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In Response to Raines Article, O'Reilly Invokes Names of Fox Newsies Who Support Obamacare -- Ignores The Masses on Fox Who Don't

Reported by Julie - March 14, 2010 -

Boy, Bill O'Reilly was riled up on Friday night (3/12/10) over an article written in the Washington Post (you can read it here) by former NY Times Editor Howell Raines which accuses Fox News of sabotaging Obamacare and "waging a Jihad against the entire Obama Administration . . . a campaign without precedent in our modern political history . . . Through clever use of its cadre of raucous commentators FNC has overturned standards of fairness and objectivity that have guided American print and broadcast journalists since World War II." O'Reilly took some swipes at Raines for his lack of journalistic creds, but if you notice, he really didn't address the message in Raines' article: That Fox has, in fact, waged a Jihad against the Obama Administration and has attempted to sabotage healthcare reform, whether by its promotion of the tea parties or its cadre of strident guests who oppose it. With video.

"Are you kidding me with this?" O'Reilly sneered. "Is this a joke? Standards of fairness at the New York Times and other liberal media organizations? Come on!"

Going on to say that liberal commentators at the New York Times outnumber conservatives 10-1, O'Reilly failed to point out that conservative commentators at Fox outnumber liberal commentators, oh, by about 50-1. At least. Calling Raines a committed liberal who surrounded himself with libs in his tenure at the Times, O'Reilly said, "It is the journalism factor that is really hypocritical here. He was forced to resign his position at the Times largely because of the Jayson Blair scandal, where a young reporter who benefited from affirmative action was found to be a plagiarist." (emphasis added) Leave it to O'Reilly to superfluously toss in the "affirmative action" comment, when in fact, as reported by a New York Times follow-up piece, "Mr. Blair's Times supervisors and Maryland professors emphasize that he earned an internship at The Times because of glowing recommendations and a remarkable work history, not because he is black. The Times offered him a slot in an internship program that was then being used in large part to help the paper diversify its newsroom." And Gerald Boyd, then a Deputy Managing Editor, concurred that the "decision to advance Mr. Blair had not been based on race. Indeed, plenty of young white reporters have been swiftly promoted through the ranks."

And as for Raines himself and that "journalism factor" . . . Raines, along with Gerald Boyd, was in charge of the Times' coverage of the 9/11 attacks, as well as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Enron collapse and the explosion of the space shuttle in Columbia. O'Reilly -- in his zealousness to castigate Raines as a discredited journalist -- failed to mention that in 2002, the New York Times was awarded seven Pulitzer Prizes, six of which were related to coverage of 9/11, coverage which was led, in part, by Raines. So, O'Reilly . . . how many Pulitzer Prizes have you earned, again?

O'Reilly went on to blame the New York Times for the mainstream media accepting Bush's premise that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. "Now, incredibly, Howell Raines is casting himself as the keeper of the journalist flame: 'It is a matter of Fox turning reality on its head with endless repetition of its uber-lie: The American people do not want healthcare reform.'"

"Oh yeah? Well who's the real liar, Mr. Raines?" I waited breathlessly, but O'Reilly declined to elaborate on who the "real liar" is. Or provide any facts or evidence that Raines is a liar. Or provide any facts or evidence of anything. At all.

O'Reilly pointed to a clip of his interview with uber-hater, Ann Coulter, where O'Reilly told her that, as an employer, he hates dealing with insurance companies and they're "tryin' to hose ya." As Coulter nodded like a bobble-head, the clip showed O'Reilly saying, "I think most Americans want healthcare reform."

"Ooooh, ooh . . .," O'Reilly trumpted gleefully, obviously believing that seconds-long clip put the lie to Raines' premises, "We [the Factor] have covered the Obamacare debate carefully and with fairness, as have most of my colleagues." O'Reilly, ramming the point home, verbally vomited out some FNC contributors or hosts who support Obamacare, including Allen Colmes, Juan Williams, Ellis Henican, Geraldo Rivera, Kirsten Powers, Joe Trippi, Bob Beckel and Susan Estrich (Estrich's support for Obamacare I take a little issue with, however, based on this missive).

But, okay, I'll give O'Reilly his, what, eight names, and I'll generously throw in Estrich . . . but in return, he has to give me all the rest of the names left unmentioned . . . such as Fox News' Greta van Susteren and Glenn Beck, who provided a forum for the "get insurance or go to jail" scare tactic, Laura Ingraham, who indulged herself a bit with some harsh anti-Obamacare rhetoric, and Fox News contributor Dick Morris, who gave a shout-out to make calls to stop Obamacare.

A little more Googling . . . Fox & Friends took a swipe at Obamacare, as did John Stossel. And of course we have Sean Hannity, along with Mark Levin doing the anti-healthcare reform thing, Sean Hannity and Michelle Malkin, Sean Hannity faking footage to promote anti-Obamacare revelers, Fox News contributor Fred Barnes showing his bias, Sean Hannity again, airing some more misleading "facts," Fox & Friends' Steve Doocy, along with Laura Ingraham, promoting the conservative "Code Red" rally (at which Ingraham was a speaker), Hannity, van Susteren, Rick Santorum, Bret Baier, Stuart Varney, Dana Perino, Megyn Kelly, and Neil Cavuto copy-catting the "ram it through" anti-healthcare reform rhetoric -- and again, as highlighted by Jon Stewart, we've got Karl Rove, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, Sarah Palin, Steve Doocy, Dr. Marc Siegel and Bill O'Reilly and the "ram it down our throat" idea, along with biased reporting -- even in the "news" divisions of Fox News (yes, we're looking at you, Megyn Kelly).

Na na na na na, na -- I have more names that you, Bill. After Googling for, like, two minutes. So there.

"Howell Raines is finished," O'Reilly concluded. "The NY times is bleeding . . . the elite media . . . has lost enormous power . . . Fox News continues to rise. There ya go."

"Are you kidding me with this?" O'Reilly sneered. "Is this a joke?" No, in fact, Bill, this isn't a joke -- unless you consider that the joke's on you. You threw out eight names of "supporters" of Obamacare on Fox (only one of which is a Fox News host, by the way), and I countered with, what, at least 15 names of Fox Newsies BASHING Obamacare -- without even trying very hard. I'm not sure Raines is the best spokesperson for progressives, but on the other hand, he ain't Sarah Palin or Joe the Plumber, either -- and Fox has had no problem using those goofies as spokespersons for whatever the "regular guy" cause of the day is. Fox, as demonstrated by O'Reilly in this case, does a great amnesia act and pours a hell of a lot of energy into revisionist history when called out. And let's note . . . Raines may be a guy with tarnished journalistic creds, but he's evidently still got enough journalistic juice to rile up O'Reilly.