Black Eye for WaPo: Anti-O'Reilly Column by NARAL Flack Falls Flat on the Facts

Does the Washington Post editorial page employ fact checkers? Because a quick Nexis search blows serious holes in the Thursday op-ed attacking Bill O’Reilly by Mary Alice Carr of NARAL Pro-Choice New York.

Carr claimed that in January 2008, O’Reilly called for people to "besiege Tiller’s clinic," and so "I made a personal pledge to no longer sit across from him after he called for people to converge on Tiller's clinic."

Wrong. Nexis shows Carr appeared on the Factor on August 22, 2008, this time with guest host Laura Ingraham. Or is she playing Clinton games? Sitting on the show with a substitute isn't sitting "across from him"?

Nexis also shows there was no mention of Tiller on the O’Reilly Factor in January 2008 -- or any date between July 9, 2007 and July 7, 2008.

When I called NARAL in New York for comment, press aide Samantha Levine confirmed that Carr appeared with Laura Ingraham on August 22, and confirmed the Clintonian tactic that Carr "meant what she wrote" that she wouldn't sit across from O'Reilly, not that she wouldn't appear on his show.

If Post readers were misled into thinking she would never appear on the O'Reilly set again, they weren't reading the op-ed like a lawyer.

On Carr's assertion that O'Reilly called for people to "besiege" Tiller's clinic in January 2008, Levine sent along a link from the web site NowPublic.com dated January 20, 2007. A blogger named "Wisco" cited an Operation Rescue press release -- which was actually dated November 10, 2006. O'Reilly's call for protesters aired the previous night.

So does NARAL generally rely on anonymous bloggers to date its Bill O'Reilly commentaries? Why wouldn't they check Nexis for the actual air date of the commentary?

Levine suggested the fact wasn't as important as O'Reilly's apparently repulsive call for protest: "An unfortunate typo missed in editing. Doesn’t change the fact that he called for thousands of people to protest the clinic, which is the issue of importance."

That "unfortunate typo" was also missed in editing at The Washington Post.

Since NARAL didn't bother to dig it up, below is the text of O'Reilly's actual Talking Points Memo from November 9, 2006, the one that NARAL alleges led to Tiller's death in 2009:

You know, I have been covering the news in America for 30 years, and this Kansas situation is the worst thing I have ever seen. A doctor named George Tiller is operating a late-term abortion mill that will destroy a viable baby up until birthing for a mental health exception, which, much of time, is an episode of simple depression experienced by the mother.

Last night on this broadcast, a pro-life advocate told us that Tiller injects poison into the baby's heart while it is still in the womb, then removes the dead baby, and cremates it. We have not been able to confirm the cremation assertion. But a letter purported to be from Tiller himself describes the injection.

Now, even if you are pro-choice, you must see the ramifications of this barbaric display. If we, as a society, allow an undefined mental health exception in late-term abortions, then babies can be killed for almost any reason.

And, in Kansas, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of babies have been aborted by Dr. Tiller -- the price, $5,000 each. Is this what we want in America? Is it? This is the kind of stuff happened in Mao's China, Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union.

Americans cannot turn away from this, cannot ignore it. There should be thousands of people demonstrating outside Tiller's abortion clinic in Wichita. The new attorney general in Kansas, Paul Morrison, says he might pursue the investigation into Tiller's late-term operations, and also into the abortions of girls ages 10 to 15 that have not been reported to authorities in Kansas, as required by law.

Well, we hope Morrison does that, because this kind of stuff simply cannot be tolerated by a civilized society.

American is in the middle of a very intense culture war, where the lives of babies are at stake. This has nothing to do with reproductive rights or any other euphemism. This has to do with terminating the lives of viable babies because the mother wants to back out of the pregnancy in the late stages.

If we allow this, America will no longer be a noble nation, a country that stands for human rights and protections of the innocent. If we allow Dr. George Tiller and his acolytes to continue, we can no longer pass judgment on any behavior by anybody. What Tiller is doing is that bad.

UPDATE: The Huffington Post home page picked up my Mary Alice Carr screen-capture to promote her fact-mangled op-ed. Their headline? "Mary Alice Carr: Why I'll Never Again Appear On Bill O'Reilly's Show." How ironic that this picture proves that the headline is wrong. It also illustrates how Carr was too cute and lawyerly in her "across from him" formulation. She's misleading her fellow lefties.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis