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O'Reilly Poorly Defends His Ambush Journalism

Reported by Deborah - August 24, 2007 -

Bill O'Reilly likes to send his young, eager to please producers all over the country to confront his chosen victims. Last night, 8/23/07, Bill defended his "ambush journalism" with one of his travelling producers, Jesse Watters, who had recently experienced some legal hassles during an ambush in Tampa which Chrish posted about yesterday. O'Reilly wanted viewers to believe these ambushes were necessary to his noble crusade against evil showing clips of selected confrontations and leaving out many others .

The fact that Watters parked in someone's driveway when the police were called in Tampa seemed to be of no consequence to O'Reilly because trespassing is sometimes necessary in his quest for justice. (Really now, does Batman worry about trespassing?) Watters assured viewers that the police were on his side anyway because they don't like the Judge he tried to ambush. He returned their support by showing the face of the helpful cop who told him, off the record, that the Judge had a bad reputation. Oops.

Then, of course, we got to see Mike Nifong in his bathrobe while Watters explained as a lacrosse player he felt great solidarity with the Duke students. FOX got a lot of mileage from that ambush. That bathrobe clip shows up on FNC everytime Nifong's name is mentioned. However, it's hard to say how it can be described as journalism.

Watters next proudly recounted his experience ambushing Bill Arkin, the NBC journalist who said something O'Reilly didn't like. Watters waited outside his house watching as he loaded his car with ice skates and his children indicating a family outing. Watters then followed him for and hour and a half to Massachusetts confronting Arkin and his children in a parking lot. Watters claimed he usually doesn't like to ambush with kids watching but this time it was okay because Arkin deserved it. O'Reilly was interested to know if Arkin knew he was being followed. I guess the Arkin kids didn't get to enjoy ice skating with Dad. Another example of valuable " ambush journalism".

When O'Reilly asked Watters if he was ever afraid out in the field fighting the good fight, he replied, " I'm just afraid coming back empty hand for you". Now that's the kind of loyalty Bill-O wants from all of us.

The News Hounds archives have some other examples he failed to share with viewers. Of course, time was limited on The Factor so we're glad to help out.

There was that time in Boulder when a frightened school administrator was followed into her garage and she narrowly escaped through the garage door into her house. Another silly incident happened at Barack Obama's book signing when they challenged him to come on The Factor to get a reaction and they did it again to John Edwards during a campaign stop. Who can forget the classic ambush when a trembling Jane Fonda was followed to her car with a mic in her face. Now that was great journalism.