The special election in Massachusetts is sure to be a close one. Should Republican Scott Brown prevail, however, the liberal media will have a host of ways to explain away the election as an anomaly and by no means a referendum on either the president or his legislative accomplishments (or lack thereof).
Perhaps one of the most absurd instances of this thinking came on last night's "O'Reilly Factor" where Washington Post veteran writer Sally Quinn actually attributed Brown's meteoric rise to, wait for it, a semi-nude photo shoot he did for Cosmopolitan magazine--a full 28 years ago (video and partial transcript below the fold - h/t Jim Hoft).
Quinn postulated that the shoot gave the "hunk" Brown a boost in name recognition before the election. O'Reilly, for his part, called Quinn out on how outlandish she sounded.
On Friday’s The O’Reilly Factor, FNC’s Bill O’Reilly responded to left-wing actor Danny Glover’s recent comments blaming Haiti’s problems on the U.S., invoking America’s failure to reach an agreement at the Copenhagen summit on climate change. In his show’s "Talking Points Memo," O’Reilly recounted the relatively small amount of aid pledged so far by a number of nations, in comparison to the $100 million America has already pledged to Haiti.
Later, during a segment with Columbia University Professor Marc Lamont Hill, after Hill had made his best guess at interpreting what Glover meant in his remarks, O’Reilly took particular exception with the liberal actor praising Venezuela in the same statement in which he condemned America, reminding viewers that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had only pledged one plane full of aid to Haiti. O’Reilly: "I got a kick out of Glover, who's a big friend of Hugo Chavez, saying that Venezuela is one of the countries on the point of attack. As you may have heard in the ‘Talking Points Memo,’ Venezuela has sent exactly one plane full of stuff – one – one plane to Haiti."
During the show’s "Talking Points Memo," after relaying that President Obama had so far pledged $100 million in aid, O’Reilly informed viewers of aid pledges at that point made by several other nations:
On Friday's The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly interviewed singer Ray Stevens about a musical parody titled "We the People," posted on his Web site at RayStevens.com, in which he goes after ObamaCare. Stevens, famous for doing musical parodies since the 1960s -- though previously never political in nature -- on Friday's show joked that he is "right of Attila the Hun" politically.
Below is a transcript of portions of the interview from the Friday, January 15, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC:
On Thursday’s The O’Reilly Factor, FNC host Bill O’Reilly updated viewers on the Black Panthers voter intimidation case from election day 2008 -- involving a Pennsylvania polling place -- which Attorney General Eric Holder declined to prosecute despite strong video evidence. The most recent development, on Wednesday the House Judiciary Committee voted to block any action on the case, as all 15 Democrats voted to reject action while all 14 Republicans voted in favor of more investigation. O’Reilly: "But yesterday the House Judiciary Committee voted 15-14, along partisan lines, not to compel the Justice Department to hand over investigative data in the case. As you may know, Attorney General Holder has stonewalled the investigation, and now the Dems are apparently letting them get away with it."
Guest Kris Kobach, a former Bush administration official, recounted the severity of the case:
On Thursday’s The O’Reilly Factor, FNC host Bill O’Reilly used the show’s regular "Reality Check" segment to highlight comments made by Hearst columnist Helen Thomas in which she questioned whether terrorists really should be called "terrorists," and seemed to express a view of moral equivalence between the United States and the terrorists with which America is at war.
When asked in an interview with Mediaite what her point was in repeatedly asking Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan at a January 7 press conference why al-Qaeda terrorists are trying to kill Americans, as if to suggest that such behavior was provoked by wrongdoing by the U.S., Thomas responded:
I was trying to find out why, why, what’s, look, we’ve been in this war, eight, nine years, against this so-called terrorism. And I do say "so-called" because in the newspapers, if you read, you read about the militants, you don’t read about us bombing everybody, and never really explaining why, and going into three, four different countries, Middle East, Africa, and so forth. Who are we? And why are we doing this?
On Monday’s The O’Reilly Factor, the FNC host had previously highlighted Thomas’s bizarre exchange with Brennan from January 7:
While mainstream media members continue to belittle her at every opportunity, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin attracted huge audiences in her first two official appearances as a Fox News Channel contributor.
Debuting on Tuesday's "O'Reilly Factor," the former vice presidential candidate drew almost 4 million viewers more than doubling the combined total of MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and CNN's Campbell Brown.
The following evening on "Glenn Beck," Palin attracted over 3 million -- at 5PM!
