Keith Olbermann has become very upset lately at people who claim MSNBC and Fox News are two sides of the same coin - ideological cable news counterparts. Olbermann is right to object to that characterization, but not for the reason he thinks.
Unlike his 8 pm Fox News competitor Bill O'Reilly, Olbermann prefers not to have dissenting voices on his show. According to Philadelphia Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky, Olbermann did not host a single conservative on "Countdown" last week. O'Reilly, meanwhile, brought 11 liberals on his show.
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)
Last night Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly aired an ambush interview that "O'Reilly Factor" producer Jesse Watters sprung on Vivian Schiller, National Public Radio's president.
Last week, Schiller fired Williams over the phone in reaction to a comment the Fox News contributor made on the October 18 edition of O'Reilly's eponymous program.
Schiller, no stranger to cable news -- she used to head up CNN's documentary division -- also put her foot in her mouth last week by flippantly dismissing Williams's comments on the "Factor" as something he should have kept between himself and his psychiatrist.
Fired NPR analyst Juan Williams is pushing back hard against the taxpayer-funded network firing him over his appearances on the Fox News Channel. In an opinion piece for Foxnews.com, Williams says he was a victim of political correctness and increasing ideological orthodoxy in media, and concluded that NPR is worse than Richard Nixon and his enemies list:
I say an ideological battle because my comments on "The O’Reilly Factor" are being distorted by the self-righteous ideological, left-wing leadership at NPR. They are taking bits and pieces of what I said to go after me for daring to have a conversation with leading conservative thinkers. They loathe the fact that I appear on Fox News. They don’t notice that I am challenging Bill O’Reilly and trading ideas with Sean Hannity. In their hubris they think by talking with O’Reilly or Hannity I am lending them legitimacy. Believe me, Bill O’Reilly (and Sean, too) is a major force in American culture and politics whether or not I appear on his show.
Years ago NPR tried to stop me from going on "The Factor." When I refused they insisted that I not identify myself as an NPR journalist. I asked them if they thought people did not know where I appeared on the air as a daily talk show host, national correspondent and news analyst. They refused to budge.
At NPR, you cannot admit your prejudices, even in the context of disavowing them. You can, however, suggest that a U.S. Senator and his grandchildren should be infected with the AIDS virus, claim the world would be a better place if everyone who believes in the Christian rapture did not exist, claim that Newt Gingrich seeks "a civil way of lynching people," and, as long as you are just a freelancer, call for Rush Limbaugh's death.
That is National Public Radio's editorial (double) standard. NPR fired analyst Juan Williams, an 10 year employee of the organization, for admitting that he gets "nervous" when he sees people in Muslim garb on an airplane. But NPR employees (and a freelancer in one case) have made each of those statements above without suffering the swift action brought against Williams.
If Juan Williams knew at 9:45 p.m. yesterday that he was out of a job, he sure didn't show it.
The same night he was fired by NPR, Williams appeared on Sean Hannity's "Great American panel" segment in an ostensibly cheerful mood, exchanging playful banter with the host and panelists.
"I love the sartorial splendor of his mutton chops," quipped Williams, referring to New York gubernatorial candidate Jimmy McMillian's facial hair. "And I'm thinking what would you look like with this? A little bit of that deputy dog look. You know what I'm talking about? You would look marvelous, my friend. That would be you as more liberal. That was a hip, younger Sean."
It shouldn't be shocking that as many NPR stations are conducting pledge drives of their liberal audiences, NPR has found a pretext to fire its longtime analyst Juan Williams for an appearance on Fox News. NPR listeners have complained loud and long that NPR analysts should not dignify that right-wing media outlet with their presence. Williams admitted on The O'Reilly Factor "when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."
It should be noted that the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) sent around a press release on Wednesday afternoon. CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad called for action against Williams: "Such irresponsible and inflammatory comments would not be tolerated if they targeted any other racial, ethnic or religious minority, and they should not pass without action by NPR." The New York Times somehow omitted CAIR from its Juan-is-gone story.
There is a simple explanation for President Obama's dismal approval ratings, but ABC's George Stephanopoulos fails to comprehend it. Appearing on the October 13 "O'Reilly Factor," the former Clinton adviser peddled multiple theories to explain Obama's unpopularity, but neglected to consider the possibility that the president has simply failed to connect with the general public.
