Remember how Monday night, Bill O’Reilly promised an investigation into the funding of Occupy Wall Street? That “investigation” proved to be nothing less than a hazy suggestion that Fox News boogeyman George Soros is the behind-the-scenes financier. Oh, O’Reilly didn’t exactly say so. What he said was that the non-profit Institute for Policy Studies, which he claimed (without any evidence) runs OWS, accepts money from Soros’ Tides Foundation. Therefore, without bothering to tell anyone how much money from Tides goes to the supposed Occupy-masterminds or for what purpose, the viewers were left to draw their own conclusion that Soros is really controlling the purse strings. Mixed up in all that was O’Reilly’s and then guest Monica Crowley’s malicious attempts to use the Occupy movement as a vehicle to attack President Obama.
In last night's Talking Points Memo, the editorial that opens nearly every O’Reilly Factor show, O’Reilly said, “The Factor has been investigating who, exactly, is behind the Occupy Movement which is now very well organized and no longer a citizen protest. Rather it is a hard-core, far-left movement designed to cause as much trouble as possible. The sincere Occupiers left a long time ago. What’s left are the professional agitators.”
How does O’Reilly know that? What did he base that conclusion on? His encounter with what he claimed was an Occupy “terrorist” last week? I hate to say this, Bill, but it sounds like you’re spinning.
The Occupy Movement is now being run out of Washington, D.C. in offices belonging to The Institute for Policy Studies, a far-left outfit.
When O’Reilly says “far left,” what he really means is that’s your cue to despise them. But the fact of the matter is that IPS, while unabashedly liberal, is a serious, respected organization. In a blog post about O’Reilly’s attack, director John Cavanagh noted:
We have worked on the issue of inequality for two decades. We host one of the leading web sites for facts, figures and analysis, www.inequality.org. Our annual Executive Excess report, now in its 18th year, garners major mainstream media coverage on the growing gap between CEO and worker pay. Recently, IPS was invited to give testimony on this research to the Senate Budget Committee.
Furthermore, Cavanagh disputes O’Reilly’s description that IPS “runs” the Occupy Movement.
Starting last fall, IPS conducted workshops on inequality, environmental justice, and ending wars, with Occupy DC. We offered to let them use our space for meetings when the weather was bad or on weekends. Two weeks ago, IPS offered them space in our offices where they are producing an online newspaper called DC Mic Check. SEIU, the dynamic union of janitors and other service workers, has made a contribution to help us cover the costs.
Cavanagh also stated that O’Reilly did not contact the Institute before accusing it of being co-masterminds with SEIU of Occupy. So where did “No Spin Zone” O’Reilly get his “information” and why didn’t he tell us? Sorry again, Bill, but this is not looking out for us.
O’Reilly continued, “(Cavanagh’s) non-profit institute accepts money from – surprise! George Soros through The Tides Foundation!”
O’Reilly went on to say – also unsourced – that SEIU foots the rent bill for the Occupy Movement. And then O’Reilly gratuitously added that the current and former heads of the SEIU had visited the White House “a number of times.”
So without directly saying so, O’Reilly spun his “findings” to suggest that President Obama is in bed with the Occupy Movement.
“The goal of the Occupiers is no longer to raise awareness of economic injustice, it is to disturb the peace and attack those with whom they disagree,” O’Reilly warned. Once again, he didn’t say what he based that conclusion on. But he did use it to attack Obama:
It is long past time for President Obama to condemn the anarchistic element of the Occupiers, which is now dominant. Instead, the President falls back on ‘protecting freedom of speech’ platitudes. (said with disdain) Sure. Tell that to the Chicago cop who got stabbed, Mr. President.
Then, instead of presenting anyone who did any actual investigating or who had any real knowledge of Occupy funding or organizing, Alan Colmes and Monica Crowley came on to debate O'Reilly's “findings.” Colmes is normally terrific in his weekly appearances on The Factor but I wish he had called O’Reilly on his sleight-of-hand maneuvers.
Meanwhile, Fox News’ chief conspiracy theorist Monica Crowley had her own unsubstantiated “conclusions” to impart. She told O’Reilly that Obama can’t denounce the movement. Why?
Occupy Wall Street was set up and orchestrated and executed for two reasons: One, to supply Barack Obama with his central campaign theme of income inequality.
… And number two, to create enough chaos and disorder in this country to justify two things: Either A) a government crackdown or B) to justify any kind of activity to get the redistributionist agenda through. …This is all about destroying the economic system in order to destroy the political system.
That was too much even for O’Reilly. Although he’s been fear mongering about the Occupiers for two days (calling them “terrorists” the night before) and suggesting they’re cozy with Obama, O’Reilly now told Crowley that the movement wasn’t big enough to destroy our political system. He also pointed out now that the Occupiers are no fans of Obama. Well, better late than never, Bill.
Now O’Reilly sounded quite a bit less antagonistic to Obama as he said, “It is a tremendous mistake for Barack Obama not to repudiate (the Occupiers)… Prediction time: He’s going to repudiate them soon.”
O’Reilly went on to say he thinks “somebody’s gonna get killed… I absolutely do.”
Too bad he didn’t have the same concern when he was demonizing and inciting hatred for Dr. George Tiller.
I got quite a list of frauds, rapists, domestic terrorists and so forth from the Tea Party that I haven’t broken out in a long time. How about I name them off and Bill show me where he condemned them?
He certainly covered all of his boogeymen last nite. His audience won’t fact-check one single thing he said. Yes, Colmes should have been more forceful. But he is getting paid for what he does by Faux, so that does limit him.
Same old, same old indeed.
In the above passage, replace
- “occupiers” with “teabaggers”
- “Chicago cop” with “Florida teen”
- and “stabbed” with “shot”
and BillO will be correct . . .