FNC’s O’Reilly Factor Picks Up MRC Study Documenting Slanted Campaign News

On Monday’s O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly and former CBS News correspondent Bernie Goldberg talked about MRC’s study of the broadcast networks’ Campaign 2010 coverage, which has only talked about conservatives and Tea Party Republicans as “extremist” or “fringe,” not liberals or congressional Democrats.

Goldberg argued that the problem is that “too many liberal journalists they don’t think there’s any such thing as an extremist on the left. Barney Frank isn’t an extremist on the left. Dennis Kucinich isn’t extreme. Alan Grayson, the most embarrassing member of Congress, who thinks that Republicans want you to die quickly, isn’t extreme. But, a conservative politician, especially if he or she is a member of the Tea Party is extreme.” (Video after the jump)

The MRC study of ABC’s World News, the CBS Evening News and found 35 evening news stories that discussed conservatives in terms of “extremism,” vs. zero stories that talked about liberals the same way. The review also found the networks employed three times as many “conservative” labels in their coverage (48) as “liberal” labels (14) — including no liberal tag (never mind "extremist") for Florida’s far-out Congressman Alan Grayson, while his opponent, Republican Daniel Webster, was highlighted as “conservative.”

Here’s the exchange from the November 1 O’Reilly Factor:


BILL O’REILLY: Thanks for staying with us. I’m Bill O’Reilly. In the “Weekdays with Bernie” segment tonight, it’s all about the election. The conservative Media Research Center watched the three nightly network newscasts from September 1 to October 25 to see how they were handling the political situation in America.

Well, here’s the headline. Only conservatives and Tea Party people were labeled extremists by the networks. No liberal person was given that description. Not one. Joining us from Miami, Fox News analyst Bernie Goldberg, the purveyor of BernardGoldberg.com. So you’re not surprised by this. But it was so blatant.

BERNARD GOLDBERG: Yes.

O’REILLY: That’s a pretty long period of time: September 1 to October 25. And George Soros, everybody else, nobody is an extremist on the left. But all these people are extremists on the right.

GOLDBERG: Yes, but that’s pretty easy to explain. Because too many liberal journalists they don’t think there’s any such thing as an extremist on the left. Barney Frank isn’t an extremist on the left. Dennis Kucinich isn’t extreme. Alan Grayson, the most embarrassing member of Congress, who thinks that Republicans want you to die quickly, isn’t extreme. But, a conservative politician, especially if he or she is a member of the Tea Party is extreme.

And that’s because as far as liberals in the media are concerned, every politician to the right of center is conservative. And that’s true. But, any politician to the left, no matter how far to the left is middle of the road, is mainstream. Because they’re observing this campaign sitting in the left-field bleachers. That’s why they think that.

NB Staff
NB Staff