"As far as the problem with Democrats, they're upset about the economy, but he has also got a problem with liberals, who wish he would have done more on issues like gays in the military, on health care, on other issues," asserted Stephanopoulos.
The argument that Obama's approval rating is suffering because his policies have not been liberal enough shows just how disconnected this political flak-turned-journalist is with the public he ostensibly serves. Obama's approval rating is not hovering around 43 percent, as the latest Reuters poll indicates, because liberal activists, who represent a small percentage of the population, have been abandoning the president in droves. Rather, Obama is floundering because his support among independents and swing-voters has evaporated. In that same poll, according to Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, Obama has a 33 percent approval rating among Ohio voters.
What – was Janeane Garofalo busy this week? If not, she has some real competition in the "lefty comic making outrageous statements" category.
On HBO’s Oct. 1 “Real Time with Bill Maher,” during the “Overtime” segment available on HBO.com, left-wing comedian David Cross of “Arrested Development” fame appeared to offer his view on issues of the day. This segment of the program is produced generally to answer viewer emailed questions. One of those questions was if people in the media “should be held more legally accountable for presenting false or misleading information.”
The host, Bill Maher likened that scenario to the system in place in the United Kingdom. However in the United States, Americans are protected by the First Amendment and he explained the legal implications of speech in the U.K. compared to the U.S. But in Cross’ estimation, that protected right is somehow wrong. He named two Fox News Channel hosts, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, and declared he would like to see them taken off of the airwaves although he wasn’t clear about what “false or misleading information” they may have presented that would warrant this action.
“I think so, absolutely, and I say that as somebody who would like to see Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity off the air, you know,” Cross declared with an approving response from the audience. “So, I think to -- it’s just part of the job. It should be part of the job, you know, if you knowingly do that, then absolutely you should lose your job. We don’t get to, you know, lie and make up things in our jobs, you know. And nobody really does.”
Liberal radio host Bill Press on Friday called Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O'Reilly bullies and cowards for never bringing people on their programs that disagree with them.
Most comically, Press made this pathetic and indefensible remark on MSNBC, the nation's most biased cable news network that hires anchors who categorically refuse to allow any dissenting views on their shows.
But Press was clearly missing the irony in the following position espoused on "The Ed Show" as was the host who seemed to very much agree (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham Thursday said Jon Stewart on the previous evening's "O'Reilly Factor" looked sad, demoralized, and deflated about how Barack Obama is performing in his role as President.
"I was a bit saddened because Jon Stewart looked like the sad clown last night," Ingraham told O'Reilly after he asked her opinion about the comedian's appearance on his program.
"He just seems kind of demoralized and deflated," Ingraham continued.
"He knows that Barack Obama is in an auditorium now and the oxygen has been totally sucked out of it."
Ingraham also ridiculed Stewart's upcoming rally in Washington as "derivative to Glenn Beck" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Sunday, NewsBusters contributor and Media Research Center video producer Bob Parks attended the 9/12 rally in Washington, D.C., where he interviewed some black attendees to bust the liberal media meme that the Tea Party movement is a practically all-white affair.
Laura Ingraham and Greg Gutfeld had some fun Thursday evening bashing NBC foreign correspondent Richard Engel for absurd comments he made on the "Today" show this week.
As NewsBusters reported Tuesday, Engel that morning told NBC's Ann Curry:
If there had been no invasion Saddam would still be in power. He was probably getting more moderate. He was being welcomed into the, into, by, by a lot of European countries, he was being welcomed in Eastern Europe in particular. He was heading in a, in a direction of accommodation.
On Thursday's "O'Reilly Factor," substitute host Ingraham and guest Gutfeld had a field day with what the former labeled "The Dumbest Things of the Week" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
UPDATE (7:05 PM): Color of Change's executive director responds. See his response, and my response to his response, below the fold.
Reading through material from the "Turn Off Fox" campaign, one gets the very clear impression that the folks at the Fox News Channel are bald-faced liars. They have "no regard for the truth," and use "half-truths" to push a "stream of misinformation" and "distortions of the truth."
