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O'Reilly Ignores Facts to Defend Palin Against "Larry the Cable Guy" Slam

Reported by Julie - April 19, 2010 -

On Friday night (4/17/10), we witnessed a mild-mannered Bill O'Reilly interviewing Cathy Areu, the editor of the Latina magazine "Catalina," who came on the Factor to defend her recent remarks about Sarah Palin. True to form, O'Reilly defended his Fox colleague Palin, and true to form he denied reality in defense of the poor, benighted ex-governor. Prior to the charming but firm (okay, yeah, it could have been a little firmer) pushback by Areu, O'Reilly treated us to the video clip of Areu's remarks -- roll the clip, go.

Said Areu, "Sarah Palin can do no wrong for so many people. I mean, she is a female Larry the Cable Guy minus the class and intelligence . . . ."

What can one say to stark truth? O'Reilly, uncharacteristically, didn't have much. With video.

O'Reilly mildly challenged Areu as to what her primary beef with Sarah Palin is, and, again mildly, reprimanded Areu for her "harsh" comment about Palin. Areu dismissed his reprimand, saying, "She can take it."

"It is pretty harsh," O'Reilly repeated, and asked her to explain to the audience how she "arrived at that conclusion."

". . . I feel that she does portray herself like a 'Larry the Cable Guy,'" Areu insisted. "I'm just your next door neighbor, I'm your Sarah 6-Pack, I can drink beer with you . . . I believe she eats caviar and drinks champagne."

O'Reilly said, "So you think she's a diva . . . ."

Areu defended her remarks by pointing out that Palin is not "going to the Wal-Mart line like I am," and also said that she was given the position on the presidential ticket that "maybe someone like her shouldn't have had."

O'Reilly pushed Palin's success, citing her approval ratings as governor of Alaska being in the high 60's, to which Area responded, "And she left, and she left." O'Reilly wisely chose not to pursue the whole Palin-leaving-her-position-mid-term thing, but instead continued the "Palin success story" pressure, and to justify Palin's place on the presidential ticket, said, "High 60's for a governor in a recession . . . pretty impressive. You could say that all the people in Alaska are Larry the Cable Guy dunderheads . . . ."

With a steely look, Areu said, "I didn't say that."

Woah, O'Reilly -- Areu didn't mention it, but I will: Palin's approval ratings in May 2009 were 55%, down from 80% -- quite a drop. And her nationwide approval in late March 2010 (Alaska doesn't even count any more, really, since it was by then in her rearview mirror) was only 37%, and only 21% among women.

"She was a successful governor," O'Reilly concluded, to which Area agreed that "she's pretty, she looks good," and that "they like her." Yeah, successful, except in her wake as a quitter-in-chief of Alaska she left the highest debt burden in the U.S. -- even surpassing California.

O'Reilly, not content to let sleeping dogs lie, returned to Areu's "silver spoon charge."

"I know Ms. Palin, she's not a diva," O'Reilly posited. Really? Not according to a recent treasure culled as a result of dumpster-diving at Cal State Stanislau. According to documents which some lazy shredder apparently left unshredded, Palin's demands are fairly diva-like.

"Straws must be bendable, not straight. There shall be two bottles, not just one, of unopened water at her lectern. And please, 'no Plexiglass or thin lecterns' . . . airfare shall be first-class for two, unless of course a private jet can be rounded up . . . "The private aircraft MUST BE a Lear 60 or larger (as defined by interior cabin space) for West Coast Events; or, a Hawker 800 or Larger," states the contract, which adds that 'the Speaker Reserves the right to change the flight plans at any time' . . . Ground transportation 'will be by SUV' . . . although 'black town cars may be substituted' . . . don't book the pre-approved 'deluxe hotel' rooms under Palin's name. For security purposes, all hotel accommodations are to be registered 'under an alias.'"

Of course, pre-scripted questions are a must for Palin (after all, there's all that "gotcha" media out there). The Cal State contract decreed, "For Q&A, the questions are to be collected from the audience in advance, pre-screened, and a designated representative ... shall ask questions directly of the speaker to avoid delay time with a roving microphone in the audience." To avoid delay time -- right, that must be why she required those questions up front.

Of course, Palin started practicing for being a diva during the campaign, when she started "going rogue." The phrase, coined by McCain staffers, that Palin and her crew, while running up $150,000 in expenses, were “Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast" seems to indicate Palin was getting pretty comfortable with diva-ism.

O'Reilly touted that he makes a lot of money, but boasted, "I have not changed . . . ." In that case, he was always -- even when poor -- an arrogant, bombastic egotist.

O'Reilly then compared Palin and Areu, saying, "You are a self-made woman . . . a successful professional."

"Thank you," Areu said confidently.

"Governor [not any more, guy] Palin is a self-made woman," O'Reilly argued. "You and her have everything in common, everything, yet you're slamming her and I don't get it."

Areu argued that she's not saying she can relate to people who have more difficult lives than she does, but "she [Palin] is saying she can."

"I don't think she can . . .," Areu insisted, "And I think they believe that she can relate."

O'Reilly -- clearly ignoring the recent press about Palin -- said, "There is not one shred of evidence that Sarah Palin today earning $12 million is different than Sarah Palin three years ago . . . ." There's probably not -- she was probably a $125,000 diva then, and is now a $12 million diva.

"Money changes a person," Areu insisted.

"Not always, it has not changed me . . . I'm worse than I was, all right, when I was poor. I don't care about money . . . ," O'Reilly insisted. Sure, he doesn't care about money -- except he finds a way to mention how wealthy he is every chance he gets.

"You can't relate to me if you're not in line next to me," Area argued firmly.

O'Reilly insisted that he could relate to people because of his alleged blue-collar beginnings, and said, "Sarah Palin's popularity is based on the same experience . . . that I don't think she's thrown overboard."

"Larry the Cable Guy without the class?" O'Reilly asked skeptically.

"He's a charming guy. Don't put down Larry," Areu said lightly.

Areu's unfavorable comparison of Palin to Larry the Cable Guy may hurt Bill's feelings, but from his reference to her as "Governor Palin" to his insistence that she's the same ol' Sarah that sat at the kitchen table with Todd worrying about bills, O'Reilly proved that when it comes to circling the Fox News wagon, he's willing to tilt reality on its head and deny the undeniable. And one more thing: It seems to me that comparing Palin with Larry the Cable Guy does a great disservice to . . . Larry the Cable Guy. As far as I know, Larry's rhetoric -- unlike Palin's -- isn't likely to encourage some wingnut to pull out a gun and shoot some Democrat.