Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Wannabe media monitor Bill O'Reilly gets nailed by Kirsten Powers

Reported by Chrish - February 27, 2007 -

O, 'twas a delight on the O'Reilly Factor tonight 2/26/07 as Kirsten Powers straightened her spine and fought with Bill O'Reilly, even as he overtalked, shouted, and finally resorted to name-calling. His lame attempts to watch-dog the media rest too much on his subjective opinions of what everyone should be reporting, and how they should spin it. Anything different from his spin is "liberal."

O'Reilly kept his promise of last Friday and devoted his Talking Points Memo to his accounting of which outlets reported the story about Charles Rust-Tierney, a Virginia youth-sports coach and former ACLU chapter president who was charged with possession of child-pornography. O'Reilly is certain that this "big, important" story is not being reported by some in the mainstream media as a sort of liberal cover-up, because of the accused's ties to the ACLU and their work against Internet censorship in libraries and their involvement defending NAMBLA. He noted who did (ABC News, the AP, and the Washington Post, although he complained about the placement) and who did not (NYTimes, NBC News, CBS News, CNN, and "most major papers" - the local Washington NBC did cover it: Youth Sport Coach Charged In Child Pornography Case NBC 4.com, DC - Feb 23, 2007).
O'Reilly claims this "failure" to cover this "colossal embarrassment to the ACLU" is in contrast to the coverage of the Ted Haggard scandal. (Kirsten Powers explains in her later segment why this comparison is not valid.) He claims that they are no longer objective and exist only to push the liberal agenda and to disparage "traditionalists." (If this isn't projection, what is? Substitute "right-wing" and "liberals" and voila! Fox News!)

O'Reilly cites the Arkin incident and the Edwards' "anti-Christian" bloggers and the lack of national media attention as proof that the American press is corrupt. He wailed that journalism is at an all-time low, "right before" (for chryssake, it's 20 months away!) "one of the most important presidential elections in history. (Remember, he was a history major and teacher. TG he got out of that profession quickly. In fact, he only taught 1971-1973, moving on - coincidentally I'm sure - with the end of the military draft, from which teachers were exempt.) Yeah, that mainstream press (excluding #1, of course) is promoting ideology instead of providing information. If NBC and the NYTimes don''t explain to Bill O'Reilly why they didn't cover the "ACLU debacle", all Americans should turn away from them.

Note to O'Reilly: the only lemmings who would follow your advice are already watching you and not reading the New York Times. Puh-leeeze.

Later in the show he had Michelle Malkin and Kirsten Powers on to discuss the supposed left-wing media's ignoring of this story. No surprise, MM agreed completely that it was not widely reported because his (former) affiliation was with the ACLU, and claimed with certainty that IF he had been chair of the VA chapter of the Christian Coalition, it would have been on the front page of the Washington Post. She then went on to say there are two kinds of bias sins, commission (the only example she gave was Bill Arkin's "mercenaries" column) and omission, asserting again that they covered it differently than they would have IF this had been a right-wing (oops - she hastily corrected herself) or conservative guy.

O'Reilly asserted that this would do tremendous damage to the ACLU, which is involved with NAMBLA - they are "propping them up, pro bono" - and they are involved with trying to keep Internet filters out of libraries. (To my surprise, the NAMBLA case is from 2000 - I thought it was current from the way BOR spoke about it, in the present tense. And the Internet free speech suits have been going on for a decade, hardly a secret.) And this guy was involved in the Internet filters case! (getting shrill now) and he was coaching youth sports teams! O'Reilly has already connected all the dots and found this fellow guilty as charged and then some. This is beyond anything he's ever seen in "30 years of journalism." (Move over, Dr. Tiller.)

Malkin agrees, of course, and adds that this "extreme and radical bias in favor of civil liberties extremism" prevents reporting on stories that will undermine the "pre-fab narrative" of the Bush administration assaults on civil liberties.

Kirsten Powers was finally allowed to speak and stated first that Rust-Tierney was a former, former chapter president and could not be compared to Haggard who was, at the time of his exposure, the head of a major mega-church and the head of the National Council of Evangelicals. If he. conversely, had been a past pastor of a smaller local church it would not have garnered headlines. (See, two can play this straw-man fake what-if game.) When she said you can't equate the two, O'Reilly interrupted - why can't you? He badgered her, whining, the whole time and she did not back down. When O'Reilly said that he (R-T) worked on "library filters", Powers correctly noted that he can't extrapolate a connection, but then she went along with the "guilty" frame, saying he's obviously disturbed, and he should be arrested, but it doesn't have any bearing on the ACLU. O'Reilly badgered her some more and she stood firm, that it doesn't rise to the same level as Haggard (talk about a straw-man argument!) because he R-T is no longer employed at the ACLU. (Hey, for all we know he could have been quietly fired 2 years ago for misbehavior. Wouldn't that make the ACLU good guys? But this possibility would wreck the whole pre-fab narrative O'Reilly has concocted so he won't entertain that possibility. He has enough facts to reach his conclusion and make his point and that's what he's gonna do.)

Getting shriller and more indignant, BOR asked Powers if she didn't think this was press corruption? She looked taken aback and said absolutely not. But, he sputtered, there was an AP article that went out to every newspaper in the country (not!) and they didn't print it! Powers argued that it wasn't a NYT story, and that the Washington Post printed it because it's a Washington-area story. More indignation and mis-information: O'Reilly practically shrieked "B-15?" (Actually, no, it was on B-5, as Malkin stated correctly a moment ago, with the rest of the local arrests.)

Powers reiterated "He doesn't work at the ACLU anymore! It's not national news when a former head of an office does something." O'Reilly was sputtering, twisting in his chair, muttering "o my god, I'm, I'm," and looking around the studio in hopelessness.

He told her the mail's going to run against her about 30:1, and she said "shocking", getting a laugh from Malkin.

O'Reilly segued into another media-bashing topic, why won't the press identify illegal aliens who are charged with crimes? Malkin: it's a sin of omission; why do we have to divine whether someone is here illegally? There's an open-borders agenda in the media. Kirsten was allowed 20 seconds to speak and said "he's an alleged illegal immigrant, is how it's been reported" and O'Reilly wrinkled his face in disgust, saying "you know he's an illegal alien, everybody knows it" and Powers told him he can't jump to those conclusions. He asked her if she'd like to bet and when she said no, he bellowed, mocking, "I don't wanna bet!" She kept talking, saying that a reporter has to confirm, and O'Reilly said "then you put the word 'alleged' in front of it, 'police believe'..." (with a you idiot" tone of voice.) But Powers had JUST said that that's how it's been reported! O'Reilly ended the segment by calling her an apologist.

Now, to a FOX apologist, this was a fair and balanced segment: one guest on O'Reilly's side, one taking an opposing view. The only prioblem is, O'Reilly took a side, not moderating but advocating the right-wing perspective. (In case you haven't noticed, he always takes the right-winger's side.) He allowed Malkin to speak and elaborate on their shared point of view (about 2m25s) , and he then interrupted, overtalked, and challenged Powers' take on things, cutting into her already lesser time (about 1m50s). This was two people against one, and Powers held her own against a hostile host.

Addendum: Last night a Google News search revealed no reporting on this topic from FOXNews.com; this morning there is a link to the TPM linked above. FOX News is not reporting this story either, lol.