Regardless of what her detractors say, Palin was a smash hit (complete numbers below the fold courtesy TVBytheNumbers.com, Tuesday first):
On Monday’s The O’Reilly Factor on FNC, during the show’s regular "Reality Check" segment, host Bill O’Reilly highlighted the double standard exhibited by President Barack Obama and other prominent Democrats in the way they reacted so strongly to former Republican Senator Trent Lott’s praise of former Senator Strom Thurmond at his birthday celebration in 2002, and the President's recent more forgiving words about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s "Negro dialect" remark. O’Reilly quoted Obama’s unforgiving statement from 2002 regarding Lott, and then showed his recent statement giving Reid a pass. The FNC host also showed quotes of Democratic Senators Mary Landrieu and Debbie Stabenow from the Lott episode and noted their current unwillingness to comment on Reid.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, January 11, The O’Reilly Factor on FNC:
While speculating that Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien may move to Fox in the wake of NBC shaking up its late night schedule, on Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez referred to Sarah Palin becoming a contributor for Fox News: “Sarah Palin his sidekick? Because she’s on Fox now, too.”
Co-host Harry Smith couldn’t resist getting in a shot of his own as he replied that Palin could “lead the band” for O’Brien’s Fox late night show. Of course if O’Brien made the move, he would be on the Fox broadcast channel, not Fox News.
Earlier, co-host Russ Mitchell reported Palin’s Fox News debut on Tuesday’s O’Reilly Factor: “Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin made her debut on Fox News last night. She appeared as a news analyst with Bill O’Reilly, who asked her about the controversy she attracts.”
On Tuesday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, during the show's regular "Pinheads and Patriots" segment, host Bill O'Reilly highlighted an example of left-wing hatred from a man who appears to be part of the anti-war left, as O'Reilly showed video of the unidentified "deranged" man who started shouting at former President George H.W. Bush in a Houston restaurant. The heckler used obscenities and called the former President "murderous" and a "Zionist," and blamed him for millions of deaths.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, January 12, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC:
On Tuesday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann twice claimed that FNC contributor and former anchor Brit Hume’s public recommendation that Tiger Woods convert to Christianity to help solve his personal problems amounted to trying to "threaten" Woods into conversion. Previewing a segment focusing on Hume’s Monday appearance on The O’Reilly Factor to clarify his words from Fox News Sunday, Olbermann teased the show: "Brit Hume and the attempt to threaten Tiger Woods into converting to Christianity. He does it again."
Olbermann also plugged the segment before a commercial break: "Brit Hume has tried to force Tiger Woods into becoming a Christian again. That in a moment."
The Countdown host introduced the segment, contending again that Hume had tried to "threaten" Woods into becoming a Christian: "Brit Hume of Fox News has not only not apologized for his bizarre on-air attempt to threaten Tiger Woods into converting to Christianity, he`s actually gone further."
Notably, in December 2005, Olbermann distorted the words of former FNC host John Gibson from Gibson's radio interview on the Janet Parshal Show and compared the program to "an Al-Qaeda show on Al-Jazeera talking about infidels."
On Monday’s The O’Reilly Factor, FNC host Bill O’Reilly seemed to pick up on a NewsBusters posting by the MRC’s Brent Baker which highlighted New Yorker magazine writer Rebecca Mead’s commentary from the January 3 CBS Sunday Morning in which Mead touted President Obama as a "certified intellectual," while accusing President Bush of giving terrorists a "partial victory" by creating "infringements of civil liberties." The FNC host took on Mead during his show’s regular "Reality Check" segment, as he introduced clips of her as evidence that network news organizations "skew left big time," and concluded that her analysis should have been "accompanied by a more conservative point of view."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, January 4, The O’Reilly Factor on FNC:
2009 began as a year of smiles at the Times, with rapture over the "historic" Obama administration. Reporters showered partisan praise on Obama's Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor and first lady Michelle Obama. Meanwhile, the Times resolutely buried emerging left-wing scandals over ACORN and Obama adviser Van Jones. But the smile curdled into a defensive snarl during the long hot summer of "angry," "white," and "bitter" tea party protesters, while Times columnists blamed conservative talk show hosts for a spate of ideologically motivated killings.
But perhaps the apex of outrage at the Times in 2009 was a textbook case of liberal hypocrisy. In Timesland, unions are vital to the lifeblood of a sound economy -- just not at the Times itself.
