Anchors and analysts on the Fox News Channel rarely talk about liberal competitor MSNBC because the low-rated cable channel isn't “fair and balanced” and usually treats its few conservative guests with disdain. A recent example of this behavior came when All In host Chris Hayes introduced Jennifer Stefano as someone who is “waking up every day” plotting “to destroy ObamaCare.”
That incident caught the attention of Bill O'Reilly -- host of The O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel -- and liberal analyst Juan Williams, who accused MSNBC of trying to make conservatives out to be “the bad guys” and treating Stefano like “a living piñata” so “they don't have to talk about the real issues.”
O'Reilly began the segment by stating: “When you watch TV news, it's important to understand what the program or indeed the network wants to accomplish when it brings you certain stories.”
“On the political side, certain networks loathe the Tea Party for example, so bashing it has become sport. Recently, Jennifer Stefano, a Tea Party person, appeared on MSNBC.”
During the contentious debate, Hayes slammed his guest by stating: “It's not like you care about people on Medicaid or that's the thing that got you into politics. And I don't understand, why not just be honest about it?”
Stefano fired back by saying:
You know nothing about me; you have no idea what I think in the morning. … Actually, the thing I wake up about and think about every morning is my children.
Stick to the facts, talk about facts, logic and reason. How dare you personally attack me and what I believe! Typical because you can’t win.
The MSNBC host ended the segment by saying: “I'm not personally attacking you, Jennifer."
Back on Monday evening, O'Reilly noted:
With all due respect to Ms. Stefano, she isn't going to win by going on that channel. Virtually no one watches it, and the few who do are not going to support her position.
It's clear to me that the Democratic Party is looking again -- again -- to elevate the Tea Party up to the point where they can use it to scare voters this coming November.
Williams agreed that the Tea Party's influence is waning.
“If you look at the numbers, you look at Gallup, look at Pew, their unfavorability -- if you want to put it that way -- is about 50 percent,” the liberal guest stated. “And people who identify with the Tea Party are at an all-time low in the 20s.”
He then accused MSNBC of merely looking for “some explosive TV. Basically, they brought her on to beat her up and to make her into a piñata! A living piñata!”
In response, O'Reilly noted: “People accuse me sometimes of doing the same thing: Bringing in somebody, and we'll have a robust debate. But as you know, I do it with you. If you have a good point and you make a passionate argument, I'll say: 'You know, I'll give you credit where I can if your argument is strong.'"
He then declared:
But over there, the agenda is not to listen to Ms. Stefano. They couldn't care less what she said. She could have come on and said: “You know, I'm going to give everyone at MSNBC $1,000 tonight. Every single person, just meet me after the show."
They wouldn't even have heard that. Instead, all they were thinking about was “How can we get her? How can we embarrass her?” because this is what we want to do and make the Tea Party come alive as this frightening thing to drive people to our corner.
“I don't understand why the Tea Party itself doesn't see that,” the Fox News host added. “They're not going to win any hearts and minds" by appearing on the "Lean Forward" network.
O'Reilly then added: “This is about making Ms. Stefano, the Tea Party and then by extension the Koch brothers and Americans for Prosperity -- that she works for -- into the bad guys so they don't have to talk about the real issues.”
You have an honest discussion with a guy like me, and I appreciate it, and I've known you for years so I know.
But the other side is not willing to do that. They won't even let anybody make a good point, and that's why they had that woman on to whip up on her, and I guess they got their money's worth because it was explosive TV.
O'Reilly concluded the discussion by hammering MSNBC's low ratings. “Nobody saw” the clash between Hayes and Stefano when it first aired. “Now they have, but they didn't before.”