Friday, June 30, 2006

O'Reilly Apoligizes (sort of) for Citing Article that Misquoted Murtha

On the June 29th The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly apoligized for citing the Sun-Sentinel article that misquoted congressman John Murtha (D-PA)

O'REILLY: The South Florida Sun-Sentinel misquoted Congressman John Murtha in remarks about who is dangerous to the world. The newspaper has apologized, and since we picked up the paper's quote, we should apologize, as well.

We didn't -- we did, I should say, source the Sun-Sentinel, but I should have checked it out myself and called Murtha's office. Next time, we will do that.

The article, from June 25, alleged that Murtha said that "American presence in Iraq is more dangerous to world peace than nuclear threats from North Korea or Iran," when in fact Murtha was citing a poll.

The Sun-Sentinel corrected itself on June 28th, yet some conservative radio talk show hosts are still citing the article. On June 29th, Sean Hannity said during his show:

HANNITY: We've got the latest insanity from John Murtha. It's not Iran that's the greatest threat in the world, it's not Islamic fascists, it's not terrorism, it's not North Korea, it's not Iran. No, it's the United States. [laughs] I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
And today, two days after the correct, Rush Limbaugh had this to say during his radio show:
LIMBAUGH: Let's go back, though. I can remember being called a Clinton-hater. There was -- the media came up with a term to describe any critic of Clinton, and that was Clinton-hater. But we never called Clinton a terrorist. We never compared Bill Clinton to Adolf Hitler. We didn't suggest that the biggest threat, as Jack Murtha did the other day, to peace in the world is Bill Clinton.

MM: Media coverage of Iraq debate steeped in GOP talking points

Very insightful analysis of the media coverage of Iraq war debate at Media Matters.

Visitors to O'Reilly's Website Down 39%

Its not just Fox News's and Bill O'Reilly's television ratings that are down in the last quarter, but both Fox News and Bill O'Reilly's websites have lost a significant amount of traffic in the last 3 months. According to, which tracks web traffic and is owned by, Bill O'Reilly's website traffic was down 39% in the last 3 months, and Fox News's website was down 13%. See and
As we recently reported, Fox's overall ratings dropped 8% in the second quarter of 2006, including a 22% in the key demographic, viewers aged 25-54. O'Reilly's own ratings are also declining, according to a MediaBistro report, losing 11% in the 25-54 demo, and 8% in overall viewers.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

O'Reilly Worrying About MSNBC Ratings When He Needs to Worry About His Own

On the June 27th edition of The Radio Factor, Bill O'Reilly had this to say about Air America and about MSNBC's ratings:
O'REILLY: Time now for the "most ridiculous item of the day." If you've read any of my books, you know I believe in karma: Do bad things, you'll get yours eventually. Do good things, you'll be rewarded. Recently, two bad guys got theirs. Air America has fired its president, Gary Krantz. The disastrous radio network booted him out on the heels of the removal of CEO Danny Goldberg. We believe there is major chaos at that far left concern. There's also major chaos at MSNBC, where Rick Kaplan has left after pretty much destroying that place. He did the same thing at CNN before he got fired over there. Closing in on its 10th anniversary, MSNBC's ratings are lower than they were six years ago, which might be ridiculous.
O'Reilly has turned his 'Most Ridiculous Item of the Day' segment into his daily attack segment, sharing things that aren't even ridiculous. You know what is ridiculous, that O'Reilly feels the need to worry about MSNBC's ratings when he needs to worry about Fox's, and his own. As we recently reported, Fox's overall ratings dropped 8% in the second quarter of 2006, including a 22% in the key demographic, viewers aged 25-54. O'Reilly's own ratings are also declining, according to a MediaBistro report, losing 11% in the 25-54 demo, and 8% in overall viewers.

O'Reilly: "If we wage the war the way Saddam handled Iraq, then we would have already won"

On the June 27th broadcast of The Radio Factor, Bill O'Reilly once again spoke his wishes to handle Iraq the way Saddam Hussein did.

