros factor here? BECK: George Soros is connected with this through the Tides Foundation. The Tides Foundation, his Open Society and Code Pink are involved in what is called the Wall Street Journal… Occupied Wall Street Journal. And it is a–it's a full color newspaper. O'REILLY: Right. BECK: You know what it costs to print a newspaper. O'REILLY: […]

Oct
14
2011

Great Moments in Fox News Assassination Plotting

Last night's O'Reilly Factor (10/13/11), with guest Megyn Kelly, talking about how to deal with Iran: BILL O'REILLY: What do we do? MEGYN KELLY: It's a political question for President Obama and a military question for him, but it's not really much of a legal question because legally he can do it. O'REILLY: OK. KELLY: If he wants to do it…. O'REILLY: Let me stop you there. So there's no difference between killing bin Laden, Al-Awlaki with a drone? OK. Just today they killed another big terrorist guy in Pakistan with a drone. We could drop a drone right down […]

Oct
07
2011

Is Glenn Beck Back at Fox News Channel?

It sounded like it, but it was just Bill O'Reilly channeling Beck's Soros/MoveOn/Big Labor paranoia, minus the chalkboard: On Wednesday in New York City, there was another far-left demonstration as a bunch of people marched on Wall Street. Why? We aren't exactly sure. What we do know is that these folks are zealots who are being organized by some very interesting people. Does the name MoveOn.org mean anything to you? How about George Soros? Well, for the first time, MoveOn, funded in part by Soros, has openly allied itself with the protesters. In addition, we have some unions in the […]