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O'Reilly Factor: Vast Left Wing Conspiracy, Abetted by Low-life Cartoonists, Godless Lyricists and a Dishonest Press, Seeks to Torture Poor Christians

Reported by Marie Therese - December 10, 2005

During last night's Talking Points Memo, Bill O'Reilly had little nice to say about the newspaper, USA Today, or political cartoonist Mike Thompson. O'Reilly blathered on about all his "successes" in the war on Christmas, then proceeded to say: "Take a look at this cartoon [3rd one down] in USA Today. which has been drifting left over the last years. It has a scary-looking anchorman - probably me - shouting Christmas warnings, then the cartoonist takes a shot at conservatives and says the whole thing is about quote 'faulty intelligence.'"

"Well, that's the kind of thing we have seen over and over again in the media. Today on the CBS Radio News with Christopher Glenn, he reported (snidely) conservative Christians forced Speaker Hastert to call the Capitol tree a Christmas tree. Yeah, those conservative Christians again. Oh-ho-ho. Of course, liberal Christians, Jews, atheists, all kinds of people are objecting to the diminishment of Christmas. ... Christian Americans have a right to celebrate Christmas without being demeaned. ... Talking Points knows that you - the viewer - know what's going on here. The good news is we're actually winning. Nearly every time we embarrass the secular forces, they cave. Only a few stores are now banning 'Merry Christmas. ... And once again, we're not going for a boycott or any other punitive action. We are (emphatic gesture with hand) defending Christmas. We are exposing people who are disrespecting the federal holiday and the media that covers it up and we'll continue to do that." [End Talking Points Memo]

[COMMENT: By eschewing a boycott, O'Reilly is clearly covering his tracks in an effort to placate seasonal advertisers. As I pointed out in a prior post, O'Reilly's unique concept of wooing advertisers by insulting them probably did not go down well in the advertising offices at FOX News Central.

MUST SEE VIDEO: On last weekend's FOX News Watch, media writer Neil Gabler finally had as much as he could take of the phony war on Christmas. He dominated the segment and said, in no uncertain terms, FOX News was the big elephant in the room, the main promoter of a war that simply doesn't exist. You can watch the video at Media Matters. It is breathtaking and probably means that we will never see Mr. Gabler again on FOX News. He really lets loose, goes completely off script!]

During his hissy little Memo, O'Reilly made a big deal out of a Wisconsin town that changed the words of Silent Night, removing the religious references. He then interviewed FOX News Watch regular, Jim Pinkerton. Very early on in the discussion, Pinkerton admitted that politics is the only reason Dennis Hastert changed the name of the Capitol Holiday Tree to the Capitol Christmas Tree.

O'REILLY: In Newsday, where you write, they have a front page today [12-09-05] about the priest and the politician, OK? And then underneath the article they have Ellis Henican sayin' - our pal, Ellis Henican, who we had on last night - oh, there is no Christmas controversy and then in the sidebar Newsday says (raise both hands, mocking tone) "It's the Christian conservatives." (Pinkerton laughs.) How do you read all this, pardon the pun? Isn't it nonsense?

PINKERTON: Well, it's a question - as Groucho Marx said: Who you gonna believe, me or your own two eyes? I mean, if you see all the evidence that John Gibson put together in his book, for example, that you've been putting on your show, it's overwhelming and to deny what's right in front of your eyes requires a real act of will, which I guess some people - including Ellis, whom we both like ...

O'REILLY: Right.

PINKERTON: ... and revere as a colleague here are just choosing not to see what's right in front of them.


PINKERTON: I think they hate to admit that for the last thirty or forty years, going back to the school prayer decision in 1962, that they have been waging a war against Christmas and against Christian tradition, against Christian observance. And the bluff has been called. Majority rules. These, these capitalist outfits like Target and so on, they - they're simply reflecting their customers. The, the - Denny Hastert is reflecting the majority of the Republican Party (recovers from his fumble quickly) And, frankly, the majority of Americans, the FOX News polls show 84% count themselves as Christian in this country.

O'REILLY: Right. And 95% celebrate Christmas. Alright.

PINKERTON: So, the majority is simply, finally having its way.

[COMMENT: Oops! Pinkerton in a rare moment of absolute candor plainly admitted that Speaker of the House Dennis "Denny" Hastert changed the name of the Capitol tree for narrow political gain. The GOP has been hijacked by the Christian religious right and, the Republican leadership continues to make it abundantly clear that it is quite willing to play footsie with fanatics like Falwell, Dobson, Robertson and Perkins. Boy, I sure would hate to be a moderate Republican in today's "biblically correct" GOP.]

O'Reilly continues to be more and more over the top. Murdoch shoould rein him in. After all, to paraphrase one of the right wing's favorite phrases: Loose lips sink networks.