O'REILLY: It just depends on how you want to wage the war. If we wage the war the way Saddam handled Iraq, then we would have already won. That means martial law, torture, murder, kicking in doors. You know, Saddam controlled that country for 25 years. He didn't have any insurrections. He didn't have bombs going off. And half the country wanted to kill him. You know, all the Shia hated him. And how'd he do it? Through terror. So we could do it. But then, you know, as soon as you look at one of these guys cross-eyed, the ACLU's got you sued.

O'Reilly denied supporting Saddam's method in Iraq after a Chicago Tribune editorial called him on the carpet. He started out attacking Wycliff, who wrote the editorial, calling him a coward:
O'REILLY:Nice, right? Well, we asked Don Wycliff, who teaches media criticism at Notre Dame, to appear this evening. He agreed, but then he canceled one hour before air time. So much for the Fighting Irish. Wycliff is one of the hiding Irish. If you're going to launch a personal attack, sir, at least have the courage to back them up. Cowardice is not becoming.
O'Reilly had Clarence Page on the show, who is a columnist at the Chicago Tribune. They had a long and heated discussion:

O'REILLY: All right. Let's deal with the irresponsible position first. If you are going to say the blame for the brutal mutilation and murders lies with the American government, which this man did, Wycliff, that's what he said, it's in print. If you're going to say that, I believe that is grossly irresponsible. The terrorists did this. The savages who killed Menchaca and Tucker are terrorists. He blames -- Wycliff blames the American government. Now, that is the irresponsibility. It's very clear to me.

PAGE: Well, follow the logic, Bill. Look at your own commentaries over the last week. You praised the way Saddam Hussein ran the country over there, said that we ought to have martial law, we ought to have the kind of crackdowns that Saddam had. The fact is you can't have martial law if you have inadequate police force, an inadequate army, and our American troops are inadequate. Enough troops were not sent over there in the beginning. That is a widely agreed-upon fact now. And that's what Don is talking about. We put --

O'REILLY: No. Don is talking about --

PAGE: -- our people in harm's way.

O'REILLY: -- his opinion is that the war hasn't been waged properly. Valid opinion.

PAGE: That's your opinion, too, right? You want to get tougher, right?

O'REILLY: You bet. And I have said that --

PAGE: Well, I'll say. You're entitled to your opinion, he's entitled to his.

O'REILLY: Hold it. Number one, I didn't praise Saddam Hussein. That is a lie and a distortion. I did not do that.

PAGE: You did praise his tactics.

O'REILLY: No, I did not. I said he controlled the country by a totalitarian method. That's not praise, that's fact.

PAGE: Everyone can see the commentaries on your website --

O'REILLY: Wait, wait, wait, Clarence --

PAGE: -- I don't need to quote the whole thing, but the fact is --

O'REILLY: There's a difference -- There is a difference between -

PAGE: -- that you did praise the way he ran it and the current government needs to run it the same way.

O'REILLY: That is not true. There is a difference between --

PAGE: You don't think they need to run it the same way. You don't think they need the kind of police-state tactics that Saddam used in a totalitarian state?

O'REILLY: Clarence, take a deep breath. I never praised Saddam Hussein once. I said he ran the country in a totalitarian way and he didn't have an insurgency because he ran it that way. Then I said --

PAGE: You're spinning, Bill.

O'REILLY: No, I'm not spinning at all. That's exactly what I said --

PAGE: You're spinning, Bill, because when you say people ought to run --

O'REILLY: It's on my website. There isn't any praise involved. It's a statement of fact. You are spinning by saying it's praise. That's bull.

PAGE: The record speaks for itself.

O'REILLY: Yeah, it does. Anybody can read it. The second thing is, this despicable Wycliff, who did run the editorial page at the Chicago Tribune before he took to Notre Dame --

PAGE: That's right.

