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Just another fair and balanced Friday on the O'Reilly Factor

Reported by Chrish - January 21, 2007 -

So many biases, so little time! Having only so much of the latter, we News Hounds often have a hard time deciding on just one or two segments to comment on to highlight the former. here's a brief rundown of Friday's O'Reilly Factor on FOX News 1/19/07:

Talking Points - bash far-left liberal media

The "no-spin zone" opened with the day's Talking Points Memo, as usual, and the so-called "far left fanatics" in the press were the target again. (These are the people who wrote unflattering reviews about BOR vis a vis his exchange with Stephen Colbert.) He said "that's just who they are; dishonest people who despise the FOX News Channel and will do everything they can to hurt this enterprise." He named 4 minor papers, two in Canada, and said they all took their "usual cheap shots." He put up a graphic of the words of Newsday's Verne Gay: "Bill O'Reilly has no sense of humor. never has. never will... Doubtless, O'Reilly will blame this assessment on the ranting of just another 'left-wing critic.'" To which O'Reilly shouted "Bingo, Verne - you're an oracle!" But then he went back to nasty, calling Gay an "ideologue masquerading as a journalist" (I'm gasping for air at the hypocrisy) writing for a newspaper collapsing because of its extreme far-left bias.

The hypocritical rant continued, with him saying that the media will attack FOX News every chance they get, with "elements" at NBC doing it every day. The media battle between FNC and the "far-left outlets". 80% of the articles he sees are negative. (Can it be that his researchers are sent to look for such articles, to give him grist for his mill?) He bragged on ratings again, something he has been doing more and more of lately. Reminds me of Stuart Smalley - "Because I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggonit, people like me!"

O'Reilly tells his audience that the "committed left media " "hates" FOX because they give "equal weight to the conservative and traditional point of view."

Journalism rule most flagrantly broken — "Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others."

Top Story - Bash gay liberal comedienne and rival network; infer former is hurting latter

Moving on to the top story, O'Reilly proceeded to bash Rosie O'Donnell and wonder aloud how much longer ABC can/will keep her on The View. "She's pulling in good ratings, but along with them come massive controversey." He showed clips of Rosie alternately serious and snarky, and had Forbes magazine editor Dennis Kneale and FOX business analyst Terry Keenan. Keenan said that ABC/Disney answers to two masters, the stockholders and the affiliates. The stock was up 30% last year and the affiliates are happy with the View's numbers leading into their afternoon news shows, plus she doesn't think Rosie has crossed any lines. BOR wondered how the affiliates in the Bible belt must feel, "taking those calls, every single day..." Kneale had quite another opinion of Rosie: ratings can buy her some protection but this is bad for ABC and going to get a lot worse. O'Reilly thinks there's damage being done to Disney and ABC that we can't see - "stealth damage." Kneale bashes Rosie a while (without interruption from O'reilly) saying she's a "nightmare behind the camera," she's "mean to people," and "60% of people don't like her" (source please).

O'Reilly takes over and says "...you gotta know, 60% of the country loooathe her" and it's got to transfer to the parent company. Keenan interjected that millions of Americans watch peoples they don't like, day after day (O'Reilly admits that not all his numbers come from fans: "I think I prove that, I think I'm a good example of that!"
The three continue to talk about Rosie "attacking" people and speculating that "she is on her way out" and shopping around for her own show, and she's "created negative feeling" and "why be so mean?" Keenam thinks it's just calculated, but Kneale says she is "out of control." People "would much rather watch Bill O'Reilly be mean" than Rosie, plus, he speculates barbara Walters is really mad about this and wants Rosie's scalp. "Very good discussion," says Mr. No-spin.

Impact Segment - Mock liberal filmmaker and critical thinkers who want to discuss media impact on public perception

Next, after the commercial break that included a promo for the Saturday "financial" shows that asked "Liberal media: enemy of America and stock market?" there was a segment on "24", the Fox TV drama that centers on counter-terrorism agent Jack Bauer. This season's premier has touched off a conversation about popular television's role - does it reflect reality? Does it effect viewers' perceptions of reality? There are a lot of interesting questions and perspectives (and News Hounds is going to pursue a dialog on this, beginning next week).

