Bill O'Reilly's Sleazy Threat: NY Times' Keller & Rich "have led lives and if they want to attack people personally ... then we're gonna have to just show everybody about their lives."
Reported by Marie Therese - January 2, 2006
In a move that indicates the level of desperation that must be roiling through the White House, FOX News pundit Bill O'Reilly crossed a line tonight and threatened to reveal personal information about New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller and opinion columnist Frank Rich. Here's the exchange that occurred on the O'Reilly Factor tonight at 8:14 PM EST during an interview with Juan Williams and Mary Anne Marsh, two Democrats who were there simply to be rubber stamps for what looks to be an escalation in the smear campaign tactics so characteristic of Rupert Murdoch's tabloid media outlets.
JUAN WILLIAMS: I was listening to your Talking Points and there you are, threatening Bill Keller and Frank Rich and I thought: What are you gonna do to them if they engage in the politics of personal attack against the President?
O'REILLY: It's a good question, Juan, and I don't see it as a threat. I mean, I think you have to say to people, as we do with all our guests here, this is what's likely to happen and, if they continue - those people continue - to attack people personally as Frank Rich does almost every week and Keller allows it, then we'll just have to get into their lives.
WILLIAMS: There's a new sheriff in town.
O'REILLY: You know, I'm not - I don't wanna do it. (Mary Anne Marsh laughs.) I don't wanna do it.
O'REILLY: But I can't allow this stuff to go unchecked. I'm the only person on television that's gonna hold these people accountable. The only one. Because everybody fears them but both of those men have led lives and if they want to attack people personally - Rich in print and Keller allowing it - then we're gonna have to just show everybody about their lives. Fair enough. Correct, Mary Anne?
MARY ANNE MARSH (after a long pause): It's a free country.
It would seem the the Murdoch machine is about to take off the gloves and O'Reilly is the designated hit man.
Tonight he departed from his usual format and interviewed two gung-ho Republicans - Kellyanne Conway and Michelle Malkin - and two so-called Democrats - Williams and Marsh - in SEPARATE segments. This allowed the righties to spout their standard one-liners and talking points and create a strong, definite, purposeful image that contrasted mightily with the bland, caught-off-guard DINOs.
UPDATED 1-03-06 1:25 AM EST
Original post said that I would type up transcripts. Time is too limited so I willl do a synopsis of the salient points instead. - MT