MTV Video Music Awards' return to New York, the other to what turned out to be one of the most thrilling, epic tennis matches in U.S. Open history: Andre Agassi's five-set, four-hour rollercoaster win over 21-year-old Marcos Baghdatis at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, Queens....
It was about as loud and raucous as a tennis stadium crowd gets, but oddly enough, one of the loudest moments of the match wasn't a response to Baghdatis' on-court antics; rather, it was during a changeover, when Fox News' Bill O'Reilly was shown on the jumbotron high above Arthur Ashe Stadium — and was booed by, oh, 23,700 tennis fans.
On Thursday's Countdown, Keith Olbermann reacted to Bill O'Reilly's comments about "vampires" Wednesday night. In case you missed it: When O'Reilly said "we should call these people out," referring to "smear merchants" like Olbermann, Geraldo Rivera said he should call them by name. O'Reilly said no, because "then you give them more publicity."
In his latest Factor Fiction segment, Olbermann retorted: "There have been three million articles about this feud. There was one this morning! How much worse could you make it by using my name, Billo? What are they going to do -- build a statue of me? You're so confident in your success that you have to keep my name and show a secret from your viewers, or all of your viewers will all leave you in one night?"
Appearing on FNC's The O'Reilly Factor Wednesday, former CBS News anchor Dan Rather conceded there's a "problem" with America's media in its treatment of Hezbollah and Israel with "moral equivalence," even including himself as part of the problem. As host Bill O'Reilly brought up the topic, stating his criticism that "Some networks give moral equivalency to Hezbollah in the reporting of this war," Rather voiced agreement and went on to acknowledge the media's reluctance to label Hezbollah as a "terrorist organization." Rather: "It's a problem that those of us in journalism have been reluctant to address -- I do not exclude myself from this criticism -- reluctant to address that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. It's committed to the destruction of Israel. It isn't committed to trying to just gain territory. It's committed to its destruction." (Transcript follows)
After her stunning knockout of Fox News’s resident liberal Juan Williams last Friday night, radio talk show host Laura Ingraham was looking to defend her title this Friday against Medea Benjamin. For those unfamiliar, Benjamin is the co-founder of the anti-war group Code Pink who heckled visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Mouri al-Maliki during his address to Congress Wednesday (hat tip and videocourtesy of Ms. Underestimated and Expose the Left).
Ingraham (once again guest-hosting the "O'Reilly Factor") was clearly ready for this one, as she stormed into the ring in the first round looking for a quick knockout. Such an opportunity presented itself when Benjamin actually said that the reason she was heckling the Prime Minister was because he refused to meet with her organization while in America. Ingraham pounced with a fury of rights and lefts:
“Are you kidding me?"
“You actually thought you were going to meet with the prime minister of Iraq?”
“Why should he meet with Code Pink?”
That was just the beginning, for when Benjamin jabbed with a statement that “we represent now, the majority voice in the United States,” Ingraham moved in like an angered Max Baer:
For Laura Ingraham fans, it has been quite interesting to see her so much on Fox News lately, and watch the growth of one of America’s leading female conservatives. Conceivably, her recent success and notoriety have lead ABC to create a new television series casting “Ally McBeal” star Calista Flockhart as a conservative radio talk show host (as reported by NewsBuster Matthew Sheffield Tuesday).
With that in mind, Ingraham was on “The O’Reilly Factor” Tuesday, and she and Bill had some fun with this issue (hat tip to Ian at Expose the Left with video to follow). O’Reilly began, “Now, to change direction here, Calista Flockhart is teeing you off.”
Bill O'Reilly's down to his last strike. As noted here, on his radio and TV shows yesterday, Bill propounded the theory that the big-city newspapers have tread lightly in the current Middle East conflict for fear of alienating their liberal Jewish readers. As Bill put it, liberal Jews "are all the papers have left" when it comes to significant market niches.
While Bill singled out the NY Times as the paper most loath to offend its liberal Jewish readers, he also mentioned the Boston Globe by name on his radio show. As discussed here, the NY Times came out this morning guns ablazin', so to speak, for an immediate cease-fire.
Turns out the Boston Globe has done the same thing. Excerpts from its editorial of today, While Lebanon Burns:
Back to the drawing board for Bill O'Reilly. As noted here, on his radio and TV shows yesterday, BOR propounded the theory that the big-city newspapers have tread lightly in the current Middle East conflict for fear of alienating their liberal Jewish readers. As Bill put it, liberal Jews "are all the papers have left" when it comes to significant market niches.
