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Bill O'Reilly advises Rosie O'Donnell to "knock off the personal attacks, lady"

Reported by Chrish - April 4, 2007 -

After denying to Terry Keenan that there's a feud between himself and Rosie O''Donnell and concurring with Charles Payne that O'Donnell is meanspirited, Bill O'Reilly said she won't listen to Barbara Walters but maybe she'll listen to him. With a straight face he looked right at the camera and said "knock off the personal attacks, lady. Got it?" Is there anyone more irony-challenged in the whole world?

The Rosie O'Donnell vendetta was the top story on The O'Reilly Factor tonight 4/3/07 (but remember, it's not a feud). O'Reilly brought on FOX News business types Terry Keenan and Charles Payne to discuss the implications for ABC and Disney, part of his strategy to get O'Donnell fired. (He also denies that's what he's trying to do, but he keeps suggesting it needs to be done.) In the course of this segment he threw out meaningless, unreferenced poll numbers that say 1. most Americans (60-70%) are "traditionalists" like him and they 2. have been "alienated" by what O'Donnell has said. (According to O'reilly, she is "rooting for Iran" and is telling people that "Americans killed other Americans on 9/11" - nope, no spin there.) He reiterated his view that what she has said is untrue, offensive, and has put our people overseas at risk.

Terry Keenan told O'Reilly he wouldn't like what she had to say, but she thinks ABC will keep O'Donnell on when contract negotiations come around in May. Ratings are down since January (the Trump feud) but they are still up 20% over last year this time. O'Donnell won't get the $40 million she purportedly wants - she can't get more than Barabara Walters makes - but they'll cut her a huge deal. O'Reilly disagrees that she'll get a huge deal, and as to Keenan's assessment that O'Donnell is a slow-motion train wreck, he says "this thing is off the track now."

Payne, when asked by O'Reilly, agreed with his role-playing conclusion that if he was in charge at ABC he'd have let her go a long time ago, but realistically he thinks that ABC will take a chance and keep her on. Payne thinks she is anti-American and a mean-spirited person in contrast to the Disney image, and O'Reilly agreed, plus threw in "she trades in personal attacks, she doesn't control her verbiage, she goes after people in vile ways."

OK, this is the man who sics his staff on judges with whom he disagrees (although he is not a lawyer himself, he feels his outrage is sufficient grounds for interfering in other people's lawsuits.) He has called guests on his show kook, loon, irresponsible public servant, irresponsible person, lunatic, little moppet, passive agressive, subversive - and that's just last month! He constantly accuses liberals of being anti-American haters and identifies people who share his ideologies real patriots, inferring that the other 70% are not. He has stifled the reasonable speech of a 9/11 victim's son and a 29-year Army veteran by cutting off their microphones. Callers to his radio show are routinely yelled at, cut off, and then mocked and ridiculed. O'Reilly is perhaps the meanest, rudest person on television today and has no moral high ground from which to attack other people. None.

O'Reilly then presented another ego-centric role-playing fantasy: he (BOR) is on the board of Disney and overrides president Payne because O'Donnell is bringing in the dough; what does Payne say to that? Payne said that they have to look at the long-term. At the end of Eisner's career, Roy Disney said the company was soulless. Payne doesn't think Eiger wants his legacy to be that the company was classless.

Terry Keenan made the point that O'Donnell's political comments are about 5% of the show, the rest of the time she's talking about her kids, decoupage, etc., and the women who watch the show are not as offended as they would be if the comments were not part of a larger mix. Keenan wouldn't give her a pass, though; she'd bring on a stronger counter-point and make a discussion. (She suggested Michelle Malkin or Laura Ingraham - yeah, all that sweetness will bring down the "mean-spirited" level. Not.)

So, you'd have mud-wrestling, World Wrestling Federation, said the benign O'Reilly. O'Donnell wouldn't brook that (a strong counterpoint); She'd go after them personally. That's the problem, agreed Keenan, as O'Reilly added she doesn't listen to anyone, maybe she'll listen to America's strict father.

Why is this the Top Story on the number 1 rated cable news show? I'll tell you why - because things stink for the Bush administration and we need to be distracted. The rest of the show, which Deborah had to endure, was one sex-themed story after another.

And Rosie O'Donnell may not have been so far off when she advised viewers to Google "Gulf of Tonkin."

Of interest: through all of this O'Reilly keeps asserting that O'Donnell's comments are causing "ill will" toward ABC and parent Disney. Not mentioned is the emergence of the story about pedophiles caught in a sting operation in Florida, some of whom are allegedly Disney employees. Should sales fall off O'Reilly has set up a convenient scapegoat in O'Donnell.