Turn Off Fox is a project started by Color of Change, the far-left political organization founded by neo-Marxist and black liberation theologist Van Jones.
Despite Turn Off Fox's righteous indignation, the same document making the above accusations pushes blatant misinformation about both Fox and the Tea Party movement. Got that? The Turn Off Fox campaign wants FNC to tell the truth, and uses demonstrable falsehoods to bolster its case.
The document accusing Fox of pushing misinformation claims that Bill O'Reilly got former USDA official Shirley Sherrod fired, and claims that Tea Party protesters shouted racial slurs and spit on black congressmen outside the Capitol. Both claims have been thoroughly debunked.
It is vile bitterness put on display for America every night of the week - even though not as many people tune in as they do to his competitor. But, still Keith Olbermann seems to obsess over the Fox News Channel.
On the Aug. 24 broadcast of his show "Countdown," Olbermann demonstrated just how sensible the so-called "professional left" can be when criticizing things they perceive to be antithetical to their world view. At the top of his "Worst Persons in the World" segment, viewers were treated to a bonus attack on Fox News, who Olbermann mockingly tried to portray as a sponsor of the show's segment.
"Get out your pitchforks and torches -- time for tonight's worst persons in the world brought to you by Fox News Channel: Official propaganda arm of Glenn Beck's ‘I Have a Scheme' speech, book tour rollout and 100 percent guaranteed in advance miracle. Fabricating and promoting events and then covering them as if they were news since 1996," Olbermann said. "I wish there was a joke here. There isn't. Fox News Channel: Making [expletive] up since 1996."
Let it never again be said that no line of attack is too low for Keith Olbermann.
On Tuesday, the MSNBC libtalker distanced himself from comments made the week prior about Fox News host Bill O'Reilly. Olbermann attributed O'Reilly's condemnation of comments about motherhood by actress Jennifer Aniston to the abuse O'Reilly supposedly took as a child.
OIbermann didn't actually say what he was backing away from, but until Tuesday it seemed that almost no line of attack would be too cheap or personal for "Countdown." Some comment must have been really bad for him to actually back away from it, and label it "over the top" on air. The parental abuse line is the only one that seems to fit the mold.
As media members across the fruited plain try to convince skeptical Americans that Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Islamic Imam behind the Ground Zero mosque, is a moderate cleric, most have totally ignored an interview that he gave on CBS's "60 Minutes" less than three weeks after the 9/11 attacks.
To demonstrate just how wrong the press are about this man, Fox News's Bill O'Reilly played the relevant portions of that segment on Wednesday's "Factor."
As you watch this clip, it will be quite obvious why you likely have never seen it before (video follows with partial transcript):
Late in the 7:00AM ET hour of Monday's CBS Early Show, correspondent Michelle Miller reported on the "war of words" between actress Jennifer Aniston and Fox News host Bill O'Reilly over women having children without a man. Miller remarked that Aniston had "made a seemingly simple comment supporting the concept," while the "conservative" O'Reilly "slammed the actress" for doing so.
The report included sound bites of O'Reilly: "That's destructive to our society....She's throwing a message out to 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds, okay, that 'hey, you don't need the guy. You don't need the dad." Miller followed up by noting: "It's not the first time a political conservative has lashed out at an actress for supporting single moms. In a 1992 speech, Dan Quayle questioned the choices of fictional character Murphy Brown."
She concluded the story by touting: "Aniston fired back the latest shot at O'Reilly, telling People magazine, quote, 'Of course the ideal scenario for parenting is obviously two parents of a mature age, but for those who've not yet found their Bill O'Reilly, I'm just glad science has provided a few other options.'"
After Miller's report, fill-in co-host Chris Wragge jokingly declared: "Jennifer Aniston, how dare you?" He then argued: "I mean, it's just a movie, right, at this point? I understand, I guess, both sides, but I think it's a little much about-" Fill-in co-host Erica Hill interjected: "Much ado about nothing."
Rachel Maddow on Friday highly-edited a video from the previous evening's "O'Reilly Factor" in order to make the Fox News host look racist.