O'Reilly had a guest on from CAIR (links to video), Arsalan Iftikhar, to discuss whether "24" is anti-Muslim. But first, Mr. No-Spin had to get in a bash at another liberal, our very own "far-left propagandist" Robert Greenwald appearing on (bonus points) MSNBC commenting on the topic. O'Reilly laughs dismissively at Robert's truncated comments to show his contempt for his views, breaking Journalism rule that requires him to — Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.

O'Reilly immediately challenged the CAIR rep to defend CAIR's complaints, saying "now you guys are complaining about it, and the far left nuts are complaining about it?" Iftikhar argues that the show is desensitizing viewers to concepts that should outrage and frighten them, and O'Reilly argues that it's a fictional show and people know it.

(When Geena Davis spoke at the National Conference for Media Reform, one of the points she made was that polls of people who did and did not watch her TV show "Commander-in-Chief", where she portrayed America's first female President, showed that people who watched were 56% more likely to be able to envision a woman president in the near future. To say that TV does not effect people's perceptions is disingenuous.)

Personal Story - Infer angry anti-war protester may be committing tax fraud and suggest IRS audit

Next segment dealt with "radical left group Code Pink" and Cindy Sheehan, asking who is paying her/them? Fortunately, says O'Reilly, the anti-war movement in tis country remains tiny. Guest Matthew Vadum of "Organization Trends" said his firm did some analysis (I wonder who paid for that?) and he doesn't know where Cindy Sheehan gets her money - maybe she gets speaking fees, maybe it's undeclared. He admits he's just speculating, (on national television) that she is a tax cheat. Barbra Streisand, George Soros via the Tides Foundation, , Medea Benjamin, all support Code Pink. But this "labyrinth" of money (because "no one really wants to be associated with this kind of a radical situation") "is going to have to be audited by the IRS." The Fenton Group, a Washington DC PR firm is mentioned as well - they're "a far-left organization. Vadum isn't sure that Fenton is associated with Code Pink, but the latter's "PR approach is so sophisticated that one might think that David Fenton..."

So they're looking at this "phantom group" that runs all over the world, and we really don't know who's giving them the money (but they sure planted a few seeds of suggestion, no?). They're trying to find out, and O'Reilly is keeping an eye on this IRS thing - they have to declare sooner or later. So just who is this "Capital Resources" spying on Code Pink's finances, and who is paying them to do it?

Unresolved Problem - terror at home! Promotes upcoming FNC special and fear, fear, fear

The next segment was FOX host David Asman being "interviewed" by O'Reilly, nothing more than a 5-minute summary and promo for the upcoming FOX fear-mongering special "Smokescreen", which deals with Hezbollah sleeper cells in the US. (It sounds like they are exposing FBI surveillance operations in "second tier cities" like Louisville KY, Newark NJ, etc. If the NYTimes did a piece on it they'd be screaming "treason.")

Asman cites and FBI agent who says Hezbollah is more dangerous to the US because they're more organized and they have ties to Iran, "and we may be at war with Iran." They are smart and know our laws and have gotten into this country legally and stayed under the FBI's radar, because, Asman says "every time the NYTimes or the Washington Post came out with a new exposure of what our guys were doing, they'd adjust." O'Reilly laughed and complimented him on the "little dig there at the New York Times", and Asman replied "This is the place for it."

Geraldo on Friday - Yet more damage control and spin re O'Reilly's remarks that kidnapped child didn't run from captor because there was something wrong at home, and captivity was better.

The last segment was Geraldo Rivera talking with O'Reilly, "analyzing" the Shawn Hornbeck kidnapping story. O'Reilly is still trying to dig out from under the pile o'poop he's mired in from his incredibly offensive speculation last Monday.

I'm going to save this segment for another post; suffice to say that there was a whole lot of spinning going on about what O'Reilly said, what he meant, and the reaction he got.

Most Ridiculous Item - Liberal speaks out, o'Reilly mischaracterizes.

Robert Redford says that "...anyone with a rational mind,with a sense of decency, is being positioned as a lefty by the behavior of the extreme right. They've kinda pushed it. But I just believe in the basic tenets of democracy, and when they get pushed, shoved, compromised, or attempted to be snuffed, it pisses me off." O'Reilly's frame? Redford chose to say this instead of talking about films. Yeah, that's all he said the entire festival. O'Reilly takes three sentences and turns it into a festival-length political rant. No-spin.