In ascending order of awfulness, here are the Top 10 lowlights of the Times in 2009 (you can also read all the gory details at Times Watch).
Media Research Center Director of Media Analysis and NewsBusters Senior Editor Tim Graham was on FNC's The O'Reilly Factor on Wednesday to talk about Katie Couric's concern that Americans were reacting to President Obama's left-wing agenda with "disrespect" and "anger."
"It reminds me a lot of 1994. I mean, when Democrats start to lose, then we have to worry about the angry American," Graham noted, later adding: "When Barack Obama wins, then the American people are very wise people, you know. They are creating history, and you like the American people. Then when the polls go south -- and the polls on this health care bill are not good at all right now and the Democrats are shoving it through anyway -- suddenly the people are angry and not very smart."
You can watch the video over at the Huffington Post (where they don't seem to like the idea of Tim or fill-in host Monica Crowley scrutinizing Ms. Couric's words). The full transcript is after the break:
Bill O'Reilly and Laura Ingraham got into a bit of a tiff on Thursday night's "O'Reilly Factor" that resulted in him calling her a "blind ideologue" as well as a "Kool-aid drinker" after she asked him if he had eaten an "ACORN cookie" at the White House Christmas party earlier in the week.
The spat began when O'Reilly jokingly asked Ingraham if she's going on a dinner date with Howard Dean now that he's bashing the Senate's version of ObamaCare.
It's like you and Michelle Obama. We're like this...I'm gushing over your gushing last night about the Christmas party. I'm still trying to get over that.
From there, the floodgates opened (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Tweep Cubachi):
Got an idealized notion of Christmas? A cherished memory, or a favorite carol or story? The simple smell of pine needles in your living room? Do you insist on celebrating the birth of the savior?
If so, you’re at war, like it or not.
The main war on Christmas – we’ll call it the conventional war – has been well-documented, and it goes on, with victories and defeats for both sides. In Loudoun County, Va. on Dec. 1, the Board of Supervisors reversed a ban on religious holiday displays on the courthouse lawn. (The one supervisor who voted “no” said, “I am concerned that this motion would turn the courthouse grounds into a public circus.”) Meanwhile, in Arizona, public school children remain unable to use Christmas themes when decorating ornaments for the Capitol Christmas tree.
There is plenty to report from the conventional front. But there are other fronts. There is the sexualization of the holiday, either in service to commercialism or out of the lefty arts community’s desire to be “transgressive” (read, vile and offensive). And there are the attempts squash the mysteries and magic that accompany even a traditional secular Christmas.
So from “living” lingerie mannequins to Frosty’s “porn collection,” and from the lies you tell about Santa to our president’s “non-religious” observance, here are some dispatches from the war on Christmas, 2009.
Perhaps there is something obstructing the view overlooking Rockefeller Plaza, where MSNBC broadcasts "Countdown" nightly because the show's host, Keith Olbermann fails to see the existence of a news media with a liberal bias.
On MSNBC's Dec. 14 broadcast of "Countdown," Olbermann came to the defense of NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" executive producer and noted left-winger Dick Wolf. The Dec. 9 episode of Wolf's program featured a killer who targeted the children of illegal immigrants and in that episode, one of the characters, played by John Larroquette, blamed conservatives "like Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck" for inciting violence against immigrants. That prompted O'Reilly on Dec. 10, the next broadcast of the Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor," to fire back at Wolf.
And that led Olbermann to respond to O'Reilly, five days later, which deteriorated into Olbermann making the seemingly laughable assertion there is no such thing as the liberal media. Olbermann began his tirade by attacking Andrew Breitbart, who is launching a Web site called "Big Journalism," which will take on "the Democratic-media complex."
On Thursday’s The O’Reilly Factor, FNC host Bill O’Reilly slammed Dick Wolf, the left-wing executive producer of NBC's Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, because Wednesday's episode – featuring a killer who targeted the children of illegal immigrants – contained dialogue of a character blaming conservatives like O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck for inciting violence against immigrants.