BOR particularly singled out the New York Times as a paper reluctant to take any positions that could be construed as contrary to Israel's interests. As of this morning's NY Times editorial, No More Foot-Dragging, that theory might be 'inoperative.' For the Times, in flat contradiction of Israeli desires, is now calling for an immediate cease-fire:
Bill O'Reilly got his show off to a surprising start this afternoon, with a novel theory as to why the big-city newspapers have tread lightly in criticizing Israel for its role in the current conflict. During his opening monologue O'Reilly theorized that the papers are fearful of turning off liberal Jewish readers.
As per Bill's hypothesis, papers such as the NY and LA Times, Boston Globe and Washington Post have been taking big hits in readership and profitability. With Fox News Channel's ED Hill in the studio, O'Reilly continued: "liberal Jewish readers are all [those newspapers] have left" as a significant market segment. If the papers were to be too critical of Israel, it could alienate their last remaining readership niche.
In our ongoing “Friday Night Fights” segment, an amazing barnburner occurred July 21 that will remind folks of Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd's old "Point/Counterpoint" skit on “Saturday Night Live” with the only thing missing being the famous line “Jane you ignorant slut.”
On the left was Fox News’s Juan Williams. On the right was conservative radio host Laura Ingraham filling in for Bill O’Reilly on “The O’Reilly Factor” (very enthusiastic hat tip to Ian at Expose the Left and Ms. Underestimated with absolutely must-see video to follow!).
From the beginning, this fight perfectly exemplified the divergence in opinion concerning the most recent flare up in the Middle East. Juan enunciated the liberal view that Israel is largely to blame for the rise in hostilities, and that America needs to put pressure on it to force an expedient ceasefire even if it goes counter to Israel’s ongoing security. Here’s a perfect example of Juan’s solution to the current problem:
Heart-rending images of small children being lifted across a fence. Outraged American/Lebanese evacuees alleging indiscriminate Israeli bombing ["they are bombing streets, gas stations, food stores, ranches."] A crying Lebanese man with blood on his shirt after his brother was killed by an Israeli bomb. And the only two reporters on the scene reporting from . . . Beirut. That was the way the 'Today' largely saw fit to cover the Middle East conflict this morning.
While none of the words or images are necessarily inaccurate [and we were treated to one evacuee heartily thanking Pres. Bush], they utterly fail to tell the whole story. Yes, Israel is militarily superior to its immediate neighbors. So it is easy to portray it as the bully in this fight. But let's look at the larger picture - Israel, a small strip of land, with relatively few people or natural resources, surrounded by hundreds of millions of largely Muslim Arabs in more than a dozen states. Have a look at the map. Israel is a barely discernible dot in the Muslim sea. And just as it is geographically dwarfed so too is it overwhelmed when it comes to natural resources - oil
On Tuesday night’s “O’Reilly Factor,” host Bill O’Reilly and guest Laura Ingraham had a marvelous time tearing apart The New York Times (video link to follow). During the discussion, Ingraham pointed out something that many Americans now feel about the Old Grey Lady:
Well, I think that they truly believe that America is the single biggest danger to the modern world.
I don't think, Bill, that they believe that they have a dog in this terrorism fight. I think they think it's a fight between two groups of fundamentalist, the fundamentalists who are the Islamists. They don't much care for them.
But then the fundamentalists in the Bush administration, who have this messianic view of the world that they can make the world in their own image. And I think they're more petrified of the Bush fundamentalism, as they refer to it, than they are the Islamists.
Yikes. That about says it. O’Reilly then asked a pivotal question:
In the past two years, as oil and gasoline prices have moved to record highs threatening to strangle the American economy, the media have blamed it all on the current Administration in the White House. Or on Hurricane Katrina. Or Iraq. Or Iran. Or a strike in Nigeria. However, on Thursday, Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly got Sen. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) to admit that the nation’s energy problems are caused by government’s inaction for decades, and that both parties are to blame (extremely grateful hat tip to Ian at Expose the Left with a video link to follow).
