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Spinning O'Reilly

Reported by Chrish - January 7, 2008 -

Bill O'Reilly has once again made himself the center of attention (as if we needed further proof that he is an entertainer and not a journalist). This time he appears to have crossed the line from obnoxious and aggressive behavior into assault, and the FOX News hands are all on deck trying to diminish the implications of what he admits he did - i.e., put his hands on an Obama bodyguard to move him. Colonel David Hunt was a guest on FOX and Friends this morning 1/7/08 to give his first-hand assessment of the situation. Hunt is not visible in any of the video or photos I've seen so I don't know how clear a view he could have had of the shoving incident.

Seth Abramson has two early damage control videos from this weekend, where Brian Wilson first has O'Reilly on the phone and describing how he "gently moved" the 6'8" man after calling him "an s.o.b." and "low class." (Pot, kettle...)

Later Wilson plays a short soundbite, where O'Reilly admits to (perhaps) the foul language and Wilson says it was all verbal, not physical. Nicholson is seen giving a statement that O'Reilly shoved him. Hilariously, both segments with Wilson appear over the lower third chyron "No Spin Zone." We're promised the full story and video tonight on the Factor. Suuure.

This morning Hunt, after a sarcastic intro where he said O'Reilly had been sent to Gitmo, said alternately that there was no scuffle, and that it was classic O'Reilly - Bill removed the bodyguard "very effectively" with a "gentle move" and O'Reilly's behavior was "very appropriate;" "no punches" were thrown. Moments later he said the guy was "knocked out of the way." The upshot is that O'Reilly got to talk to Obama who has "committed" to coming on the show. He and the Friends too promise that we'll see "all the tape" tonight.

Tune in here later tonight for the (hopefully) final chapter. We have to wonder if the bigshots (and his lesser paid colleagues) at News Corp ever get tired of covering Bill's ass.