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Big story on O'Reilly show remains O'Reilly

Reported by Chrish - October 5, 2007 -

Bill O'Reilly's on a barely disguised mission to malign the rest of the media and make it seem completely dishonest and untrustworthy, so any propaganda his network puts out remains unchallenged and swallowed whole by confused and wary news consumers. So far it's worked, up to a point, but recent trends towards Internet news and information sharing has sent him into more manic bouts of media bashing. The contrived flap with MediaMatters and the controversey over Rush Limbaugh's comments has only fueled his contention that the mainstream liberal elite media is biased and the Internet is populated by smear merchants. Being "taken out of context" is the new whine, and various motives are ascribed - wanting to take him and FOX down, wanting to divert from the MoveOn.org story (**see note below), wanting to censor free speech...

What has really frosted me about this whole storyline are his assertions that the mainstream, now "elite" media and Media Matters have taken him out of context and misrepresented him, when they've provided full transcripts from the beginning. If we're going to talk about taking something out of context, let's hark back to the the Boulder Valley High School "Sex. Teens, and Drugs" panel storyline from June of this year. O'Reilly repeatedly took snippets of audio out of context and misrepresented the flavor and intent of the panel. When called on it by Dave Kopel of the Independence Institute, O'Reilly said if Kopel was a conservative then he was Donald Duck.

Well quack, quack - Kopel's credentials are impeccable. But unlike O'Reilly, he's a conservative and a gentleman, and after thoroughly documenting O'Reilly's misstatements and misrepresentations, he offered O'Reilly an opportunity to correct his errors and rectify the situation. Nearly four months later, Dave Kopel verifies that Bill O'Reilly has not responded the the Independence Institute's polite and reasonable request.

In fact, O'Reilly just recently (9/28) excerpted some of the same out-of-context quotes from the panel to remind viewers of how disgustingly liberal Boulder and the BVHS are, and invited Dan Caplis, a radio host in Colorado who was also invited by the Independence Institute to set the record straight and declined, for some tag-team Boulder-bashing.

For him to accuse others in the media of dishonesty and manipulation and taking things out of context is the ultimate hypocrisy.

Some progressives are saying that we should turn off the lights on O'Reilly, put him on permanent ignore, but his hypocrisy and reality-twisting needs to be noted. He operated without scrutiny for years and built a pathologically loyal following but recent exposure has had an effect on his stature, and his more discerning viewers are beginning to see what lies beneath. The best antibacterials are air and sunlight.

**Note: Monday MoveOn.org paid the difference in ad rates as determined at the New York Times to be a sales error, just to be on the safe side. As of today Rudy Giuliani's campaign has not done the same They demanded and got the standby rate originally charged to MoveOn "in error" and had their ad run on the very next day, also as demanded. The Giuliani campaign has plenty of money and got much more mileage from that ad than they would have ordinarily. Pony up, cheapskate.