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O'Reilly bemoans exploitation of Spitzer story as he covers it for third day running

Reported by Chrish - March 13, 2008 -

For the third night in a row Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points Memo was about Eliot Spitzer and the prostitute, a story he claims to hate. Last night 3/12/08 it morphed into a critique of the media (hypocrites, he called "them") and a condemnation of the Internet for making the oldest profession in the world "acceptable." With video.

Monday night 3/10 O'Reilly warned viewers not to celebrate the downfall and voiced concern for Spitzer's wife and daughters - then followed up with a "Top Story" segment that pretended to psychoanalyze the soon-to-be-ex-Governor. Last night 3/11 he spun the story into a reflection of farleft blogs and "hate sites," citing three innocuous reader comments on the Huffington Post (made on who-knows which of 241 articles found using "Spitzer+prostitute") , further smearing Arianna Huffington. He accused the left of hypocrisy because "every time a Republican or a clergyman gets into trouble, these same far-left loons gleefully join in the witch-burning." That's because they are either hypocrites preaching against gay sex while soliciting it, or "advocates" for children who get caught propositioning underage targets. Everyone I've seen on teevee the past three days has said Spitzer had to resign over this and most mentioned the hypocrisy - there was no partisanship about it. It has brought up, in some circles, the issue of why is prostitution illegal but that's a legitimate topic and reasonable adults have differing views on it.

Tonight 3/12 O'Reilly said "some people" are wondering why Spitzer had to step down while others (Frank, Studds, Vitter, and Craig - notice he went back 18 years to nab a Democrat in his net, and left out Mark Foley) didn't. He concluded it's because Spitzer is a "law and order" guy caught, apparently, breaking the law.

The press loves a scandal, noted O'Reilly, and has gone wild "even though" Spitzer is a Democrat. So much for the liberal media hypocrisy theory, huh? O'Reilly called The Nation's Editor, Katrina van den Heuvel, a farleft loon and a fool for suggesting there was a conspiracy. Actually, RawStory reports that she discussed with bona fide conservative Joe Scarborough whether Spitzer was targeted for wiretapping because he went after Wall Street big shots, not too far-fetched when you think of all the money and power involved. Does O'Reilly really have no imagination, or is he dismissing as ridiculous possiblilities that would shine light on the behind the scenes machinations of the power players? You decide.

His permanent substitute host Laura Ingraham joined him to condemn everyone, fair and balanced style, for the Top Story. Ingraham's callers complained about "farleft" people's opinion that this is a victimless crime. While she didn't name any, she declared there are a lot of victims and voiced concern that Spitzer could have brought diseases home to his wife. (High-priced hookers are scrupulously clean and monitored by doctors - that's part of what men are paying for, a guarantee.) With domestic abuse still rampant and STDs amongteen girls at an all-time high, we've got a problem in this country - it's a culture war issue, agreed O'Reilly.

If this had been a Republican, he claimed, there would have been a witch-burning. But since it's a Democrat, everyone's asking why it's such a big deal; "the hypocrisy is just rank." Comment: the recent Republican scandals have involved massive hypocrisy of men who deplored homosexuality publicly and engaged in it privately, and men who claimed to be child advocates who were simultaneously targeting minors. And it must be noted that Bill O'Reilly feigning outrage over adult consensual sexual behavior is the pinnacle of hypocrisy.

O'Reilly blamed...the Internet. It has made almost every kind of behavior acceptable in this country, from child molestation on up. I believe he is confusing making some things easier with making them acceptable. The Internet has also made identity theft easier but no one applauds that. Why doesn't he blame phones? Or cars? TeeVee? How about the consumption-driven economy that forces families to have both parents working? How about fashion designers? And mothers who let their tweens dress like their pop tart idols? There's plenty of blame but like Cavuto and "business," O'Reilly can tie any story to 1.) the wicked Internet 2.) the liberal (corrupt) press or 3.) illegal immigrants.

He had an opening to show the front page of the Emperor's Club website, and Ingraham said they all were complicit in amplifying this stuff - the analysis, the delving into specifics, etc. Good for her. O'Reilly defended, saying his job is to educate: what's happening, who's involved, should the government intervene... but they don't exploit the situation. He said The Factor is not reveling in the story - he hates the story, he hates it. But on the other hand, you have to report it. As noted at the beginning, this is the third night running for both his TPM and Top Story to be devoted to Spitzer. But he's not exploiting it, noooo. He hates it. O'Reilly claims he chooses his own topics - he doesn't get orders from on high. So either he lied about that, or he's a hypocrite. Let me count the ways....