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FOX News going after CNN

Reported by Chrish - October 5, 2007 -

Bill O'Reilly telegraphed, in his Talking Points Memo of Tuesday 9/25/07 entitled "CNN Goes Over to the Dark Side," that he would avenge himself for their reporting of his unintentionally objectionable comments as originally exposed on MediaMatters.org. Now we see the completely unprofessional saga unfolding, at least on the part of FOX.

That Tuesday night O'Reilly said

"Finally, CNN did a documentary a few weeks ago by Christiane Amanpour. In that documentary, Ms. Amanpour put forth that religion has caused a lot of pain in the world. Now some considered her presentation anti-Semitic and anti-Christian. We could have easily hammered CNN and Ms. Amanpour. It would have been simple to do that. But we did not. They reported, the audience is smart enough to decide if anti-religion bias was present."

(Comment: Interesting that he does not give readers and viewers the same benfit of the doubt about the report that CNN did on his comments as reported by MediaMatters. As noted before, Media Matters did not say O'Reilly is a racist. They quoted the objectionable comments, noted that he has said racially provocative things before, and then printed the entire transcript, highlighting the objectionable comments. Isn't the audience smart enough to decide if subtle racism was present?)

The series, serious in-depth journalism which received very good reviews and ratings, apparently displeased some ultra-sensitive religious types but there was no big media kerfuffle - until now, as FOX creates another faux controversey to bolster its own ratings and to demean and impugn a competitor.

Amanpour, who has been with CNN for almost 25 years, is a respected world-class investigative reporter and anchor, and to have the three clowns on the couch smearing her is almost too much to bear. Today they bragged that their off-hand smears from the other day got picked up by that bastion of news reporting, Variety.

This F&F "report" only told us that "a number of" Christians and Jews were complaining that the program said that extremist Christians and Jews were similar to extremist Muslims ("homicide bombers"), and accused CNN of "errors in reports" (as proclaimed on the banner for much of the segment). What raised Doocy's eyebrows was the fact that CNN intends to re-run the series this month despite these complaints of "anti-religious" reporting.

This is a two-fer for FOX. They get to criticize the reporting on a competitor network at a most opportune time, while O'Reilly is still galloping on his high horse of indignation, and they get to appear sympathetic to the religious right, part of the Republican base that is drifting away amid continuing reports of sexual scandals in that party.

Expect the attacks to continue - that's all they've got.