O'REILLY: -- this despicable man is saying that the United States government bears more responsibility for their horrendous deaths of the two privates than the terrorists. That's despicable. It is beneath contempt, and the Chicago Tribune should be ashamed of itself for running something like that without something right next to it -- and my column in the Chicago Sun-Times will counter that.

PAGE: You're entitled to reply in the Tribune, I'm sure, Bill --

O'REILLY: Absolutely. It's despicable to say that the American government, to draw a moral equivalency between the American government's waging of the war and the deaths of these men. The terrorists are responsible --

PAGE: You're reading into his comments --

O'REILLY: -- all right, now here's the lie --

PAGE: I've got to object, Bill. I know it's your show, I've got to object, though, because you are reading into Don's comments. He is a true patriot --

O'REILLY: He said flat-out, if you put the blame where it really belongs --

PAGE: Just let me finish the statement, and then you can respond, Bill.

O'REILLY: No! No! "If you put the blame where it really belongs"! There are the words!

PAGE: Bill, it's your show. You've got the whole hour. Just give me 30 seconds to respond.

The fact of the matter is, you're trying to pick out people and say certain people are helping the enemy and other people aren't. I mean, you are sounding like one of those editors of those Arab governments -- or those Arab newspapers that are censoring Muhammad cartoons.

O'REILLY: Clarence, I don't know what you're talking about. I mean, let's address --

PAGE: Don is entitled to give his opinion --

O'REILLY: He's entitled to his opinion --

PAGE: -- he's not telling Fox News that they shouldn't run your opinion. You shouldn't be telling other people not to run somebody else's --

O'REILLY: Don Wycliff is a coward, and he is not a man of his word. He backed out at the last minute --

PAGE: That's OK, he's got me.

O'REILLY: -- he is entitled to his opinion no matter how despicable it is, and now here's the lie. OK? Here's what he says, quote, "You have to say bad -- O'Reilly" --

PAGE: Don is a gentleman and a scholar and too nice to engage in these kind of combative --

O'REILLY: No, he -- bull! It's bull! He's a coward.

PAGE: I'm entitled to --

O'REILLY: He's a coward! He takes cheap shots, personal attacks at me and won't stand up. He's a coward. He says, O'Reilly "would have to criticize some people for whom you have been a cheerleader."

I've not been a cheerleader for anybody, Clarence. You know it and I know it. OK? Here's what I said May 6, 2004: "We will remind you three weeks ago we reported Donald Rumsfeld lost control of the Iraqi occupation, his mistakes were endangering U.S. troops." I haven't cheerleaded anyone. This guy lies about me in the Chicago Trib, which prints the lie! Explain.

PAGE: There are occasions when you have cheerleaded --

O'REILLY: Bull! Bull!

PAGE: -- and the administration's side. Now, you know --


PAGE: -- sometimes you do criticize, and that's OK. But the fact of the matter is it's a well-known -- very well-known that the -- I'm sorry, I hear the music coming. Am I going to be cut off?

O'REILLY: No! Cut off the music! It's very well-known what?

PAGE: No, it's very well known that you have been defending the administration's side in this war --

O'REILLY: That's bull! I have been very critical of the way they have way they waged the war.

PAGE: You have been criticizing those who criticize --

O'REILLY: I've been very critical of the way they've waged the war.

PAGE: -- any kind of question --

O'REILLY: Hey, Clarence, let me make this --

PAGE: -- on human rights.

O'REILLY: That's not true. Period. I've been very critical of the way the war has been waged.

PAGE: You criticized -- you said people who signed an anti-torture petition were helping the enemy.


PAGE: That's McCarthyism. That's demagoguery.

O'REILLY: Bullsh--! Bull.

PAGE: That's beneath you.

O'REILLY: It's bull! The truth is, I've reported this accurately. I've said when we've made mistakes -- we, the United States government.

But the difference between me and this Wycliff is that I want the USA to win, and I don't believe there's a moral equivalency with what we do with what the terrorists do, and he does. But Clarence, I've gotta tell everybody, you are a stand-up guy, number one.

PAGE: Well, thank you, Bill.

