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O'Reilly cuts mic on Radio Factor interview after guest questions his journalistic standards

Reported by Chrish - February 18, 2007 -

Bill O'Reilly had Billboard Deputy Editor Bill Werde on his radio program to discuss the Dixie Chicks sweep at the Grammys last week, framing the wins as the result of politics and sympathy rather than an acknowledgment of powerful and well-crafted art.

Werde defended the Chicks' sales of over 2 million records (so far) as an achievement while O'Reilly preferred to compare the number to their greatest success to date and note the greatly reduced numbers. Werde persisted in recognizing the achievment, made greater in the face of the withdrawn support of the whole country music industry.

When asked if he had watched the Grammys, O'Reilly said he had, a little, but couldn't take too much of it and segued onto another target, Ludacris, and objectionable language on his winning record. Werde asked him if he had listened to the music on which he was commenting, noting that this latest is a dramatic change in direction for Ludacris. O'Reilly admitted he didn't have a frame of reference to put that into, and Werde asked "Don't you think that's important, to have a frame of reference when you're judging cultural..." Naah, said O'Reilly, I can pull the lyrics and put the lyrics, like I did, on the radio so everyone can hear them, to which Werde replied "that doesn't sound like particularly responsible journalism..." and BAM - O'Reilly was off and running, calling him a snide SOB, and when Werde tried to respond again O'Reilly cut him off - "get him out of here" - and then spent another two minutes ranting about Werde's nerve and Ludacris' offensive language and the culture and and and...

He twisted the words spoken moments earlier, blaming Werde for demeaning O'Reilly's opinion (when he had only questioned the basis for it) and positioning Werde as the one who couldn't have a decent conversation, yet it was O'Reilly who cut him off and called him condescending and a son of a bitch.

Listen for yourselves, with thanks to HSUK for bringing it to our attention and for added graphics.