Bill O’Reilly purportedly hosted Dr. Ben Carson to discuss the Cruz campaign’s allegedly dirty trick against him at the Iowa caucuses but O’Reilly’s big interest seemed to be in fingering CNN as the real culprit. And Carson seemed on board. Coincidentally, this occurred as CNN has been reporting on a feud between O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly.
As Tommy Christopher explained, on the evening of the caucuses, CNN’s Chris Moody tweeted, “Carson won’t go to NH/SC, but instead will head home to Florida for some R&R. He’ll be in DC Thursday for the National Prayer Breakfast.” Moody also tweeted, nearly simultaneously, “Ben Carson’s campaign tells me he plans to stay in the race beyond Iowa no matter what the results are tonight.”
In an on-air report, CNN explained that the National Prayer Breakfast is where Carson “got himself on the political map.”
But Rep. Steve King of Iowa, a Ted Cruz supporter, cited Moody’s tweet in his own tweet, saying, “Carson looks like he is out. Iowans need to know before they vote. Most will go to Cruz, I hope.”
A number of Cruz supporters allegedly told voters, before the voting, that Carson was dropping out, thereby hitting up Carson voters to vote for Cruz instead.
Tuesday, Cruz apologized to Carson, saying his team should have sent around a follow-up clarification.
Now, you may or may not think that the Cruz campaign deliberately sabotaged Carson with a dirty trick. But it’s hard to see how it could be CNN’s fault.
But that was clearly in the forefront of O’Reilly’s mind when he discussed the matter with Carson Tuesday night. Carson either deliberately or unwittingly assisted in the “blame CNN” effort by wrongly saying that CNN’s tweet said he was “in the process of suspending my activities.”
Before Carson could explain any further, O’Reilly interrupted to suggest that CNN had irresponsibly promoted falsehoods from King. “So CNN put that up, apparently that came from Steve King, the Congressman in Iowa… Is that where that came from?” Later, O’Reilly asked, “Do you know who put the original CNN thing up? Who did that, was it CNN itself?”
Carson misleadingly said, “I have no idea where they derived such information or why they would not be interested in verifying it.”
Actually, CNN did verify it, as Moody’s second tweet, made within seconds of his first one, showed.
A simple Google search could have prevented this misinformation about the Cruz campaign’s misinformation but it was obvious that neither O’Reilly nor anyone on his staff had looked into it. Let's hope they will correct the record later.
“Well, isn’t it CNN’s fault, then, rather than Ted Cruz?” O’Reilly asked. “Because if CNN did that, and believe me, CNN has put out false information about me, this program, Fox News – we’re not surprised. It seems that that’s what they do over there. But isn’t it CNN’s fault and not Ted Cruz’s fault?”
Carson was obviously still furious with the Cruz campaign. “A culture exists within the Cruz camp,” he said, that allows it “to take advantage of a situation like this in a very dishonest way.” He also told O’Reilly that his people “are investigating” why CNN put out that allegedly false information (which wasn’t).
“So when you know, we need to know, alright?” O’Reilly said. “Because I agree with you. I want to stop this. I want to stop it cold.”
Later, waving his pen, O’Reilly added, “We need to find out what’s going on over there because that news agency’s gotta be held accountable.”
He promised, “We’ll do our own investigation and we’ll call over there and tomorrow, we will update this story.”
Some very important context for all this is O’Reilly’s interview with Donald Trump last week. In that interview, O’Reilly all but begged Trump to participate in the Fox News debate and, at the same time, threw the major target of Trump’s attacks, colleague Megyn Kelly, under the bus.
On CNN, former Fox News host Bob Beckel, now a CNN contributor, commented on the interview by saying O’Reilly is “scared to death of Megyn Kelly because Megyn Kelly has been beating him in ratings.” O’Reilly viciously attacked Beckel for it late last week.
On Sunday, CNN’s Reliable Sources host, Brian Stelter, held a discussion about the “open secret” that there’s a “very personal feud” going on between O’Reilly and Kelly. Stelter also noted that both stars’ contracts are up next year and that “Fox wants to hold on to Megyn Kelly at all costs.” Stelter followed up with a report about how Trump’s feud with Fox News has now exposed the acrimony between the once-collegial rivals.
And if that’s not enough to convince you that this is a very sensitive subject for O’Reilly, tonight, he also just happened to tout his ratings at the end of the show, in his Tip of the Day.
Watch the two segments below, from the February 2 The O’Reilly Factor.
Geez. It looks like BOR has forgotten that his show is supposed to be a “no spin zone”. He’s spinning like a mad man on this one. The Cruz camp is responsible for this fiasco – not CNN.
Nah, this isn’t about CNN putting out “false information” as BOR bogusly claims. This is about BOR being pissed off that Stelter said something that showcased BOR in a rather unflattering light. So, as is his modus operandi, BOR takes a situation and twists the truth just so he can work in an attack on the person/organization that has been critical of him (all while presenting it to the folks as being about something else).
BOR isn’t looking out for the folks and the truth – he’s looking out for himself.
Ironically, “Fox & Friends” previous to Bill pimping his show was pretty much uncritically covering Trump’s accusations against Cruz’s Iowa dirty tricks and even substantiating Cruz booster King tweeting Carson was dropping out. Their only criticism was Napolitano pointing out The Donald has no legal case to void the Iowa results.
Memo to Roger Ailes: Please hurry sending your morning memo setting the right-wing memes of the day. Your staff appears confused over today’s propaganda spew!
Last night NPR’s “All Things Considered” thoughly debunked the myth Hillary won all 6 coin flips defying statistics and disproved the conspiracy theory the Clinton fix is in. Additionally, F&F pumped the conspiracy theory her buds at Microsoft rigged their caucus results software to wire in the Clinton fix.
Though, uncharacteristically, F&F was fair and balanced in running a segment attacking Sanders’ ‘free’ public colleges plan by softballing some right-winger. Previously, they’ve been pretty soft on Bernie to tip the scales his way, IMHO. Theory being a way out of the mainstream candidate like Bernie has less of a chance against the extreme Republican offerings.
O’Reilly is a proven serial liar and, like all Fox News hosts, a shameless, chest-thumping promoter to their propaganda factory. Jerking off his ego re CNN exposing his bare ass is hardly out of character for the egomaniac.