Bill O’Reilly Claims Liberal Bloggers Are Blackmailing Democrats

So, have you heard that Fox News' Bill O'Reilly isn't fond of liberal bloggers?

In case there was any confusion about this issue, the outspoken host made it quite clear on Thursday's "O'Reilly Factor" when he told political consultant Dick Morris:

I think it's a danger to have blackmailers, which is what these bloggers are, active in the political process.

Ouch.

Yet, that might not have been the best moment in this segment, which also included a lengthy discussion about why Democrat presidential candidates are spending so much time bashing Fox News (video available here):

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: [A]s we reported earlier this week, some of the Democratic candidates have been attacking Fox News... You know, I understand what they're doing, trying to get the far-left people to like them and vote for them in the primaries. I mean, it's obvious. But you know what's interesting? The only one who didn't do, it Obama. Obama has not trashed FOX News.

DICK MORRIS, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: Obama is kind of more of a class act.

The big problem that Hillary has got right now is that she has to go after special interests, because she is awash in their campaign contributions. And she's getting flayed for that by Edwards and Obama.

So she can't attack drug money, because she's taking it. She can't attack insurance money, because she's taking it, but she can attack you and FOX News.

Interesting. So, in Morris' view, this whole Fox News issue is just a rehashing of the vast rightwing conspiracy canard specifically designed to allow Hillary to point accusatory fingers at someone else while diverting attention from her own hypocrisies and the real issues.

However, that might explain her modus operandi concerning Fox. But what justifies the other candidates' disdain for this network, especially as it pertains to their campaigns? As O'Reilly pointed out:

[T]his is by far and away the highest-rated cable news outfit. OK? And we're growing while the others are disintegrating.

Why do they want to make enemies -- particularly a guy like John Edwards, who is treated very well here, 33 times he was on. We pored over the transcripts. There was never one time that this guy was unfairly treated while he was on this network.

Why do they want to do that? Don't they understand that that might not -- that might come back to bite them in the you know where?

These were valid questions, as it seems that attacking Fox News best fits the Hillary agenda, and other candidates focusing on this network likely helps her. Unless there is another issue:

O'REILLY: [H]ere is what I see as the problem...Bloggers threatening -- you know, what people don't understand is that these Internet bloggers get messages to these candidates. If you don't do what we tell you to do, we will trash you and try to interfere with your fundraising...But I think it's a danger to have blackmailers, which is what these bloggers are, active in the political process.

Was O'Reilly suggesting that liberal bloggers are pushing the Democrat candidates to voice disapproval with Fox News? Is this to coddle the Netroots and their base, or because it indeed resonates throughout much of non-conservative America?

The reality is the left have done a very good job of making "Fox News" an issue. As a result, this cable network has become a rallying cry for many. Say the words "Fox News" in a room full of people of varying political persuasions, and a heated discussion will certainly ensue.

More importantly, as much of the left support a reimplementation of the Fairness Doctrine, continued negative focus on Fox News - even though the Fairness Doctrine only deals with radio broadcasts - fits the currently in vogue attacks on all non-liberal sources of information.

As such, the words "Fox News" have conceivably become akin to "Saturday Night Live's" spoof of Al Gore's "lock box."

For those that have forgotten, during the 2000 presidential campaign, "SNL" did skits satirizing the debates between Al Gore and George W. Bush. In one such segment, Gore's answer to virtually every question was "lock box" (video available here).

With that in mind, as Democrat presidential candidates don't have real answers to real issues - and certainly aren't going to be asked to disclose such by debate moderators from CNN and MSNBC! - the answer to every softball question could become "Fox News."

After all, that's likely the one thing the candidates and their supporters agree on.

What follows is a full transcript of this segment.

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Campaign 2008" segment tonight, as we reported earlier this week, some of the Democratic candidates have been attacking Fox News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN EDWARDS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Fox News, I think, has a clear and long history of bias against Democrats.

SEN. CHRIS DODD, (D) CT: It means standing up, by the way, when things get tough, standing up to Bill O'Reilly, by the way, when he comes after Daily Kos.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now, I was very proud of my campaign, standing up and really calling O'Reilly out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Yeah. Now, the question is is all of that had a wise thing to do? Here now, a wise man, Dick Morris, the author of the best-selling book "Outrage," doing very well.

