Bernard Goldberg got bitten with some kind of truth bug last night and seemed very intent on arguing to Bill O’Reilly that Fox News is not really fair and balanced.
Goldberg never came right out and said “not fair and balanced” but that’s what he meant.
GOLDBERG: It’s true that Fox News is gonna hold President Obama accountable, as you just did, in ways that liberal media won’t. That’s absolutely true. But what you left out is the hyper partisanship on both sides in the media. …Liberal news organizations are going to play down liberal screw ups but Fox News is going to play down conservative screw ups.
O’Reilly interrupted. He insisted that his show is independent, suggesting that it “hammers” both sides. (He just forgot to mention that one side gets hammered a lot more than the other.)
“This program is not all of Fox News,” Goldberg said. He heaped praise on some Fox hosts:
GOLDBERG: Bret Baier is the best news show on television. Chris Wallace has the best news show on Sunday. …This show is both smart and fair. Kelly did a great interview with Dick Cheney that was both good journalism and smart journalism. And I repeat, that’s not all of Fox.
“That’s most of Fox,” O’Reilly objected.
“No, not even close,” Goldberg said.
Goldberg shot back, “So Fox isn’t the conservative network, is that what you’re trying to tell us?”
“What I’m saying to you is I never bought that, that Fox is the conservative network,” O’Reilly replied. He said that Fox gives “traditional conservatives a voice that they don’t have on the other networks. …There’s no right-wing jihad on this network. If somebody’s screwin’ up on the right, they get hammered.”
“Not always,” Goldberg countered. As an example, he said, “Many conservatives on this channel will only blame Barack Obama for what’s happening in the Middle East and they will conveniently leave out that Bush started the…”
As if to prove Goldberg’s point, O’Reilly interrupted to say, “No operation is perfect…. There’s a reason why we’re beating the zombie channel. There’s a reason.”
As the discussion wrapped up, Goldberg said, “I wish I could have given you more examples to make my point. But my point is that even opinion journalism has to be fair and when you just pick on the other guy’s side and go easy on your side – not you, but others – that’s not fair.”
“I agree with that,” O’Reilly said.
O’Reilly also said that if Goldberg is not fired he can give more examples next week.
Watch it below, from last night’s The O’Reilly Factor. O’Reilly’s Talking Points Memo patting Fox News on the back for being a beacon of “fact-based” analysis is before Goldberg’s appearance.
My God, how do these people maintain any kind of sanity with this utter unwillingness to acknowledge reality? I would have far less of a problem with Fox if it just fessed up and proudly trumpeted that it was GOP-TV and stopped pretending.
And please, Baier and Wallace are just as bad, they’re just more subtle in their distortions.