Oct
01
2012

SoundBites

Extra! October 2012 Volume 25, Number 10

Deep Throat Not What He Used to Be The Washington Post’s Dan Balz (8/14/12) somehow convinced a “senior Romney advisor” to reveal a stunning secret that could only be disclosed “on the condition of anonymity”—that Mitt Romney felt good about his vice presidential pick: “He was very confident in himself, in Paul Ryan, in the campaign and in the direction of the campaign he wanted to take.” Believe it or not, the Post’s Felicia Sonmez (8/17/12) topped this scoop by talking to “a senior Republican adviser”—no doubt in a deserted parking garage—who admitted anonymously that Ryan likes Romney too: “He […]

Aug
07
2009

Did GE Stifle Keith Olbermann?

Fox and MSNBC's Gentlemen's Agreement

In the wake of an August 1 expose in the New York Times, an agreement reportedly reached by executives at the parent companies of Fox News Channel and MSNBC to rein in the networks' two stars' criticism of each other seems to have fallen apart. The behind-the-scenes deal-making, though, still illustrates the corrosive effect on media of corporate ownership. The alleged deal concerned MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly. Olbermann seemed to deny any arrangement limiting his speech, and criticized Fox and O'Reilly right after the Times story was published (8/3/09). O'Reilly, in turn, resumed his criticism […]

Mar
25
2009

O'Reilly Ambushes His Latest Critic

Fox host targets 'villain' blog editor on her vacation

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly (O'Reilly Factor, 3/23/08) recently aired the results of his latest ambush-style interview, which targeted Think Progress blog editor Amanda Terkel. Terkel had dared to point out that O'Reilly, who was invited to speak at a fundraiser for a foundation for rape survivors, had previously suggested that a "moronic" rape/murder victim had invited assault by her drinking and the way she was dressed. O'Reilly had commented (Radio Factor, 8/2/06) on the death of an 18-year-old New Jersey woman: These two girls come in from the suburbs and they get bombed, and their car is towed because […]

Dec
01
2006

Helping O'Reilly

Lies on Letterman about Christmas and Al-Qaeda

Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly and CBS talkshow host David Letterman had a well-publicized showdown on Letterman’s program in January 2006, so it came as no surprise that their next face-to-face on October 27 would be similarly heated. After the interview aired, O’Reilly accused Letterman of dishonesty for saying O’Reilly had lied on his show, and challenged Letterman to produce the evidence. O’Reilly took exception to Letterman’s crack about him (Late Night, 10/26/06): “The last time he was on the show, I caught him lying.” As O’Reilly retorted on his October 30 broadcast: Letterman caught me lying? What lie was […]

Jul
01
2005

'We Do Not Speculate Here'

What O'Reilly means is anyone's guess

Cable news networks have devoted significant time to the case of Natalee Holloway, an Alabama teenager who disappeared in Aruba. But cable news' most popular host has urged the media to exercise caution. On June 9, Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly explained, "As you may know, we do not speculate here on The Factor. We have no idea what happened to Natalee or why she left the bar with some Aruban men. I've heard some irresponsible media speculate about that, and it makes me angry." For those who had followed O'Reilly's coverage of the case, this must have been puzzling. […]

Jun
10
2005

O'Reilly: ''We Do Not Speculate Here''

Cable news networks are devoting significant time to covering Natalee Holloway, an Alabama teenager who disappeared in Aruba. But the most popular cable host has urged the media to exercise some caution. On June 9, Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly explained, "As you may know, we do not speculate here on 'The Factor.' We have no idea what happened to Natalee or why she left the bar with some Aruban men. I've heard some irresponsible media speculate about that, and it makes me angry." For those who have been following O'Reilly's coverage of the case, this must have been puzzling. […]

Dec
01
2003

O'Reilly Brags About Fox's Lack of Skepticism

In an October 4 interview with CNBC's Tim Russert, Fox News star Bill O'Reilly made a puzzling boast about his network's Iraq coverage. He said, "Well, I think Fox News Channel was lucky because we were less skeptical of the war, and the war went very well. So we won." O'Reilly treated his network's lack of skepticism as a point of pride, something to brag about. Is that really what people are looking for in a news source--credulity? If you believe that a journalistic enterprise "wins" not by cheerleading for the more powerful side, but instead by informing its audience, […]

Oct
14
2003

O'Reilly 'Responds' to FAIR

Though never mentioning FAIR by name, Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly responded to a recent FAIR action alert correcting statements the host made about the L.A. Times and its coverage of Arnold Schwarzenegger. O'Reilly was harshly critical of the paper for reporting allegations that Schwarzenegger had a long record of groping and harassing women. This coverage amounted to a double-standard in O'Reilly's eyes: "Do you think the L.A. Times sent a squad of reporters to Arkansas to investigate Bill Clinton's problems with women? No, it did not." As FAIR pointed out, the L.A. Times was one of the first media […]