OK, now .

DICK MORRIS, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: If she wanted to call you out, she could show up on your show.

O'REILLY: She could do a whole bunch of stuff rather than pandering to those people. But we're going to remember all that. You know, I understand what they're doing, trying to get the far-left people to like them and vote for them in a primaries. I mean, it's obvious. But you know what's interesting? The only one who didn't do, it Obama. Obama has not trashed FOX News.

MORRIS: Obama is kind of more of a class act.

The big problem that Hillary has got right now is that she has to go after special interests, because she is awash in their campaign contributions. And she's getting flayed for that by Edwards and Obama.

So she can't attack drug money, because she's taking it. She can't attack insurance money, because she's taking it, but she can attack you and FOX News.

O'REILLY: But where does that get her? I mean, this is by far and away the highest-rated cable news outfit. OK? And we're growing while the others are disintegrating.

Why do they want to make enemies -- particularly a guy like John Edwards, who is treated very well here, 33 times he was on. We pored over the transcripts. There was never one time that this guy was unfairly treated while he was on this network.

Why do they want to do that? Don't they understand that that might not -- that might come back to bite them in the you know where?

MORRIS: Yes, well, by the time it comes back in the general election, Bill, they -- all of them except one won't be living so long. There will be only one candidate, and that's a long ways away.

Right now they need somebody to vilify because Hillary doesn't vilify somebody, she's going to be the villain.

O'REILLY: All right. So she has to divert attention away from -- away from the issues that the far left doesn't like about her?

MORRIS: Not just the far left. I have a column coming out in the Post the next few days. There are 12 foreign countries, including Pakistan and Dubai and Columbia and Jordan and Taiwan and a million others that have hired lobbyists who are -- many of whom are actually employed now by the Hillary Clinton campaign. The nexus is so close.

O'REILLY: Well, they're just trying to cozy up, in case she wins.

MORRIS: They're buying future interests in the Clinton presidency.

O'REILLY: See, I don't see that as a problem. But here is what I see as the problem.

MORRIS: They live the problem (ph)

O'REILLY: Yes, maybe they do, but it's just a stupid issue. Bloggers threatening -- you know, what people don't understand is that these Internet bloggers get messages to these candidates. If you don't do what we tell you to do, we will trash you and try to interfere with your fundraising.

MORRIS: Right.

O'REILLY: And that is unique. I don't think that has ever happened before.

MORRIS: I think that's true. I think there's a mobilization of the left-wing grassroots. And it is increasingly directed against Hillary. Increasingly you're seeing -- and you saw this at the AFL, you saw it at the bloggers' convention, that there is a new left emerging. And for them, Hillary Clinton is not that far from George Bush or Bill O'Reilly in the lexicon of demons.

O'REILLY: Right. She's not radical enough.

MORRIS: Exactly.

O'REILLY: How much power do they really have, though?

MORRIS: A lot, because...

O'REILLY: Do you really think so?

MORRIS: A lot. Because these folks are a grassroots group that has spread enormously over the Internet. The left is way ahead of the right on the Internet. Democrats are so much better than the Republicans now at penetrating them, and they have literally tens of millions of people who they're in regular touch with. Those are people who are going to swarm all over the primaries.

You know, one of the examples of that is you take Iowa, which is a caucus state, not a primary.

O'REILLY: Right.

MORRIS: So you get the activists who vote. Edwards is ahead there. Because...

O'REILLY: Yes, I know that. But that's not going to do him any good. You know that.

MORRIS: Well, if he wins -- if he wins in Iowa, he's in good shape. I don't think he'll win in Iowa, but he's ahead right now because MoveOn and those other groups have so saturated the Democratic left.

O'REILLY: And the people that voted across...

MORRIS: And you were a great rallying point for them, my friend.

O'REILLY: Well, they can rally all they want, but they're not going to do anything as far as the main election is concerned. But I think it's a danger to have blackmailers, which is what these bloggers are, active in the political process.

Dick Morris, everybody. Buy his book. Nice to see you, Dick.

MORRIS: Thank you.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.