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O'Reilly Gives Bernie Goldberg a Platform to Blame Obama For Birther Controversy

Reported by Ellen - July 30, 2009 -

Guest blogged by Julie

On last night’s The O’Reilly Factor (7/29/09), despite his claims of not being sympathetic to the “birther movement,” O’Reilly let Bernard Goldberg take the floor, and keep it for way too long, to blame Obama for not releasing his birth certificate and accuse the White House of some kind of conspiracy of using the controversy to attack Republicans. With video.

And Bill, Bill -- I thought we were really getting somewhere last night. I gave you a shout out for being reasonably fair and balanced when you had Glenn Beck on, didn’t I? I nodded in approval when you were scornful of the birthers. And how do you repay me? You let Goldberg run wild, unfettered, with his Gestapo-style “produce your documents” act. You didn’t run the right clip, now, did you – the one where Dobbs questions the authenticity of the President’s documents? You even gave Goldberg a green light on floating the Chicago Mafia White House theory of document suppression.

Well, okay, so maybe O’Reilly really isn’t a “birther” (you know who they are, those kooks who still believe President Obama was born in Kenya and therefore is not a legitimate president); he called the claims that the President isn’t a citizen “bogus.” And it’s hard to tell what O’Reilly thinks of CNN’s Lou Dobbs. Now, I thought O’Reilly’s teaser the night before that Dobbs might appear on the Factor tonight was a little shifty, but maybe somebody yanked Dobbs out at the last minute. But the breakdown in trust in the close and warm relationship between myself and O’Reilly came when he only aired the clip in which Dobbs said he believed the President was a U.S. citizen, and conveniently FORGOT to air the clip in which Dobbs said there might be a “document issue.”

Well, I guess we’ll just proceed without Dobbs’ participation – and O’Reilly, the jury’s still out on you. Roll the Dobbs clip, guys.

“I said, even though I believe the President is a citizen of the United States, I don’t understand why he shouldn’t produce a birth certificate . . . I’m not gonna back off of anything, folks. With all of these attacks coming from what I call these limp-minded, lily-livered, lefty lemmings, you know, I gotta say a quick thanks to Bill O’Reilly, last night, he defended me, Bill O’Reilly is a stand-up guy and you can take that to the bank.”

Well, it’s no mystery why O’Reilly wanted to air that particular clip. While Dobbs is feelin’ the love from the birthers, O’Reilly is feelin’ the love from Dobbs. Sweet.

Enter Goldberg, the guy who once cleverly quipped, “A man needs a humorless feminist like a fish needs a bicycle.” (I know, it has nothing to do with anything here, but there’s no such thing as too much information.) Goldberg is also a guy who’s no stranger to going head to head with the media, having once said of Media Matters, “screw them,” “bring it” and “they’re throwing spitballs at battleships." So, I’d guess Goldberg had a little right-out-of-the-gate sympathy for Lou Dobbs, with all those leftist, humorless feminists (aren’t all liberals feminists?) being so harsh about Dobbs’ baseless and racially-tinged denigration of our nation’s President.

O’Reilly noted that CNN was embarrassed about Dobbs, and that it had told Dobbs to “shut up,” because his birther-blather was hurting CNN’s image.

Goldberg lashed out in true I-stand-with-my-white-brethren form, saying, “CNN should not – repeat not – fire Lou Dobbs for talking about this. Lou Dobbs didn’t say Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States [no, of course not -- by “document issue” he must have meant his driver’s license was expired], he said just the opposite, he said he was born in the United States, but then he said he should produce his birth certificate . . . why wouldn’t President Obama release his birth certificate? . . . I have a theory, and the theory is this: That the Chicago Mafia inside the White House want to keep this crazy controversy going, because the longer it goes the better the chance that they will conflate the crazy right-wing fringe with regular conservatives and regular Republicans.”

Hmm, now, this is news, this supposed distinction between “crazy right-wing fringe” and “regular conservatives and regular Republicans.” On another note, Lou Dobbs did in fact suggest that President Obama had citizenship issues -- oh, excuse me, “document issue” – meaning, I guess, he’s an illegal immigrant and should be deported, just as soon as he posts all his grade school artwork and Little League batting records and Boy Scout badges and Ivy League transcripts and Law Review articles and Illinois Senate and U.S. Senate records on the internet. Although O’Reilly just mentioned it on the Factor two nights ago, he failed to note last night that proof of President Obama's Hawaii birth certificate is on the internet for any inquiring minds that want to know.

O’Reilly allowed Goldberg to continue his tirade, largely unfettered.

“How about your college records, Mr. President?” Goldberg demanded. “What’s in those records that you don’t want us to know about? He didn’t release those – he could put an end to this . . . and Lou Dobbs is right to raise the question, why doesn’t he release it? . . . They want to keep this thing going to make regular Republicans and regular conservatives look like a bunch of lunatics.” Well, whoever’s behind it, it’s working like a charm.

O’Reilly said that CNN is now in a position where they have a “renegade – a renegade – on the air. Lou is a renegade! Now, listen, they can’t fire him . . . he’s doing okay and he’s a big guy.” O’Reilly calls himself a journalist, and yet didn’t mention that journalists can get fired for, you know, that unethical stuff, like reporting lies? (I mean, on other networks besides Fox News.) And does O’Reilly think the fact that Dobbs is a “big guy” and is “doing okay” means he isn’t required to have journalistic standards?

Goldberg said that CNN’s Jon Klein is “worried that he’s gonna lose some loyal viewers because they’re sick and tired of hearing Lou Dobbs talk about this.” O’Reilly, again, failed to note that the bigger issue should be lack of journalistic integrity, and a failure of ethics.

“And I think that’s a legitimate worry,” O’Reilly broke in. Goldberg thought that if viewership falls, “even Lou will get the message and he’ll stop talking about it.”

Oh, I see – that’s how journalism works in the big time? Dobbs will cut out the racial fear mongering and present the truth – the evidence of which is out there for anyone to see – if ratings fall and he’s forced to? It seems O’Reilly and Goldberg have no beef with a lack of ethics, as long as the public keeps lapping it up and ratings stay high.

If there’s a greater endorsement for putting that old fool out to pasture, I don’t know what it would be.

Oh, and yeah – I was talking about Dobbs.