Certainly, this was an inconvenient truth for a former presidential candidate who blamed all the world’s problems on President Bush during the 2004 campaign to admit on national television. But, he didn’t give this up easily. In fact, at first, he did blame it on guess who. Fortunately, O'Reilly didn't let him get away with it:
“You and Al Gore, big environmental guys. And I'm a big environmental guy. OK? So I'm seeing Gore and Kerry. Here they are, decades in the Senate, and I'm seeing Brazil have ethanol for all its automobiles starting next year. And I'm seeing the United States not even close to having ethanol for automobiles. I'm going, ‘How come Gore and Kerry didn't get us ethanol?’ How come?”
After Kerry stated that he voted for ethanol whenever it came up in the Senate, O’Reilly asked, “Why didn’t it happen?” Kerry said, “Because the president’s energy policy…” O’Reilly asked, “Is this President Clinton?” Kerry said, “This is President Bush.” That’s when it got really interesting:
Bill O’Reilly interviewed the outspoken Geraldo Rivera on “The O’Reilly Factor” Thursday evening concerning the current goings on in Iraq, and how the media are covering it. During their discussion, Geraldo stated his surprising support for President Bush, while offering a rather strong critique of Sen. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) as well as for all those who want to establish a time certain for American troop withdrawal (video link to follow):
“The only way we can find an honorable exit from Iraq is to do what the commander in chief is now suggesting and what good people like Hillary Clinton are also suggesting is to stay the course. We have to stay the course.”
He continued on this train of thought later in the interview:
“But I'm telling the American people right now that Bush is right. The commander in chief is right. Woe on to us if we think that we can forget about what's happened. That, I think, is lamentable.”
Geraldo also lashed out at the junior senator from Massachusetts:
Has Katie Couric's departure had a salubrious effect on Matt Lauer? Freed his inner moderate? The jury's still out. And to be sure, in his interview of Bill O'Reilly this morning Lauer managed to take shots at Ann Coulter and the Iraq security situation. Still, when an MSM host suggests that releasing prisoners from Guantanamo could result, of all things, in an 'international Willie Horton,' it does make you sit up and take notice.
Meanwhile, BOR himself, fresh from his visit to Guantanamo, energetically made the case for the current system of detaining enemy combatants.
Lauer did start things out with a quick jab at the state of security, or lack thereof, in Iraq:
There are surely Bill O'Reilly experts out there who have carefully charted the history of his pronouncements on the Iraq war. But as a casual observer, it seemed to me that in this evening's Talking Points, O'Reilly struck an altogether more negative tone on Iraq, with implications for future US foreign policy.
Here's what he had to say: "The chaos in Afghanistan and Iraq will never end, because there will always be people who hate Americans. And we are an occupying force in those countries. The very important question is how do we as citizens process what's going on in those theaters of war? In Afghanistan, the Taliban are just waiting until we leave and will always be waiting. Whether the Karzai government will ever be strong enough to defeat them is an open question.
"Here's the big difference between us (the Democrats) and the right-wing bill that passed the House with the President's support: This is a President who can't find a six-foot-four Saudi terrorist. How's he gonna find 12 million undocumented people and send them all back across the border? That's what he wants to do."
The truth, as Bill pointed out in his "Ridiculous Item of the Day" tonight (Tue. May 16, 2006), is that President Bush has never advocated finding and "sending back" illegal immigrants by the millions. The President made this perfectly clear in his address last night:
In the first interview segment of "The O'Reilly Factor" on Wednesday night, Bill O'Reilly told former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer that it would be nice to be able to tell reporters like Helen Thomas (politely) that everyone knows they have an agenda, but they can't. (Actually, Fleischer grew confident enough to suggest that to Helen, saying after the 2002 elections, that "Helen, you sound like a [campaign] commercial that didn't work.")
Ari responded by saying that questions that the public thinks are stupid is one reason the media's in decline in public esteem: “The press secretary's job is to mix it up a little bit with the press in a respectful way but also in the modern media world, where the country gets to watch the questions, that's one of the reasons I think, Bill, the press is in decline substantially because they bring a bit of it on themselves. I know one reporter who once said there’s no such thing as a stupid question. I think the reality is, the public watches some of these questions, not all, but some of them, and they think, that was really a stupid question.”
The LA Times reports the "folks at third-place MSNBC have something to smile about."
For the first time in almost five years, the third-place cable news channel had a prime-time victory to crow about, albeit a small one: "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" beat CNN's "Paula Zahn Now" in the key 25- to 54-year-old advertising demographic in the first quarter of 2006, according to Nielsen Media Research.
The MSNBC show drew an average of 164,000 viewers in that demographic to CNN's 156,000, as Olbermann, who has been engaged in a colorful feud with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, enjoyed an increase of 25% in total viewers compared with this point last year.
Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly had radio host Laura Ingraham on “The O’Reilly Factor” Tuesday evening (hat tip to Expose the Left). Fresh from her battle with NBC’s David Gregory on the “Today Show,” O’Reilly wanted Ingraham’s view (video link to follow) about NBC (from closed captioning):
Bill: Is it your opinion that NBC news spins the war in Iraq negative?
Laura: Well, it's not between me and NBC, Bill.
Bill: Look, you're an analyst. You watch these people. Is it your opinion that NBC news spins the war negative?
Laura: I think that the coverage of the war by NBC that I have really focused on, especially since I was in Iraq last month, to me it seems bizarrely focused only on the I.E.D.'s, only on the latest reprisal killings that are taking place. When stories that are so fascinating and interesting and broader and human interest, stuff the "Today" show and NBC likes to do, those stories are out there for anyone to get. I don't get it.
O’Reilly then made a very bold castigation of NBC:
In October 2002, North Korea publicly admitted to having a nuclear weapons program (see here and here). This was a clear violation of the 1994 agreement it made under the Clinton administration not to seek to build nuclear weapons. (By the way, there may be evidence that President Clinton knew as President that North Korea was breaking its promise [see this]).
Fresh from his latest stint with Letterman, leftist comedian/radio host/potential Senate candidate Al Franken appeared on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" on Wednesday night, for yet another course in double-O'Reilly bashing. The transcript reads like a rerun episode of the Keith Olbermann interview on Tuesday:
Colbert: "What do you have against Papa Bear?"
Franken: "Um, let's see, he's, he's a lout."
Franken: "He's a liar."
Franken: "He’s...a moron or an idiot."
Franken: "He's a bully – he’s a hypocrite, he's a huge hypocrite."
On C-SPAN’s Sunday night Brian Lamb interview show "Q & A," MSNBC "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann lit into Fox News Channel in an extended rant, suggesting that its demise was the "best hope of mankind." He could not believe their "fear"-based marketing strategy about being an oasis of balance in a liberal media world, was just agog at "the idea that there are vast [media] structures designed to foment liberal causes."
He also oddly claimed that while now he’s described as a "screaming liberal," no one called him that in his previous MSNBC stint during the Lewinsky scandal. Correction: the MRC gave him an award for outrageousness for comparing Clinton prosecutor Ken Starr to Nazi commander Heinrich Himmler.
Keith Olbermann did another Bill O'Reilly hate segment on tonight's edition of Countdown. Like he did on Friday, Olbermann bashed O'Reilly because the FOX News host dropped a caller who mentioned Keith's name on his daily radio show. The caller claims that he did not say any profanity when he was on the radio show, however due to at least a 7-second delay, we do not know what happened. It is probable that the caller uttered some profane language because he was in the middle of the sentence when he was cut off. Many on the left side of the aisle say that the caller was kicked off because he said Olbermann's name, but if that was the case, why would O'Reilly air that part of the conversation? O’Reilly sent FOX News Security after the caller because of harassment, so one can only imagine that he did much more than Olbermann’s name.
Too often, the media operate on a sort of "gentlemen's agreement" not to criticize each other so it's sometimes entertaining to see reporters and commentators step out of the "objective" pose, no matter how bizarrely.
It all started last Thursday when FNC host Bill O'Reilly announced a petition drive to get MSNBC to bring back fired host Phil Donahue out of "concern" for the network since the replacement host, Keith Olbermann, has actually lost viewers in the timeslot compared to three years ago when he first took over:
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." Bring back Phil Donahue. It was three years ago this month that MSNBC fired Mr. Donahue for low ratings. We felt bad for Phil. They didn't give him much of a chance.
Phil actually said his firing was a mistake, and he was right. His successor after three long years on the air actually has fewer viewers now than Donahue did when he left. That is a disaster.
So in the interest of fairness, we have a petition on BillOReilly.com to bring Phil back, and Marlo, too, if she wants. Kind of like that Maury- Connie thing. If enough of you sign the petition, we'll send it over to NBC and hopefully, Phil Donahue will get the chance he deserves. Let's go to bat for our friend Phil. To not do so would be ridiculous. Maybe we should get a bumper sticker.