For some background, Bill O'Reilly wrote a syndicated column Friday in which he chastized Maddow and David Letterman for "without a shred of evidence" claiming on CBS's "Late Show" Tuesday that FNC intentionally runs stories about "scary black people" in order to frighten white folks into voting for conservatives.
Maddow responded by calling this "bullpucky," and presented video "evidence" from "Factor" programs to prove that this indeed is what Fox does.
Unfortunately, in the most damning clip, Maddow's minions conveniently edited out that O'Reilly was referring to a recent Gallup poll about how blacks and whites have differing views of President Obama.
Ironically, this came moments after Maddow scolded O'Reilly for airing the edited version of former USDA official Shirley Sherrod on his July 19 program (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
Bill O'Reilly was certainly pleased with the announcement that Fox News has won a coveted seat position in the White House briefing room.
On Monday's "O'Reilly Factor," the host told guests James Rosen of FNC and Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times that he "might be able to sneak down in there" and "sit in the front row."
O'Reilly continued with a devilish grin on his face, "Believe me when I tell you that I will be there sometime down the line, and Glenn Beck might be there, Hannity might be there" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
Rick "I play it down the middle" Sanchez didn't disappoint during the first prime-time edition of CNN's Rick's List on Thursday, as he brought his liberal bias against Fox News to the program. When guest Dan Abrams of Mediate accused the anchor of "doing an opinion-based program" on Fox News's coverage of the Shirley Sherrod story, Sanchez denied this and added that he wasn't being ideological [audio clips available here].
The CNN anchor began his criticism of his network's competitor eight minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour, focusing on Fox News's coverage of the Shirley Sherrod story. Sanchez's focused on Fox News's separation between their news operation and their opinion programming, such as Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity's shows, as he gave his version of the timeline of how the network apparently covered the story:
UPDATE (3:20 PM): A couple of quotes below the fold demonstrate just how ideologically diverse critics are who note that Fox played no direct role in Sherrod's resignation. Pundits from the Washington Post and National Review weigh in.
Shirley Sherrod placed the blame for her ouster at Fox News's feet. Hardly surprising. She's a liberal (former) member of a liberal administration. More surprising, given the clear preponderance of facts contradicting this meme, is that much of the media has followed her lead.
Ironically, while a number of mainstream media outlets claim that Fox News is responsible for getting Sherrod to resign, Fox's first call for a resignation, made by Bill O'Reilly just before 9:00 pm on Monday, came roughly an hour after Sherrod had actually resigned.
In other words, Fox News exerted no meaningful pressure on the administration to take any specific actions with regard to Sherrod before the administration took those actions on its own accord. FoxNews.com had run a story earlier (no longer available on its site) displaying Breitbart's video and reporting what were then assumed (erroneously, it turns out) to be the facts of the situation - Sherrod had acted in a condemnable, racist manner.
On Tuesday’s Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, as host Maddow complained that a video clip of former USDA official Shirley Sherrod had been edited to make it appear that she currently has a tendency to discriminate against white farmers at USDA – a clip that led to her firing by the Obama administration – the MSNBC host not only incorrectly claimed that FNC coverage of the clip had helped incite her firing, but she also suggested that FNC would never show her side of the story even though, by that time Tuesday night, several FNC shows had already informed viewers of some of the details in Sherrod’s favor. And, in fact, Sherrod had already been forced to resign before the O’Reilly Factor became the first FNC show to report the story of her comments on Monday night, although host Bill O’Reilly at the time did not realize she had already been fired.
Maddow’s show even chose to only present to her viewers clips from FNC that ran Monday and Tuesday morning which portrayed Sherrod’s comments as racist, without airing any of the clips from shows later Tuesday which showed FNC personalities conveying more of her side of the story. As Maddow filled in her viewers on some of the details in Sherrod’s favor, the MSNBC host used such phrases as "you would never know this if you got all your information from Fox News," and, after explaining that Sherrod, in fact, helped the white farmers in question, she added: "That`s what happened – unless, of course, you watch Fox News." FNC had already reported most of those same details hours earlier, and O’Reilly even informed his viewers Tuesday that Sherrod had declined an invitation to appear as a guest on his show, so liberal FNC analyst Alan Colmes appeared in her place.