O’Reilly showed a clip of dialogue from the show in which left-wing lawyer Randall Carver -- played by John Larroquette -- made a comparison between a racist conservative talk show host character -- named Gordon Garrison -- and real-life conservative talk show hosts. Larroquette: "Garrison, Limbaugh, Beck, O'Reilly, all of them, they are like a cancer spreading ignorance and hate. I mean, they’ve convinced folks that immigrants are the problem, not corporations that fail to pay a living wage or a broken health care system."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Thursday, December 10, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC:
On Friday’s The O’Reilly Factor on FNC, during the regular "Dumbest Things of the Week" segment, host Bill O’Reilly and guest Greg Gutfeld of FNC’s Red Eye, possibly picking up on an item posted the day before on Newsbusters, highlighted ABC’s The View co-host Joy Behar’s recent defense of Tiger Woods as she opined that at least the golf star is not being a "hypocrite" like "one of these pro-marriage, right-wing kind of guys who is anti-gay."
After playing a clip from The View, Gutfeld responded: "I just can't believe she's still single. What a catch. ... This angers me, one, that she says that if you're a conservative you're anti-gay, which is bigotry, her own form of bigotry. Number two, she insults the left. She's saying that the left, because they have no standards, cannot be hypocrites. Therefore, they can get away with things."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the segment from the Friday, December 4, The O’Reilly Factor on FNC:
On Monday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, presumably picking up on a posting by the far left ThinkProgress.org -- one of his regular sources of information to attack conservatives -- made the arguably inaccurate claim that FNC political analyst Bill Kristol had on the Thursday, November 12, Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC, called for Fort Hood gunman Nidal Hasan to be convicted and executed without trial. After calling the FNC analyst's words "anti-American," and quoting a portion of Kristol's words, Olbermann lectured:
But seriously, the men and women that this man killed – however you define him – those men and women of the U.S. military, Mr. Kristol, were fighting for the right to trial, due process, justice. Thanks for spitting on the dead of Fort Hood, William Kristol, today’s “Worst Person in the World.”
Former CNN host Lou Dobbs stuck to his guns when questions were raised if he was forced out at CNN in an interview with Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly.
However, Dobbs did make one distinction - how his detractors decided to pile on when he was critical of President Barack Obama instead of former President George W. Bush. He elaborated on this on Fox News Channel's Nov. 16 "The O'Reilly Factor."
"I discerned more of a difference between then, which was under the Bush administration, whom I was criticizing and now when it is the Obama administration and an entirely different tone was taken, not so much in the case of CNN management certainly, because there is no - my contract is very explicit. I have absolute editorial control. What I reported is what I chose to report."
On Friday's "O'Reilly Factor," the host and his guest Geraldo Rivera had quite a lively debate on Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement concerning Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other terrorists being tried in New York City.
As you might imagine, Rivera was all for it, and Bill O'Reilly, well -- not so much.
Although this wasn't on par with their classic battle over illegal immigration in 2007, it still was pretty feisty (video embedded below the fold with highlights, fuller transcript, file photo, h/t Story Balloon):
On Nov. 12, Bill O’Reilly led off “The O’Reilly Factor” by framing his “Talking Points” segment around a report from the Culture & Media Institute on the biased network coverage of the Ft. Hood Massacre.
“A new study, by the Culture and Media Institute, a conservative group, says the following: 85 percent of network evening news stories on Ft. Hood did not mention the word ‘terror,’ O’Reilly said. “In fact, in 48 reports, ABC, CBS and NBC referenced terrorism just seven times. Only 29 percent of the evening news reports even mentioned Major Hasan was a Muslim. Unbelievable. Of those mentions, 50 percent defended Islam. And before the president’s speech at Ft. Hood, 93 percent of the network evening news stories ignored any discussion about a terror connection. But after the president said that extremist views were involved, all three networks began to report a possible connection.”
On Monday's The O'Reilly Factor, during the "Weekdays with Bernie" segment, host Bill O'Reilly and Fox News Analyst Bernard Goldberg discussed media coverage of the Fort Hood massacre and the political correctness of some who were hesitant about discussing the role Nidal Hasan's extreme Muslim beliefs played in his decision to attack fellow troops. Whilte ABC News was given credit for covering this angle early, a quote by Newsweek's Evan Thomas expressing fear that Hasan's religious beliefs "will get the right wing going" was also discussed.
O'Reilly began the segment by playing the offending clip of Newsweek's Thomas:
I cringe that he's a Muslim. I mean, because it just inflames all the fears. I think he's probably just a nut case but, with that label attached to him, it will get the right wing going. And it just, these things are tragic, but that makes it much worse.
Wonder why the White House attack on the Fox News Channel (you know: "not a news network") failed? Well, besides the fact that not even the other networks thought it was right, it might be because Fox often commits actual journalism.
