Olbermann Falsely Calls O'Reilly 'Liar' Over Iraq Predictions
On Friday's Countdown, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann attacked FNC's Bill O'Reilly, calling him a "holy you-know-what liar" because O'Reilly recently bragged that he had voiced the need for tough martial law early on to keep order in Iraq. During recent comments on The Radio Factor, O'Reilly misstated the date of his prediction as "the night that Saddam's statue fell" when, in fact, it was a mere two nights later (April 11, 2003, instead of April 9), still in the recent aftermath. Olbermann, likely inspired by an article from one of his regular sources in the form of the far-left Media Matters for America, seized on the date mixup to accuse O'Reilly, whom he referred to gratuitously as "Billow" and "Bill Orally," of being a "liar," and tagged the FNC host "Worst Person in the World." (Transcripts follow)
Olbermann started by quoting O'Reilly's November 28, 2006 contention that "on the night that Saddam's statue fell," that "I went 'Holy you-know-what, there's no plan to institute martial law and to take step-by-step reconstruction of this country.'" After pointing out some of O'Reilly's comments from that night attacking war critics, and after blasting O'Reilly for agreeing with a claim by "that putz Dick Morris" that it "would all mean the death of network news," Olbermann concluded his rant: "You're a holy you-know-what liar! Bill Orally, now and forever, today's 'Worst Person in the World'!"
In fact, on April 11, 2003, O'Reilly had discussed the need for martial law in Iraq in a few segments of the show, even making it the focus of his "Talking Points Memo." O'Reilly had asserted: "But in order to fully win the peace, discipline and order must quickly be imposed by the coalition. There should be martial law, and lawbreakers must be arrested by coalition forces. Chaos always leads to more chaos. If the USA really wants to help the Iraqi people, it must immediately establish a firm rule of law."
Below is a complete transcript of Olbermann's attack on O'Reilly from the December 1 Countdown show, followed by relevant parts of O'Reilly's April 11, 2003 "Talking Points Memo" from The O'Reilly Factor:
From the December 1, 2006 Countdown:
Keith Olbermann: "But our winner, you know, I get just as tired of this as you do, but this is a lulu. 'I hate to blow my own horn,' Billow said to a guest, like that was true, 'but I don't know whether you were watching The Factor on the night that Saddam's statue fell, but what I said on the air, "Hey, look at these guys looting the armories." As soon as I saw that, I went "Holy you-know-what, there's no plan to institute martial law and to take step-by-step reconstruction of this country."'
Olbermann: "He didn't say anything like that. That was April 9, 2003. What you did say included attacks on the 'losers' of the war like Howard Dean, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Al-Jazeera, the Russians, the French, the Germans, hysterical Hollywood celebrities, CNN, CBS and ABC, and when that putz Dick Morris said that this would all mean the death of network news, you agreed with him. Holy you-know-what, Billow? You're a holy you-know-what liar! Bill Orally, now and forever, today's 'Worst Person in the World'!"
From the April 11, 2003 The O'Reilly Factor:
Bill O'Reilly: "Law and disorder in Iraq: That is the subject of this evening's 'Talking Points Memo.' Once again, the USA has made a mistake in the way it polices countries it has defeated on the battlefield. In Afghanistan, the Bush administration failed to destroy the poppy fields that the Taliban actually succeeded in shutting down. The result is this spring a flood of heroin worldwide. And who profits from that? Often terrorists do, al-Qaeda. Big, big mistake. Now in Iraq, it seems the looting and lawlessness caught the coalition somewhat by surprise. That's understandable. The imperative is to win the fight and protect American lives, so law enforcement is going to lag behind military action. But in order to fully win the peace, discipline and order must quickly be imposed by the coalition. There should be martial law, and lawbreakers must be arrested by coalition forces. Chaos always leads to more chaos. If the USA really wants to help the Iraqi people, it must immediately establish a firm rule of law."
After criticizing media coverage of the run-up to the Iraq War, O'Reilly concluded: "Summing up, the USA and Britain must be as tough in rebuilding Iraq as they were in removing Saddam. Only then can the Iraqi people have true freedom and the coalition have a true victory."