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Hard News or Opinion?

Reported by Melanie - August 27, 2004 -

The title of Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points" memo on Thursday (August 26, 2004) was "Fair & Balanced Swift Boat Coverage."

O'Reilly said he praised his staff because their research over the past month on the Swift Boat issue has "been dead on about what is fact, what is false and what is opinion." He said, "yeah, we've gotten some letters," angry that we "didn't hammer Senator Kerry," but most thanked him for "dealing" with the matter "without partisan spin."

O'Reilly then said he wants his audience to make up their own mind, but "zealots on both sides" don't. He said "the left wing media has totally ignored the Factor's Swift Boat coverage," and that it continues to "unfairly hammer Fox News on this issue" and the "only positive mention" was by David Gergen in the Baltimore Sun.

COMMENT: One minute O'Reilly says his show is opinion and analysis and that he can say whatever he wants. The next minute he's complaining about being "totally ignored" for his "dead on" research. Quoted at Media Matters, O'Reilly said recently: "[F]or the umpteenth time, this is an opinion program. The hard news people give you objective journalism." Maybe the "hard news people" are ignoring him because, as he says himself, his is "an opinion program" and his "dead on" research, "without partisan spin," isn't so dead on or nonpartisan afterall.