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O'Reilly incensed over "sloppy, lazy reporting"

Reported by Chrish - May 10, 2006

Bill O'Reilly was in high gear Monday night, whining about inadequate coverage and smearing 27-year CIA agent/analyst Ray McGovern as a kooky, far-left zealot, and Juan Williams, FOX-caliber "liberal", agreed with him and added "You could even make your case better, Bill O'Reilly, because this is a guy who says he believes (Bush) would actually create another terrorist attack here on American soil." Nice to know on fair and balanced FOX they wouldn't pilie on someone for his political views, and they bring in opposing viewpoints to debate.

It was pure theater meant to totally discredit McGovern for his completely valid questions raised with Don Rumsfeld last week. Apparently there was too much objective press about it and O'Reilly's been tasked to attack the press coverage and smear McGovern, both which he does so well. It was particularly difficult as, he pointed out, ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX all supposedly gave him a pass, not highlighting his viewpoint enough (to discredit him). O'Reilly did give kudoes to CNN's Anderson Cooper and Paula Zahn for mentioning his leanings, and notably did not even mention MSNBC, lol. (This while McGovern's picture and "Political Agenda?" are on screen behind him. More lol.)

O'Reilly, calling McGovern "off-the-charts" (he's in good company!!) read off some of McGovern's liberal affiliations (member of the Truth-Telling Coalition, visited and praised Cindy Sheehan, and wants to impeach Bush. Bastard!) and, getting shriller by the second, says the press just goes "Ooohh, he's a CIA analyst! like he's got some credibility - come on!!" That's when Williams adds that McGovern wouldn't put a staged attack past Bush, and says "he says bizarre, crazy stuff like that" and Bill adds "he's a crank!"

Williams made a show of defending McGovern, saying he was a CIA member for 27 years (O'Reilly: "So what?") and asks O'Reilly if what he wants is Rumsfeld in a bubble, a cocoon surrounded by fawning yes-men? He should hear the critics! O'Reilly replies that he actually liked the question and if McGovern had taken the word "lies" out of it (ooh, a bit sensitive, are we?) he actually thought the question was a good one. Then he proceeded to rephrase the question so much that it no longer resembled the original:

Ray McGovern: " Why did you lie to get us into a war that was not necessary, that has caused these kinds of casualties. Why?" and later
RM: "(inaudible) there was bullet proof evidence of ties between Al Qaeda and Iraq. Was that a lie, or were you misled?"

O'Reilly's take: "OK, could you just let us know what your idea of 'ties' are between the Saddam regime and Al Queda?" He thinks it's a legitimate question and claims he's asked it himself of the Secretary. See his interview with Rumsfeld 12/16/05 for actual transcript by Marie Therese.

O'Reilly continues to smear McGovern, saying that just because someone works for America and gets a paycheck, doesn't mean he has credibility. Williams contends that the man's experience in the CIA gives him more credibility than Joe Blo, and even if he was Joe Blo, what's wrong with him standing up and asking such a challenging questions of Rumsfeld? O'Reilly accuses Williams of deliberately misreading him, "in a little cloying way," (why Wiliams keep coming back for more slaps I can't imagine)( OK,, it's gotta be $$) and says he has no problem with the question, he has a problem with the media not "outing" him (my word) instead of letting people think he's just some non-political guy who was sticking up for his country, instead of this guy with an agenda. (Sticking up for his country.) That "agenda" should have been page one, paragraph one in any story, says O'Reilly - "far-left zealot AND former CIA analyst...so you know where he's coming from!"

Faux-liberal Williams agrees but thinks he should have been identified as a former agent with 27 years at CIA but then it should have been noted that "this guy has some kooky thoughts."

O'Reilly is horrified that the American people don't know he's kooky, don't know anything about this guy, and then all the TV stations just say he's former CIA and they go "whoa, the CIA thinks Rumsfeld is full of it!" And he doesn't know if it was on purpose or not, but it was wrong, and "it was sloppy, lazy reporting and we see this all the time." Comment: Well News Hounds certainly do!

Williams provides the counterpoint that - wait, he agreed again - it was negligent and the media should have said that McGovern favors impeaching Bush and thinks he would plot another terrorist attack to further his own political ambition. But, he says, that would have impugned the entire protest, and off screen Bill shouts "GOOD! Impugn it! Impugn it! That's the press's job! The press's job is to tell the truth. If the truth impugns it, then so be it."

Williams was concerned that other protesters would be lumped in, and a large percentage of American people are not happy with the Iraq war, (O'Reilly overtalks, "So what?") and they stood up and asked questions of Rumsfeld. O'Reilly says sanctimoniously that's fine, but the press has an obligation to tell the truth to the American public and it is not doing that.

O'Reilly makes one last point: if McGovern had been in the KKK (you can hear Williams mutter "oh my gosh") or the John Birch Society, don't you think that would have been the headline, Juan? Williams responds, the headline, no, which prompts a big laugh from O'Reilly. But his point is well taken, and the man's views were not even in the story - they're both aghast. If he had been a right-wing zealot, says O'Reilly, leader of the tribe, #1, he never would have gotten ON television, and #2, they would have slaughtered him.

Williams finally makes a good point: They got him in a cocoon, if he's a right-wing nut - only the right-wing sees (Bush) and Rumsfeld. This was their break, so people let it go.

Comments: He has got to be kidding. I don't think he's kidding. O'Reilly wants an easy identification system so "far-left" "zealots" can be all the more easily dismissed, without regard to what they're saying. He repeatedly defends the question as legitimate yet is outraged that people aren't prejudiced against it by labelling the person posing it. His CIA service emminently qualified McGovern to ask, and his political leanings and deep mistrust of the Bush administration should only serve to further concern people.

This is classic smear the messenger tactics and FOX is in a bind because they didn't smear him up front. This was damage control but only O'Reilly's audience got the message to disregard the whole episode because of the questioner's politics.

I can't count how many times News Hounds has had to do our own research to find out who the "Republican strategist" or other innocuous title really belongs to...always a radical right-winger, frequently with hidden ties to the administration and their sycophants. O'Reilly should practice what he preaches.

One other thing that must be mentioned is O'Reilly's comparison of Truth Tellers and sympathy with a Gold Star mom to the KKK. What an inflammatory and totally bogus straw-man.

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