'Radio Equalizer' Tears Apart Leftist Blog That Called O'Reilly a Liar

Radio host and blogger Brian Maloney has an excellent takedown of liberal bloggers who accused Bill O'Reilly of recently lying about the New York Times's coverage of the JFK Airport terror plot.

[NewsBusters sister publication TimesWatch.org dealt with the Times downplaying the terror plot here and here.]

Below is the relevant excerpt from Maloney's blog, "Radio Equalizer," portions in bold are my emphasis:

After Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and other hosts lambasted the Sunday New York Times for burying news of the JFK terror plot bust, Think Progress, News Hounds and other lefties accused them of lying.

By claiming the story actually was covered on page one and even asserting that O'Reilly intentionally misled viewers by showing only the top part of the page on camera, these smear sites were truly pulling a fast one.

While Limbaugh said JFK terrorism plot coverage was found on page A30, O'Reilly says he found it on A37.

[...]

The real problem is that O'Reilly isn't lying and neither was Rush. In the "evidence" provided by Think Progress, they point to a tiny, one paragraph teaser found in the right sidebar.

Not in a million years would that qualify as front page coverage!

In fact, two Think Progress commenters were quick to bust them:

Please don’t call me a troll or a Republican for this but, he is right - the article is not headlined on the front page. There’s a small reference to the story on the interior page (metro section).

I receive the print version of the Times. I remember thinking, that’s good - they’ve put this on page 37 instead of on the front page, because, if previous terror scares are any indication, within 48 hours this will have been downgraded from “the end of the world” to “cheesy”.

Think Progress can do better, and 99 percent of the time does.

Comment by eddy tompkins — June 5, 2007 @ 12:35 pm


I’m not a fan of O’Really or Faux, but from the picture given us of below the fold I cannot make out much of a headline or whether the story is “covered” on the front page.

Comment by leftcoast — June 5, 2007 @ 12:37 pm


From there, it gets worse: even the New York Times admits it buried the story! But it does have an excuse, though it seems weak. This is from a reader Q & A with National Editor Suzanne Daley:

[...]

A. Here's the basic thinking on the J.F.K. story: In the years since 9/11, there have been quite a few interrupted terrorist plots. It now seems possible to exercise some judgment about their gravity. Not all plots are the same. In this case, law enforcement officials said that J.F.K. was never in immediate danger. The plotters had yet to lay out plans. They had no financing. Nor did they have any explosives. It is with all that in mind, that the editors in charge this weekend did not put this story on the front page.

In truth, the decision was widely debated even within this newsroom. At the front page meeting this morning, we took an informal poll and a few editors thought the story should have been more prominently played. Some argued it should have been fronted, regardless of the lameness of the plot, simply because it was what everyone was talking about.

Of course, overhyped and downright false accusations against O'Reilly by leftists are hardly unprecedented. On December 2, 2006, NewsBusters noted that the night before, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann called the Fox News host a "holy you-know-what liar" who didn't predict the need for martial law in Iraq on April 9, 2003, like he had claimed.

But it turns out that O'Reilly's "lie" was just a calendar error. The predictions in question were made on the April 11, 2003 "O'Reilly Factor," two days after the April 9, 2003 program O'Reilly mentioned on his "The Radio Factor" program.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters