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Bill O’Reilly Defends “Ambush Journalism” While Right Wing Gal Pal, Amanda Carpenter, Agrees

Reported by Priscilla - April 3, 2009 -

In yet another sterling example of Bill O’Reilly’s cognitive dissonance and denial of reality, he defended his harassment machine as “a legitimate brand of journalism.” Not surprisingly Amanda Carpenter agreed. Bill does seem to have a number of conservative, female BFF’s (Margaret Hoover and Monica Crowley) and Amanda, whose solid conservative C.V. includes Townhall, Human Events, a hit piece on Hillary Clinton, and now the Washington (“Moonie”) Times, provides a nice echo chamber. On a recent “Factor,” (April1st) Bill engaged in classic O’Reilly narcissism and delusions of grandeur. Not only is Bill O’Reilly America’s Big Daddy; but he is the infallible pope of cable news – or so he imagines!

Bill began with a whopper: “Now. The far-left websites fear greatly the vicious guy Jesse Watters.” Naturally, his handmaiden of hate, Ms. Carpenter, agreed and said ”… there’s been a site, Crooks and Liars, that compiled a bunch of videos of Jesse Watters ambushing a number of people for your segments, and they call this harassment, they say it is absolutely harassment – you know, they’re very frightened at the prospect of a Fox News producer coming after them….” The coginitve dissonance and denial of reality came with this BOR gem: “It's interesting...They didn’t say anything – we’ve been doing this, I guess, for six or seven years, until the far-left websites got involved. Then they got really nervous. This is, of course, a legitimate brand of journalism, it’s been practiced ever since television news was invented in the ‘60s. When the bad guys won’t comment, when they run and hide, we will find them.” (So I guess Bill does think that Amanda Terkel was a “bad guy.”) A ROFL moment came when he claimed that Jesse Watters was “polite.” (Uh, accusing somebody, with no basis, of being dishonest, during an ambush interview, is polite – oh, excuse me, but in my “SP” world, that is considered rude and inappropriate.)

Comment: “Legitimate Journalism?” – Well let’s take a look at the Society of Professionalism Code of Ethics: “Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance. Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.” Jon Stewart showcased Bill’s hypocrisy regarding privacy in a brilliant smackdown of Bill’s “ambush journalism.” He played a video of BOR saying that famous people’s privacy is being violated by intrusive papparazzi and that “the right to privacy is a basic constitutional tenet and that is not ridiculous. We have the papparazzi, we think they’re the scum of the earth.” As Stewart pointed out, after playing some of Bill’s ambushes, “they have no trouble defending a celebrity’s right to privacy with their intimidation of everyone else.” As noted in the commentary on Crooks and Liars, “The power of the press is very easily abused, especially against ordinary private citizens who aren't celebrities, and whose privacy is every bit as sacred as Bill O'Reilly's.” If O’Reilly thinks that this is “legitimate journalism,” perhaps he could interview some of his former journalism professors from the Boston University Graduate School of Journalism. It could provide the basis for discussion about what is hack and what is real journalism. Oh, wait, if it ain’t “ambush journalism,” it ain’t “real journalism, fair and balanced.”

I’ll leave you with the Fox video, the Jon Stewart piece, and some brilliantly scathing commentary from an article in the St. Petersburg Times which discusses Bill’s latest attack and which describes Bill as a “bloviating, foaming-at-the-mouth, make-believe anchorman Bill O'Reilly, of FOP News” and “Rush Limbaugh’s “cabana boy.”

So, Bill who is really the “scum here?”

H/T to Think Progress and Crooks and Liars.

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