An Iraq War widow called out the mainstream media’s anti-military bias, and the only national news outlet to pick it up was Fox News Channel’s "The O’Reilly Factor." Appearing on the October 24 edition of the mentioned show, Ginger Gilbert, whose husband died providing infantry cover and sparing Iraqi civilians, spoke out against the media running an Al Qaeda video of her husband’s downed plane, but not focusing on his heroism.
Mrs. Gilbert called it "heartbreaking and upsetting and frustrating" that "this is what American journalists would chose to show and there was never a mention of the 22 lives he saved." Gilbert continued that airing such a video is "lending credibility" and "just furthering terrorism propaganda."
O’Reilly also noted the mainstream media’s very limited coverage of Lt. Michael Murphy’s Congressional Medal of Honor. Mrs. Gilbert noted that "The O’Reilly Factor" was the only national media outlet that picked up on her story.
For the record, Ginger Gilbert’s late husband, Major Troy Gilbert USAF, was a fighter pilot who was shot down near Fallujah on November 27, 2006.
The entire transcript is below.
BILL O’REILLY: As we told you last night, many media operations, including CNN and MSNBC, ignored the Medal of Honor recipient, Lieutenant Michael Murphy, in prime time when his family received the honor from President Bush this week. Lt. Murphy, a Navy seal, was killed in Afghanistan. It’s just an example of anti- military media matters in the USA. Joining us now from Phoenix, Arizona is Ginger Gilbert, whose husband, Major Troy Gilbert, an Air Force fighter pilot, was killed in Iraq. Al Qaeda videotaped the remains of the major after his plane crashed. Feded out to the despicable Al Jazeera network, and the story was picked up by the Associated Press and other American news agencies. So what did you think about all of that, Mrs. Gilbert? I mean it just, I can’t even put myself in your shoes, the shock and the grief that you must be feeling, and then these animals, you know, videotaped this and they get it out on these news outlets. How did you feel?
GINGER GILBERT: Well, it was heartbreaking and upsetting and frustrating that this would be the way that they would choose to bring out my husband, who is an American hero. Again, that this is what American journalists would choose to show and there was never a mention of the 22 lives that he saved on the ground, or the American military, or his focus on the safety of Iraqi civilians, and therefore he was flying so close to the ground that, that he did not realize and-
O’REILLY: In order not to kill civilians, he was providing cover for infantry, American infantry, in order to not kill civilians. He was very close to the ground and that’s why the plane went down. Now, the American media didn’t say anything bad about your husband. They just reported Al Qaeda video taping this and throwing it up on Al Jazeera. So do you think the American media did anything wrong?
GILBERT: Just by lending any credibility, this, this was never even confirmed by the Air Force that this is Troy’s body to begin with. Just by lending any credibility, it’s just furthering terrorism propaganda.
O’REILLY: Alright, so just by publicizing what Al Qaeda did, it encourages Al Qaeda to do it again because they get publicity out of it.
GILBERT: We just fed right into their hands by, by putting it on the news and watching it.
O’REILLY: Alright, now, I think that’s a very legitimate point. You couple that with many media absolutely ignoring what happened this week with the Congressional Medal being awarded to Lt. Michael Murphy -- you couple what happened to your husband to that, alright, and what conclusion do you draw about the American media?
GILBERT: The conclusion that I would draw, and the reason I made a statement several days after this came out -- the point of it was to say can we please stop? Can we please just focus on the amazing amounts of good that are being done in Iraq and Afghanistan and how these men and women are selflessly sacrificing sometimes their lives? But selflessly sacrificing being in the war just to protect us and to keep the hate and the death from entering and reaching our borders and where are stories, the positive stories about, about that?
O’REILLY: Alright, but with most of the media being against the Iraq War and despising the Bush administration, they’re not going to do that. They are going to spin negative all day long to further their political agenda. Now, today it was announced and we’re going to do this story with Dick Morris tomorrow, that casualties are way down in Iraq, the surge is working, at least temporarily, very little coverage, very little coverage. Now, so the reality is that politics is trumping the war effort. And that’s just where we are.
GILBERT: Yes, and it’s, it’s the wrong place to be. It’s, it is an untruth and I would like for there to be many more stations and media outlets like yours. Yours is the only show that has reached out to me since I made my statement. And, here I have lost -- I have a catastrophic loss in my life and in the life, lives of our five children. And I can still find some positive and some good in what is going on.
O’REILLY: So no other, no other news organization in this country contacted you?
GILBERT: No, no local media here in Phoenix did a good job of covering it, but otherwise, no national, no.
O’REILLY: Well Ms Gilbert, look, we understand that your husband died because he wanted to protect Iraqi civilians. We understand that. And we understand your passion and we understand that you have an excellent point that reporting on Al Qaeda doing these atrocities, war crimes, just encourages them to do more of it. So that’s why we had you on and our condolences. If we can ever help you and your five kids in anything, please call us. We’d be happy to do it. And we appreciate you appearing this evening.
GILBERT: Thank you so much. I appreciate your time.