O'REILLY: You knew this was going to be tough. And we appreciate your opinion. You're always welcome here.

PAGE: Let's hear it for free speech, Bill.

----Transcripts from Media Matters----

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Impenetrable Fog of Bill O'Reilly

Nice editorial from the Chicago Tribune:

If intellectual dishonesty could be said to have a face, I saw it Tuesday evening as I watched Bill O'Reilly's program on Fox News.

I watched without the benefit of sound--if any was coming from the television it couldn't be heard over the din in the bar where I was in Mishawaka, Ind. But Fox conveniently runs a stripped-down text next to O'Reilly's image as he delivers his opening commentary. And there was, in addition, captioning beneath the picture for hearing-impaired viewers--or people who happen to be in noisy bars.

O'Reilly was burned up about the mutilation and murders of those two American soldiers--Pfc. Thomas Tucker and Pfc. Kristian Menchaca--who were captured in Iraq by insurgents last week and whose bodies were retrieved Tuesday. the whole editorial...

Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

I have just finished reading Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, recommend it to anybody. There are a few chapters on Bill O'Reilly, which go into the feud between Franken and O'Reilly, including O'Reilly's humorous outbursts. Here's footage of one, from YouTube:

And he also yelled at Jeremy Glick, whose father died on 9/11, repeatedly telling him to "shut up", and allegedly told Glick after the interview, "
Get out! Get out of my studio before I tear you to fu**king pieces!" A video of the interview from YouTube:

There's also a lot of other good chapters, including a few on Ann Coulter, Hannity and Colmes, the Bush administration, and others.

Fox News sued Al Franken and his publisher for copyright infringement over the use of "Fair and Balanced" in its title. The case was literally laughed out of court, court transcripts can be found at

You can buy a copy of the paperback at

O'Reilly: Carter, ACLU, Air America Radio, BBC, Dean, and Murtha are helping the enemy

On the June 20th edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Bill had a mission of "nam[ing] those we believe are helping the terrorists." Throughout the episode, he named former President Jimmy Carter, the American Civil Liberties Union, Air America Radio, BBC, Howard Dean, and John Murtha.

O'Reilly started out the program with:

Tonight: two American soldiers brutally mutilated and murdered by terrorists in Iraq. How should the U.S. respond? We will name those we believe are helping the terrorists. The ACLU and the BBC head the list.

O'Reilly went on:

The Bush administration also needs to begin challenging those who are helping the enemy. The ACLU, for example, opposes just about every anti-terror strategy. This organization should be exposed.

The BBC also helps the enemy by consistently slanting the Iraq war coverage and portraying the coalition as villains. The vile Air America Radio network does the same thing.


O'REILLY: Do you think Howard Dean helps the enemy?

INGRAHAM: I think when the enemy sees the reaction in the United States, not of unifying to defeat them, but of picking apart every aspect of what we're trying to do there, when those soldiers get treated the way they did, I think they are absolutely emboldened. They're very savvy. They're on all the websites. They watch CNN International and any other broadcast they can get their hands on. And you better believe it has to embolden the people who want to do us harm.

O'REILLY: What about John Murtha's dissent in the Iraq war? Does that help the enemy in your opinion?

INGRAHAM: Well, I think anytime they can use war veterans, you know, people who have served this country, to then say, look, we're the problem in Iraq, that we're stoking the violence in Iraq, that the terrorists want us in Iraq because we're depleting our military resources, that helps them. I mean, that's a recruiting tool. This guy is recognized by many as a war hero, and yet, he's condemning the United States.


O'REILLY: How about Jimmy Carter? He signs the torture ad along with the reverends, and the torture ad, as I told the reverends, shows up in the Arab press: "See, we told you they were torturing." How about Jimmy Carter? Is he helping the enemy?

INGRAHAM: Yeah. Nobel Prize -- Nobel Prize winner, right, criticizing the United States' torture policy, which of course, as you pointed out, we do not have a torture policy in the United States --

O'REILLY: Yes, we don't have a torture policy.