Now you could say the feud started when Olbermann started making attacking O'Reilly a regular feature of his program, largely in an effort to pander to liberal viewers, but also partly out of a desire to get O'Reilly's goat. In any case, Olbermann was immensely pleased with the mention, responding on Friday's "Countdown" with an eight-minute-plus salvo, including a rehearsed signing of O'Reilly's petition, and a montage of MSNBC staffers doing the same.
Nancy Soderberg, a former Ambassador to the United Nations and Foreign Policy Advisor under the Clinton administration, repeated the often-heard myth that President Clinton prevented Millennium attacks on the United States. Soderberg made the debunked claim as a guest on tonight's episode of The O'Reilly Factor (Thursday, February 9, 2006).
Soderberg's claim would refer to the arrest of terrorist Ahmed Ressam at the U.S-Canada border on December 14, 1999. It was later learned that Ressam planned to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on or around New Year's Day 2000. Clinton defenders have often falsely cited this incident as evidence that Clinton proactively and successfully defended the United States against terrorism.
On his Countdown show Thursday, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann attacked FNC host Bill O'Reilly for comments O'Reilly made on The O'Reilly Factor during a January 31 discussion of CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour's recent declaration, previously reported by NewsBusters (with video), that the Iraq War has been a "disaster." Presumably inspired once again by his frequent source, the far-left Media Matters for America, Olbermann quoted O'Reilly as saying, "You can draw by that that she has a rooting interest in it being a disaster."
However, after examining a larger portion of the discussion, which was omitted in the Media Matters article posted earlier in the day Thursday, this comment by O'Reilly appears to be taken out of context, as it makes it seem that O'Reilly was making a gratuitous attack on Amanpour. Although O'Reilly's precise meaning is debatable, it is arguable that he was making the point that because she has now publicly announced her opinion that the war is a disaster, it threatens the credibility of her future reporting on the war with CNN's audience because if the war turns out favorably, it could be an embarrassment to her. (Complete transcript follows.)
On his Countdown show Friday night, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann delivered his latest attack on FNC host Bill O'Reilly during his show's regular "Worst Person in the World" segment for saying something the FNC host did not actually say. Referring to O'Reilly as a "joke," Olbermann accused O'Reilly of attacking MSNBC for not covering the case of a Vermont judge who initially sentenced a child rapist to only 60 days in jail. In fact, O'Reilly complained that the "network newscasts" had ignored the story, which would only include ABC, CBS and NBC newscasts.
During his regular "Worst Person in the World" segment, Olbermann normally chooses three nominees to be awarded the dishonor of that name. His three nominees are labeled as "Worse," "Worser," and "Worst." On Friday's show, after giving the second place distinction of "Worser" to conservative columnist Ann Coulter for joking that Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens should be poisoned, Olbermann moved on to dishonor O'Reilly with the label of "Worst": "Speaking of jokes, tonight's winner. [Photograph of O'Reilly displayed on-screen] Him again. He walked right into another propeller."
When Matt Lauer began peppering Bill O'Reilly with rapid-fire questions on this morning's Today show, the prime-time host complained "you're going so fast - it's 7:10 in the morning!"
Judging by his sub-par performance, O'Reilly wasn't kidding.
Oh, to be sure, in his very first sentence the No-Spin Zone-ster called the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee "pinheads." But is that much more than middle-school machismo?
When it came to the substance of the Alito hearings, O'Reilly's fastball had no bite. Said BOR in criticizing the Dems' performance "you don't go to his college club, and say look at this, he was in a club in college. That's just dopey."
Outcry continues over the Times' omission of quotes from the last letter of Marine Cpl. Jeffrey Starr. As recounted yesterday on TimesWatch, a Times story by James Dao last week marking the death of 2,000 U.S troops in Iraq printed one part of a letter from Cpl. Starr, to be delivered to his girlfriend in case of Starr's death. That portion of the letter showed the Marine foreseeing his own death.
But as Michelle Malkin first revealed, after receiving a letter from Cpl. Starr's uncle, the Times left out the very next part, which explained what Starr considered the greater meaning of his sacrifice in Iraq. In doing so, the Times left readers with a diminished, one-dimensional portrait of a doomed Marine, instead of one who saw his sacrifice in the context of something greater and worthwhile.