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O'Reilly R.I.P.s the "elite" media

Reported by Chrish - October 5, 2007 -

In a double-length segment tonight 10/04/07 on the O'Reilly Factor, he, Jane Hall, and Bernie Goldberg discussed the impending death of the news media. In a surreal twist, Goldberg was the voice of reason, saying it's been trending downward for 20 years, while O'Reilly crowed that his fight against (and win, in his own mind) CNN and MediaMatters was the last straw.
With video.

The segment was far too long to detail here so I'll just give a few highlights.

He started the segment by asking if the "elite" media is doomed, after millions of Americans saw the gross representations of Rush Limbaugh and "your humble correspondent" in the last ten days. He cited yesterday's ratings, and misrepresented them to his viewers. He said in the 25-54 demo for MSNBC, they had 80,000 viewers, average, for the 24-hour period, which is "like being off the air. CNN, almost as bad." Actually CNN doubled that, with 165,000 viewers average. But the slap at his two rivals was made and no-one will be the wiser - in his audience, anyway.

Goldberg said that journalism has changed over the years (going all the way back to the 1950s), when he said reporters opinions were more diverse than today, but when women and minorities came in they pushed the newsroom further and further to the left. (I do believe Mr. Goldberg just contradicted himself.) Minorities and women are overwhelmingly liberal, like Ann Coulter just said:, and editors should start affirmative action programs for conservative journalists.

O'Reilly thinks it's not the fault of women and minorities, it's bad and corrupt management. News watchers, he said, are "smart. Dummies watch the dancing shows and the cha-cha shows - not, you don't have to be dumb, but..." intelligent people watch news and know when something is brutally unfair. He contends again that the "startling," "stunning" audience loss at CNN in the past ten days has to be due to the "attacks" on him and Limbaugh; there's nothing else in play.

Not to nitpick, but according to FOX-favoring site TVNewser, CNN's total viewers yesterday (10/3) in prime time were up 214,000 (37%) over ten days ago (9/24) and up 49,000 (7%) over this time last week (9/26). (793, 579, and 744, respectively.)

O'Reilly insisted, over Hall's objections, that the "grossly unfair" treatment of himself and Limbaugh caused the (imaginary) decline at CNN, and he rehashed his version of the incident. Smart Americans (not the dummies watching Dancing with the Stars) knew that was wrong, and he believes they've tuned out because of it.

Hall said that he and Limbaugh both have very big microphones (and you know what they say about that...) so she has no problem with the fight working itself out in the media, but to tie it to the decline of the mainstream media....

O'Reilly cut her off. He said "if someone said Jane Hall did this, was a racist, demeaned the troops - that's wrong." (Just to try and set the record straight, 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. That's all. He took it wrong, got defensive, and spun it until he was the victim of a vicious deliberate smear. If he had just said "wow, that didn't come out right and I'm sorry if anyone took it the wrong way..." this would be over. But then he wouldn't be able to attack and attack and attack David Brock and Media Matters and MoveOn.org and CNN and and and.)

Even if you have the microphone, "you don't level false charges in this country" (unless you're a FOX star).

Goldberg said, with all due respect, that trust in journalism has been eroding for a long time, not just in the past ten days, and it's because of the move to the left. Hall snuck in that people on the right beat up on the mainstream media for reporting that is a lot more fair than "you guys" give them credit for, and of course both men objected.

But enough about the media - back to Bill! He said he and Limbaugh, the "two largest 'traditional' targets in the country," are the vicitms, and they (the "elites") could have "done this" in a much 'better' way because they chose things that the victims could illustrate were dishonest, false.

Goldberg said again that this has been coming for 25 years, and O'Reilly said the set-up was ripe and this was the push. He and Goldberg agreed that conservative viewers "hate" the "elite" media, and they are in desperate trouble.

Hall snuck in again (Goldberg was supposed to get the last word but O'Reilly kept arguing with him, leaving openings for Hall) and brought up the growth of FOX News and the "increased partisan niche nature of our media" - more Republicans watch FNC and more Democrats watch CNN and that's a new factor. O'Reilly interrupted again and "[broke] it to [her] gently, Jane, the Democrats who were watching CNN - a lot of them ain't there anymore."

Says who? Where? Care to back that up?

What is greater at this point, his ego or his paranoia?