Bill later said: "I mean, I laughed when I saw one of our competitors on cable news, you know, promote - ("pirate" voice, mocking) "Oh, there's no war on Chri" - (normal voice) And I'm sayin': 'You people are so stupid' and they are. And there is [the implication that] the Christian conservatives are all behind this. And, you know, as you said, intelligent people who run these newspapers, they know what's goin' on. But they're being dishonest, are they not being dishonest?

PINKERTON: I think they're stuck with their story and they have to stick with it and it, it's ...

O'REILLY: But that's dishonesty.

PINKERTON: Well, OK. It serves them, though, to - look. I would guess that maybe 25 or 30 percent of the people in this country really count as conservative Christians in the Falwell-Robertson-Opus Dei mode.

O'REILLY: Right.

PINKERTON: I just think there's a huge chunk in the middle who are just sort of culturally Christian. They're not even necessarily religious.

O'REILLY: But they're teed off about it.

PINKERTON: Exactly. That's the point. They grew up with this stuff. When somebody says "Silent Night," the song, the lyrics come to them without being, being ...

O'REILLY (Agitated): Right! Not, not the new lyrics, though!! (Pinkerton laughs) The new lyrics for the little kids. Can you imagine forcing little kids not to sing the song!!!

PINKERTON: Well, wait

O'REILLY: Irving Berlin wrote it! But to sing some stupid song some idiot made up in a basement!!

[COMMENT: When I heard the name "Irving Berlin" I almost spit out my coffee. I thought to myself "Oh, no! He'll catch the mistake and correct it." But - amazingly - neither O'Reilly or Pinkerton seemed aware that Bill O'Reilly had just flunked basic music history. I find it hard to believe that this good Catholic boy wouldn't know the history of "Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht."

Silent Night was first performed on Christmas Eve 180 years ago in the town of Oberndorf, Austria. The music was written by Franz Xavier Gruber, the town's schoolteacher and musician. The lyrics were penned by Father Joseph Mohr, who asked Gruber to create a melody for Christmas Eve. The result was (is) a simple and stunningly beautiful lullaby that has lasted almost 200 years. I am sure Herr Gruber and Father Mohr would be delighted to know that it has survived and, as a musician and teacher, I don't think the good priest would be too upset that some of the words were changed so non-Christians could enjoy singing its ageless and affecting melody.]

PINKERTON: It's generated a huge backlash.


PINKERTON: I agree. I agree.

O'REILLY (to his staff): Alright. Put that cartoon from USA Today up again. USA Today, up again. Now, look at this! This is the nation's most read newspaper. OK? Look at this! This paper puts a cartoon up that basically says to its readers: Hey, these - they made it up. These conservatives made this up and everybody at USA Today, I will submit, knows that cartoon's a lie, including the cartoonist who wrote [sic] it I think this is far more serious than just trying to diminish something.

PINKERTON: Remember the torture scene in the book 1984, the novel, where the guy is torturing Winston Smith says: How many fingers am I holding up?And he's holding up four and tells Winston: Ya' gotta say two. And finally Winston is tortured enough that he finally says, OK, I see four but I'll say two and now I really believe two. And I think that's what we're lookin' at mind control.

[COMMENT: Well, again Pinkerton unwittingly articulated the perfect argument AGAINST the use of torture. He admitted that torture creates falsehood and, in essence, verifies the torturer's world view. Unfortunately, this statement also showed that Mr. Pinkerton suffers from some serious paranoid delusions about people like you and me. Poor man! Life can't be much fun for him, since he must look around every corner, examine every book, monitor every movie, TV and radio broadcast for the tell-tale signs of anti-Christian mind control.]

O'REILLY: But - and we're gonna have another segment comin' up behind you about the Iraq war and how the press is covering that very dishonestly as well. Once you get to a point where the American media, given special privileges by the Constitution to protect the folks, becomes dishonest and blatantly dishonest - which we are proving here is going on. This isn't a matter of opinion, ladies and gentlemen. These things are happening. Children are being told - forced - to sing counter-lyrics to a classic. This is not what we're all about and the press - the secular, liberal press primarily - I haven't seen this on the right at all - is not only justifying it but trying to demonize those who want it to stop. I think this is really a serious press story. I'll give you the last word.

PINKERTON: Well, a Justice Frankfurter said "Truth is the best disinfectant."

O'REILY: Alright. Well, we're givin' the people the truth. But, I'll tell ya' - we're outnumbered. We are.

PINKERTON: Not, not ...

O'REILLY: We are. We're outnumbered.

PINKERTON: ... in the country.

O'REILLY: Right. But, what if there wasn't a FOX News Channel? And there wasn't ten years ago.

PINKERTON: Well, that's, that's how we got to where we are.

COMMENT: O'Reilly came dangerously close in this segment to calling for the overthrow of a free press.

And, he told the truth at last. He and his kind ARE outnumbered. They had their shot at the brass ring but now it's slipping away from them. I just hope they don't take the Constitution and our democracy down with them!


O'Reilly: [email protected]

Pinkerton: [email protected]

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