Carlson Raps O'Reilly for Condemning Keith: Except He Didn't [Video]

As we noted here, when Andrea Mitchell appeared on The Factor last week, Bill O'Reilly confronted her over NBC's leftward tilt. Andrea not only denied any NBC bias, she also vouched for CBS' and ABC's fairness. For good measure, Mitchell claimed that Chris Matthews is no liberal.

Tucker Carlson fired back on his MSNBC show this afternoon. The gist of his argument: that in attacking Keith Olbermann, O'Reilly was actually promoting the Countdown's lefty host. There was only one problem with Carlson's theory: O'Reilly never mentioned Olbermann. Not once. I watched the Factor segment live, wrote about it, posted a video excerpt and - just for good measure - have gone back and checked the closed-caption transcript and can confirm that not only did O'Reilly not mention Olbermann, he never so much as alluded to him or his show.

But that didn't stop Carlson from arguing:
  • "It comes after years of needling by Keith Olbermann. Olbermann has set out to drive Bill O'Reilly crazy and apparently he's succeeded."
  • "If year after year you're being needled, so Keith Olbermann is starting to get under his skin, aren't you wise to resist, and try to ignore it, and not take the bait?"
Tucker's guests were recruited into the argument. Jonathan Alter needed no arm-twisting. After calling O'Reilly an inflated "blimp" "who's so full of it, it's coming out of his ears," Alter opined that "it's going to help Keith, I think it's great for Countdown."

Even the admirable Colonel Jack Jacobs was drafted, so to speak, into the argument. The Medal of Honor winner observed that

"it is great news for Keith and for MSNBC."

View video here.

What's great? Not being mentioned by Bill O'Reilly? Alter and Jacobs were presumably taking Tucker's word for it, proving that it's a risky proposition to comment on a segment you apparently never saw. But what's Tucker's excuse?

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.