Witness Bill O'Reilly's Nov. 6 interview with Scott Conroy and Shushannah Walshe, co-authors of the soon-to-be-released "Sarah from Alaska." During the interview, the authors insisted that it was "not a slam book at all." In fact, Conroy said that his "final conclusion" of Palin was that "she's always been underestimated" and to "write her off" would be a "big mistake." Walshe also implicitly blamed the media by saying that Palin's "three-dimensional character" was ignored during last year's presidential campaign and, instead, "she was perceived as either an idiot or she was loathed."
So why did Conroy and Walshe feel the need to defend the fairness of their book? Perhaps because the duo had appeared on CBS earlier that week, and "fair" isn't an adjective that comes to mind in describing that interview.
On Tuesday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, former ABC News anchor John Stossel -- now with Fox Business -- came aboard to discuss the New York Times's recent attack on him for speaking in front of the conservative/libertarian group Americans for Prosperity. After charging that the Times never showed interest in his speeches to conservative groups before he joined Fox Business, the former 20/20 host also relayed that during his early days as a consumer reporter, he received a number of Emmy Awards because "they loved me" for his left-leaning work. But after, in Stossel's words, "I got smarter," turning more pro-business and anti-regulation, the Emmy Awards were no longer forthcoming.
Stossel even recounted an incident in which a person he met on the street expressed a desire that he "die soon" for his conservative views.
After starting the interview by asking Stossel about Web sites that engage in gambling based on election predictions, O'Reilly brought up the Times's newfound interest in the former ABC anchor. Stossel pointed out the double standard: "I make speeches. I make about 25 a year. I've done that for years. And suddenly, now that I'm at Fox, critics are leaping to attack me, according to the New York Times."
If you were a cable TV host whose audience size is obliterated by O'Reilly's, buried by Beck's, hammered by Hannity's and slam-dunked by Susteren's, would you really go around mocking someone else's ratings?
Appparently yes, if you're Ed Schultz. The host of the miniscule MSNBC program went out of his way this evening to belittle the ratings of Dennis Miller's radio show . . .
Schultz's snide comment came during his Psycho Talk segment.
Former Fox News contributor Jane Hall said Sunday that one of the reasons she left the cable network was because she was uncomfortable with host Glenn Beck who she believes "should be called out as somebody whose language is way over the top and scary."
Fox watchers know Hall as one of the regular liberal panelists on Saturday's "Fox News Watch" as well a frequent guest on "The O'Reilly Factor" where she was typically paired opposite former CBSer Bernard Goldberg.
On Sunday's "Reliable Sources," with the discussion centering on the White House's battle with Fox, Hall disclosed the decision behind her departure (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 8:20):
Throughout the previous administration, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann would nightly attack President George W. Bush and members of his administration and regularly bash some conservative personalities for being too cozy with Bush.
However, when he and his MSNBC colleague Rachel Maddow engage in the same brand of coziness, meeting with President Barack Obama earlier this week, it's no longer an indiscretion. Instead, it becomes justified - since Bush did it. Olbermann appeared on the Oct. 23 "The Rachel Maddow Show" and he and Maddow responded to critics. Maddow asked him to respond to particular comments from former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, now a Fox News contributor, that there would be an outcry had the Bush administration committed something similar.
Is Barack Obama turning into Spiro Agnew? The White House's attacks on the Fox News smack of the distaste for media opposition espoused by Nixon's vice president almost 40 years ago but are being met with a decidedly different reaction today by the elite media.
Pundits have wondered aloud since last week why the White House would pursue a strategy that seems to be boosting the ratings of a purported 'opposition' news network. MSNBC's Joe Scarborough posited today that the White House's attacks on Fox News are designed to prevent the mainstream media from picking up on stories damaging to the administration (video embedded below the fold, h/t to NB reader Kirk W.).
Every time Fox breaks a story on the radical connections of a White House advisor or appointee, the news is potentially damaging to the administration. But damage is only really done if the rest of the media picks up on the story, reports it, and turns it into a national news sensation, a la Van Jones.
The debate over Rush Limbaugh's NFL bid is roiling the racial landscape. This evening, after Juan Williams explained that Rush's "Barack the Magic Negro" parody was based on a column by an African-American author, a black radio talk show host told Williams to "go back to the porch." [H/t NB readers Tracy B. and Ken T.]
Warren Ballantine uttered the insult on this evening's O'Reilly Factor: