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Bill O’Reilly’s Distasteful Fun: Smearing George Soros

Reported by Ellen - February 22, 2011 -

Let me say this at the outset because I know Bill O’Reilly reads this blog, at least on occasion: I actually like O’Reilly sometimes. He has a decent, fair side to him and he can be pretty darned funny. But he also has a bullying mean streak that is ugly. Yes, Bill, it’s ugly. And last night (2/21/11) that ugly side was showing when he made some gratuitous smears about George Soros.

As any regular News Hounds reader knows, George Soros has been the target of some unconscionably vicious attacks on Fox News, particularly from Glenn Beck. Over the weekend, Soros appeared on CNN’s GPS and, as News Hounds' Alex noted, compared FNC content with the propaganda that led to the collapse of Germany’s Weimar Republic and the rise of the Nazi regime.

Fox News makes a habit…it has imported the methods of George Orwell – Newspeak – where you can tell the people falsehoods and deceive them…You wouldn’t believe that in an open society, a democracy, these methods can succeed. But actually they did succeed, they succeeded in Germany where the Weimar Republic collapsed and you had the Nazi regime following. So this is a very, very dangerous way of deceiving people, and I would like people to be aware that they are being deceived…Because I saw it as a child, I immediately react that way; but people in America are innocent, they haven’t had that experience; they’re having the experience now, and I hope they wake up and realize they are being deceived.

Rather than address the substance of Soros’ remarks, O’Reilly “defended” his network by going after Soros. First, he called Soros a “far left zealot.” Then, wondering why Soros took to the air waves of CNN since there was “no money to be made,” O’Reilly asked, “Why waste the time? Don’t you have any other currencies you want to ruin? Aren’t there any other governments you want to overthrow? Borders you want to tear down? Aren’t there drugs you want to give out free? You know, stuff that he believes in.”

Hahaha – not.

But wait, there’s more. Earlier in the segment, O’Reilly sneered about a group of “left-wing rabbis” who “took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal recently criticizing Fox News for referencing Nazi Germany.”

Actually, it was not a group of left-wing rabbis. The ad specifically stated that the 400 signers represented “diverse political views” but that they all agreed Fox News’ use of the Holocaust – especially with regard to attacks on Soros – was offensive and indefensible. Furthermore, the ad also stated, “We share a belief that the Holocaust, of course, can and should be discussed appropriately in the media. But that is not what we have seen at Fox News.”

That was another detail O’Reilly left out, which is surprising, since he made such a splashy effort to defend his own comparison of Arianna Huffington and the Huffington Post to Nazi tactics just a few weeks ago.

Instead, O’Reilly sneered, “So of course we expect to see another ad from the rabbis shortly hammering Soros.”

I guess O'Reilly's reaction is not so surprising given that Fox News senior vice president of development, Joel Cheatwood, instead of addressing the rabbis concerns with respect, responded by calling them “a George Soros backed left-wing political organization that has been trying to engage Glenn Beck primarily for publicity purposes.”

Nice. But Bill, I thought you had more class than that. Apparently, I was wrong.

Maybe the attack-the-messenger sleight of hand worked with some Fox News viewers, Bill, and it no doubt worked with your boss. But I’ll bet there are plenty who think you only made your network – and you along with it – look bad. Even worse, you kinda sorta just proved Soros’ point.

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