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Is Bill O'Reilly Using Christine O'Donnell As A Political Football?

Reported by Ellen - September 21, 2010 -

Last night (9/20/10), Bill O'Reilly emulated Bill Maher by suggesting he might play some "kind of crazy stuff" that Delaware Tea Party/GOP candidate Christine O'Donnell has said previously on The Factor if she doesn't agree to come on the show now that she has won the Senatorial nomination. O'Reilly added, "We're not gonna play it yet. I don't think it's relevant YET. We'd still like Ms. O'Donnell to come on the Factor. I'm not in the business to injure her. I'd like to see if she's the better candidate." While O'Reilly has been trying to get O'Donnell to come on his show, she has appeared on Hannity and is scheduled to appear on Hannity again tonight, the second time since she won the nomination. O'Reilly's comments smack of a threat - and raise questions about using someone's candidacy in this way.

As Think Progress noted, all of O'Donnell's remarks on The O'Reilly Factor are already available on Lexis-Nexis. But even if they were not, why is someone on a cable news network allowed to withhold or play "kind of crazy stuff" that a candidate says on what seems to be the self-serving whim of the host? Bill Maher, who released the now-infamous "dabbled in witchcraft" video and has threatened to release more if O'Donnell does not come on his show, is not part of a news network. O'Reilly, even if he does host an opinion show, is. If he's got old video that could be relevant to O'Donnell's candidacy, he should air it now. And he should certainly not use it as a club to get her to come on his show.

Can you imagine if Keith Olbermann did such a thing to say, Sarah Palin?

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