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Admitting Guilt
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2004 8:36pm PT  

If you've been following O'Reilly since his recent fall from pretend grace, you've probably noticed the side-effect as his troubles have smacked him back a few yards closer to reality. His once barely veiled dilligent Pro-Bush spin is now entirely out in the open. I guess he figures since everyone in America now knows what he sticks up his ass, why bother hiding who he supports in this election?

The only thing left for him to do is come out and say "I am going to vote for George Bush and will do anything I can to help him win". Other than that, a few minutes listening to his "Radio Factor" or suffering through the TV show make it clear that he's not even trying to hide his bias anymore.

Now that he realizes he will never get the John Kerry interview that only O'Reilly could make himself believe that he was entitled to, he's given up all pretense. Announcing on both radio show and TV today that George W. Bush is now going to win this election. If you listen to O'Reilly, it's now all over but the recounts.

Sure, he still gives lip service to some mythical "fairness" that he'd love us to believe that he and Fox offer, but you can tell that even he knows he's spinning. Next week, he promises, he's going to make up an interview with Kerry in lieu of getting a real one. That's "the most trusted name in news" for ya.

Tonight, he went out of his way to remind Juan Williams (who actually did get an interview with John Kerry) that it was "Fox News" who broke the Bush DUI story in the days prior to the 2000 election. That, he claimed, showed all those Liberal Fox Haters how "faaaaair" FNC really is.

Too bad he's wrong about that too. It was not FNC, but a local Fox Affiliate (who does not work for FNC in NY) who broke the story. He and Brit Hume, however, have been going out of their way to pass off that particular fiction for quite some time.

In non-fiction related O'Reilly news, his evil nemesis, the much funnier-on-purpose Al Franken, once again beat the "Radio Factor" in the latest NY Arbitron radio ratings, as reported by Drudge. That despite No Spin Boy's repeated assertions on the air over the past year about "Stuart Smalley's failed little radio show". Please stop! I'm dizzy from all that No Spinning!

But apparently there's some things even O'Reilly can't spin his way out of. That seems to be his, as of yet, uncontested guilt in the Andrea Mackris Sexual Harrasment case. His silly cries of "extortion" in his pre-emptive suit against her didn't bother to deny any of her charges. And yesterday's "Radio Factor" featured this moment that should haunt him for a while, as caught by the always vigilant Media Matters (audio here):

CALLER: One quick thing. My money's on your side in this unfortunate lawsuit you're going through.

O'REILLY: Well, thank you. I appreciate that.

CALLER: You gotta take Sister Mary Peters with you when you're with single women.

O'REILLY: Listen, I have to say this --- I had to protect my family, this is my fault. I was stupid, and I'm not a victim, but I can't allow certain things to happen. And I appreciate your support, we get thousands of letters, but I'm not --- I am stupid. I am a stupid guy, and every guy listening knows how it is. That we are very stupid at times.

But there comes a time in life where you gotta stand and fight. And I knew these people were gonna do this, I knew they were gonna do everything they could to try to destroy me and the channel. And I just made the decision that I'm just gonna ride it out. And I'm gonna fight 'em, because what's right is right.

Trademark false machismo and bloviation aside...Since he's now all but come out and admitted guilt in the matter, what exactly are the "certain things" he "can't allow" to happen? "What's right is right?" - What the hell is he talking about? He's a married man, with "kids", admitting to making obscene phone calls, while servicing himself with a vibrator, to an underling employee of his. Is he implying that if she'd asked for a few million less, that would have made it all "right"? But since she didn't, he's "gonna fight 'em, because what's right is right?" Apparently so. Just as he forced Fox to file their embarrasing law suit against Franken which was quickly laughed out of court, again he has allowed his over-inflated ego to back him into a No Spin Corner from hell.

But hey, sex scandals with prostitutes didn't seem to hurt tonight's O'Reilly's Fair and Balanced guest Dick Morris, much! Neither did millions in secret gambling losses cause too terribly much shame for Hannity & Colmes' featured weekly guest, William Bennet, just a few minutes later. So perhaps O'Reilly will survive this as well. After all, in the fairy tale Land of Fake Conservatism, "Values" is just a word cynically pulled out every few years to help win elections. Don't make the Red State mistake of thinking these people actually have any.

Perhaps you can fool about 48.9% of the people (MoE 3-4%) all of the time.

ReddIt this story!



A Fair and Balanced Look at Sexual Harassment charges against Bill O'Reilly
By Brad Friedman on 10/13/2004 2:17pm PT  

Hubris is a funny, yet often predictable, thing. Last February on this blog, I asked:

Any idea what the coming Fall of O'Reilly will be? Live boy? Dead girl? Married to his own mother?

Well, it looks like I was wrong. His downfall is a Live Girl. Looks like there may be several of them at that. I was close anyway.

Though I know that these charges have not yet had their day in court, that never stopped Fox News from covering similarly unsubstantiated charges against their political enemies like Bill Clinton or CBS or others (Kobe Bryant, Michael Jackson etc.) so I see no reason why turnabout isn't fairplay.

To that end, I've been reviewing O'Reilly's pre-emptive complaint filed this morning, and his accusers complaint also filed today. I will be updating you shortly after I've finished reviewing the materials, but for the moment, I'd say things don't look too good for Mr. No Spin. I'll explain why in an follow-up shortly after I've finished my review.

For the moment though, O'Reilly has the upper hand with three hours of national TV and Radio per day on which to make he's case, and he already began to do so at the beginning of his radio show this morning. As well, he has the enormous resources of the Fox News and Newscorp legal team and their friends in the powerful body politic that will undoubtedly use every resource to defend him as long as possible.

To that end, consider this passage from the Plaintiff's complaint which quotes O'Reilly at a dinner meeting:

"If you cross FOX NEWS CHANNEL, it's not just me, it's [FOX President] Roger Ailes who will go after you. I'm the street guy out front making loud noises about the issues, but Ailes operates behind the scenes, strategizes and makes things happen so that one day BAM! The person gets what's coming to them but never sees it coming. Look at Al Franken, one day he's going to get a knock on his door and life as he's known it will change forever. That day will happen, trust me."

During the course of this conversation, Defendant BILL O'REILLY bizarrely rambled further about Al Franken: "Ailes knows very powerful people and this goes all the way to the top." Plaintiff queried: "To the top of what?" Defendant responded: "Top of the country. Just look at who's on the cover of his book [Bush and Cheney], they're watching him and will be for years. [Al Franken's] finished, and he's going to be sorry he ever took FOX NEWS CHANNEL on."

For those just jumping in, further info on Roger Ailes is here. There is reason to believe the quotes above may have been tape recorded, and thus, available soon. More on that later.

In the meantime, as you see above, O'Reilly, Fox and Friends will have a huge PR and Power advantage in this case. I, however, will be looking out for you. Stay tuned as we help you decipher from the facts from the spin.

DEVELOPING...

Related BRAD BLOG Updates on this story:
10/13/04: "Bad Vibrations for Bill O'Reilly"
10/14/04: "O'Reilly - In Our Unresolved Problem Segment..."
10/19/04: "O'Reilly - In the Personal Story Segment Tonight..."
10/20/04: "O'Reilly's Case Gets Weaker: Mackris files additional charges."

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2004 2:57pm PT  

While I look forward to his interview with Bush tonight (and for the next three!), I've had a few "No Spin" items spinning on my brain for a few days that I'd like to toss out.

ITEM #1: Last week, on The Factor, O'Reilly attempted to marginalize Air America Radio two days in a row by claiming that they were meaningless and failed because they are currently only carried on "20 affiliates". Never mind that when O'Reilly launched his radio show, he had enough money to actually pay stations to carry his show! But more notably, O'Reilly has a long term grudge with Al Franken, one of the AAR hosts, and can't even manage to say his name on his "no-spin" program, spinning him as "Stuart Smalley" instead of using his real name. So O'Reilly continues to spin his own opinions about Franken and AAR by simply lying about them.

A quick check of the Air America Radio website, would have told O'Reilly that they are on "32 Stations Nationwide" according to the banner headline on the front page of their site. After his statement the first day we could have been generous and called it a mistake. Repeating it verbatim the next day, however, was no mistake. It was just spin.

ITEM #2: For the last several weeks O'Reilly has been going on about James Carville and Paul Begala working with the Kerry Campaign in an unpaid advisory capacity while continuing their role as co-hosts on CNN's Crossfire. While, unlike O'Reilly, neither Carville nor Begala refer to themselves as journalists, but rather as admitted partisans who host the liberal side of a political debate show. At the end of last week O'Reilly huffed at one of his guests who challenged "the bloviator's" claim as disingenous because Fox does virtually nothing but support the Bush campaign. O'Reilly then launched into a challenge asking him to "Name names!" about who does that at Fox, promising he would call them out if they did!

The answer (that the guest didn't have at hand) is Sean Hannity who lent his imprimatur to the Republican National Party by narrating videos for the GOP Convention website. I wrote O'Reilly to name the name, but so far, I haven't noticed any on-air corrections or condemnations for it. You can still hear Hannity at the GOPConvention website right here.

ITEM #3: As you may know, O'Reilly still has his silly on-going "Boycott" of France. Here's a quick snippet on that from O'Reilly's interview with Jon Stewart last week:

STEWART: Do you really believe France is, in any way, worthy of a boycott?

O'REILLY: I do. I think France has really hurt the USA, to be...

STEWART: Really?

O'REILLY: Yes, I do.

STEWART: More than like Saudi Arabia? You would advocate a boycott...

O'REILLY: No, I'm not going to say more than Saudi Arabia. But I'm saying we do a lot...

STEWART: So why not boycott them?

O'REILLY: France is supposed to be our friend.

...And he didn't have anymore to say on the matter as the subject was then changed. But Stewart makes an excellent point there. Why aren't all those ridiculous French Bashers out there calling for a boycott of products from Saudi Arabia --- who is also "supposed to be our friend" --- instead? $1.97 a gallon says you know the answer. Hypocrites.

The spin goes on...

ReddIt this story!



Ridiculed, Petitioned and Trounced
(Reaping what he's sown?)
By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2004 5:45pm PT  

First he's made to look like a boob in the new documentary, OutFoxed, which outs the Republican Fox News channel and it's Number #1 Republican for what they really are.

Then MoveOn.org collects signatures to send to the FTC to complain about the false and misleading labelling of the Fox news product as "fair and balanced". They use an hysterical clip from OutFoxed to help make their case. (Feel free to join that petition, by the way)

And then comes the news, as reported by Drudge, that O'Reilly's greatest nemesis (one of 'em, anyway) Al Franken trounced po' po' O'Reilly on the radio in New York City. Yes, Al's little-bitty show that "nobody wants to listen to", as so many frightened and silly Right-wingers will tell you, and indeed have posted here, cleaned O'Reilly's clock in the largest market where they actually go head to head.

I guess nobody's looking out for Bill O'Reilly.

ReddIt this story!



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