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O'Reilly on OJ cancellation: "The folks did it, and I am the messenger"

Reported by Chrish - November 20, 2006 -

Bill O'Reilly is on vacation (out of the country - think he's visiting the troops?) and Laura Ingraham is subbing for him this week. Tonight 11/20/06 the Talking Points Memo framed the OJ controversey within the proscribed confines of O'Reilly's war on culture. O'Reilly phoned in and claimed victory for his traditionalist camp and spun the reversal as a moral victory for FOX, who "did the right thing."

Let's make no mistake - the decision to air the interview of OJ and the decision to publish the book were made in corporate offices to make money. Period. The decision today to cancel "the ill-advised project" was similarly a business decision, not a moral one. Advertisers were pulling out, affiliates were refusing to air it, and bookstores were refusing to carry it. If they could have gotten away with it and made money at it, News Corp. would greenlight it.

Ingraham's Talking Points put most of the blame for the initial book deal and interview on Judith Regan (for whom Regan Books is named, and who was publishing the book and conducting the interview). Ingraham professed that this move by News Corp. gave hope to others like her, that they could change the culture and influence "that mass media that pollutes it." She certainly is an expert on polluting the airwaves. She claims that with the "new media" - talk radio, cable TV, and the Internet - people are more informed and better able to stop this "cultural madness."

This is cracking me up. FOX got Dixie Chicked and pulled the offensive show and book that THEY planned to publish and she is righteously spinning it into a big bad (unspoken = liberal) media polluting the culture. The "cultural pollution" that people need to be fighting is being brought to you by FOX.

She wound up the Memo by giving kudoes to FOX for ultimately doing the right thing as if it was a moral decision on the part of Murdoch and not a business decision. Puh-leeze.

O'Reilly phoned in from his undisclosed location to claim "It's a culture war victory. The folks did it, and I am the messenger." He insisted that this proves that FOX News is independent - what other network would allow their commentators to go on air and slam a decision of their programming arm. He then reiterates the falsehood that FOX News Channel "has nothing to do with FOX broadcasting." (Except that they are wholly owned and operated by the same people, share a name, and do incestuous cross promotions all the time. And, as he noted, they are "arms" of the same media octopus.)

When Ingraham repeated her talking point that talk radio, the web, and cable TV get credit for informing people about FOX's proposed profiteering (my choice of words) and that years ago it probably just would have escaped notice and aired, O'Reilly disagreed and said years ago this wouldn't be considered for airing. It's that culture war, and one side ( not his side, presumably) has the "anything goes: no boundaries, no limitations" attitude that he wants to see reigned in (to his comfort level). HIS side says wait a minute, and this is a huge victory for "traditionalists."

There are two issues he can't address, though. Number one, obviously, is that FOX is on the wrong side of his war, the "anything goes" let's air OJ's cutesy hypothetical confession it'll get huge ratings side. Number two, the disgust was across the board and millions of people whom O'Reilly finds contemptible (liberals, Democrats, progressives, etc.) were part of the backlash against FOX. Did you see Marc Campbell, the video store owner in Taos who removed FOX TV shows from his shelves in protest? Hardly an O'Reilly follower.

Sorry, Mr. and Mrs. No-spin Zone - your employer is on the wrong side of your war AND you did not lead the protest. How ironic to think that progresive blogs and hippies in Taos could be the real leaders of the revolt on FOX for their attempt to profit from OJ SImpson's infamous deed.