INGRAHAM: -- except we're against -- we're against torture. So, yeah, when he went down to Cuba and spent time with Castro and said he did really -- what did he say? He didn't see the problems in Cuba that a lot of right-wing people have characterized down there? I mean, this is nothing new for Jimmy Carter. Again, the biggest obstacle to world peace for many of these people right now seems to be the United States: We're the problem. If you look in the mirror, the enemy, we see him. He's us. And I think that hurts us.

O'REILLY: All right. It's a very interesting discussion. Because the line on dissent and helping the enemy, it's a tough, tough line.

To be fair, O'Reilly also defended Murtha at one point:

This may surprise you, but I don't consider dissenting from the Iraq war to be helping the enemy. Congressman Murtha, for example, is acting on his beliefs. He made a mistake by convicting the Marines in Haditha before the evidence was presented, but dissent makes America stronger.

Why would that surprise us though? Isn't that basic free speech? I oppose the war, and my opinion certainly isn't helping the enemy. I just disagree with how we got into this war, without any real reasons. We went into Iraq because the President led us to believe that they possessed weapons of mass destruction and that they possessed a serious threat to our security. None of that was true, and now we're spending hundreds of billions of dollars there, money that should be being spent on education and issues at home, and we're losing thousands of American soldiers, and the situation has just gotten worse.

Back on topic, on the June 20th broadcast of The Radio Factor, O'Reilly has this to say about the ACLU:

O'REILLY: The ACLU is rooting for the enemy. They're rooting for the enemy. They're helping the enemy in every way they can. The American Civil Liberties Union is Al Qaeda's best friend. There is not a better friend to Al Qaeda in the world than the ACLU, and that's the truth. OK?

----All transcripts from Media Matters----

O'Reilly: New Iraqi Government Should Rule as Hussein Did

On the June 20th edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly again shared his feelings on how the new Iraqi government should function, saying: "Saddam was able to control Iraq, as you know, and defeat insurgencies against him. The new Iraqi government can do the same, but it needs to get much tougher."

I thought that we were trying to give the Iraqi people a humane government, and were trying to save them from Saddam Hussein's cruel and unusual ways. Bill O'Reilly doesn't seem to share that view, sharing his view on the June 19th edition of the Radio Factor: "So, I don't understand, general, why we don't have martial law in Ramadi, why we don't have shoot-on-sight curfews, why we don't have action that basically says, look, we're going to shoot first and ask questions later because this is a war. And that's what you do in war. All right?"

See the transcripts at Media Matters.

Email Sent to O'Reilly

I sent Bill O'Reilly an email yesterday, I hope to see it on the show tonight.

Remember that Vincent Richards was blacklisted by Bill O'Reilly, so I'm using a fake name, Nancy Stewart:


The New York Times is doing its journalistic mandate by reporting the facts about the monitoring of domestic and international bank transactions. They first broke the story on the NSA wiretapping, and at first the public was led to believe that it was nothing big, we soon found out that they had records of every phone call made by millions of innocent Americans, causing a public outrage. Now, we are hearing that the monitoring of domestic and international bank transactions is small-scaled and limited to people with suspected terrorist connections, but how do we know that? The Bush administration has never been straightforward in the past, why should be believe that they are being straightforward now? 1984 is becoming all to true.......

Nancy Stewart
Birmingham, Alabama

Fox's Declining Ratings

Fox New's ratings continue to fall, and chairman Roger Ailes is not happy, and he's cleaning house. In the second quarter of 2006, their ratings fell 22% in their key demographic, viewers aged 25-54, and they lost 8% in total viewers.

Through a spokesman last week, Ailes said: "Anyone who displays launch-type intensity will continue to have a job at Fox News. Those who don’t will not. And that includes talent."

Talent? I have yet to see any of that at Fox News.


Will Resume Updating Blog

I apoligize that I haven't updated the blog in over a month, I will continue to update it regularly now.