How many times does he have to get these stories wrong before ABC News cans their hapless and constantly wrong "investigative correspondent" Brian Ross? We suspect he'll be allowed to keep screwing up, again and again and again, so long as his screw-ups result in lots of media attention. Little wonder Ross is one of the only broadcast network news stooges invited on Bill O'Reilly's show, again and again and again.
Those "contacts with al Qaeda"? Um, not so much, as Cook details. Turns out that Hasan's "attempt to reach out to al Qaeda" were, in actuality, three emails sent to the imam of the mosque that Hasan attended in Virginia in 2001, back when two of the 9/11 hijackers, reportedly, also attended the same mosque. The cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, has since moved to Yemen where he has reportedly spoken out in favor of al-Qaeda.
The emails sent to him by Hasan? Whatever they were about, Ross doesn't know, and the FBI, who reportedly did know, apparently didn't find they warranted any action be taken.
Oh, and the "people" connected to al-Qaeda who Hasan allegedly "attempt[ed] to reach out to"? Ross now admits there was just one --- singular, not plural --- and it was al-Awlaki.
Here's our favorite passage from Cook's excellent evisceration of Ross' yet-again irresponsible coverage, proving (by ABC News' own standards) that Ross himself may well be an al-Qaeda terrorist!...
After a shooting like this it's very important that no one jump to conclusions and take out any revenge against doctors or psychiatrists.
The wingnuts, of course, are out for blood following the shooting. Predictably, they're going after Muslims, under the presumption that the suspect, Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was acting out of incitement from Islam.
Yet, I heard few such calls from the Right after those incidents. In the case of Tiller, his accused murderer Scott Roeder was regarded by the Right as either a hero or a lone, crazy guy (depending on how far to the Right they happened to be). I've heard no condemnation from the Right, or calls for accountability for the constant, repeated, almost daily characterization of Tiller, to millions and millions of Americans over the air waves by folks like Bill O'Reilly (the most watched man on cable news), as a "baby killer", "executing babies", "death merchant", etc., even though Tiller was a medical doctor performing lawful services.
I heard no wingnut condemnation of Bernie Goldberg --- and certainly not of Christianity as a whole --- even after it was revealed that his book, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (And All Franken Is #37), was a major inspiration for Jim David Adkisson's shooting spree at a Knoxville, TN Unitarian Church in July of 2008 which killed two and injured seven others...
David Kurtz at TPM suggests: "How about a program where we can turn in the old, washed-up pundits and talking heads on the cable nets for ones that spew less dangerous emissions?"
And, in not entirely unrelated news, Glenn Greenwald offers the proper perspective on today's report that the corporate ownership of both Fox "News" and MSNBC have interceded into their news divisions' ongoing Olbermann v. O'Reilly Wars because, while it's been good for ratings for both of them, it's bad for the corporations.
To build on Kurtz' notion, how about if we turn in the old, washed-up, corporatized news outlets who live large on our public airwaves and government largesse as well?
Meant to run this clip from Crazy Land (aka Fox "News") over the weekend. You may have seen some portions of O'Reilly's flip-out previously, but the entire thing is worth a look. Feelin' guilty much, Mr. O'Reilly? What a maroon (and that's putting it nicely). Crazy Land gets crazier and crazier by the day...
"George Tiller’s clinic will close in the wake of the Wichita abortion provider’s shooting death, lawyers for the Tiller family said today," the Wichita Eagle is reporting. "Lee Thompson and Dan Monnat, the family’s lawyers, said in a statement that the clinic, Women’s Health Care Services, will be permanently closed, effective immediately."
Waytago anti-choice terrorists! You're winning!
Even Tiller's accused murderer, Scott Roeder is celebrating, telling CNN that closure is "a victory"!
On Sunday, the assassin of the man Bill O'Reilly repeatedly described as "Tiller the Baby Killer," told AP "there are many other similar events planned around the country," prompting Keith Olbermann to wonder, appropriately: "Why is the far right not calling for him to be waterboarded to tell us against whom the next gun or bomb will be directed?"
Good question, though Dick Cheney could not be reached for comment.
Now, he's just lying. On his TV show, and in his newspaper column. We understand why Fox "News" is willing to let him say any irresponsible thing he wants, but what of the newspapers who run his syndicated garbage? Do they have no responsibility to do any fact checking? How about his column's syndicator, Creators Syndicate? Do they have any responsibility to fact check their authors' work before they send it out to be published in hundreds of papers around the country?
In fact, O'Reilly himself used that term, over and over again, to describe Tiller. Media Matters offers the documented, video-taped facts which, as usual, aren't even close to O'Reilly's blatant Spin, which is now also being perpetuated by this nation's newspapers. Here are the facts...
[Updated at end of article with videos of responses to O'Reilly response from MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann.]
After years of demonizing Kansas physician Dr. George Tiller, who was assassinated in his Wichita church on Sunday, Fox "News" host Bill O'Reilly toned back his inflammatory rhetoric on his first show back since yesterday's murder. (See video at end of article.)
Where he had previously, and repeatedly, described Tiller as "Tiller the Baby Killer," equated him with Nazis and al-Qaeda, described him repeatedly as "executing babies" and "operating a death mill," tonight O'Reilly characterized himself as the victim of a "left-wing" cabal of "Fox News haters" trying to "exploit" the tragedy to "shut guys like me down." Notably, however, he did not use the same strident rhetoric that had characterized his "reportage" of Tiller in the past...
Update 6/1/09: Thanks to Jed Lewison at DailyKosTV for the following short compilation of clips from among 29 segments of O'Reilly's show, in which he persisently demonized Tiller. "As you can see from these video clip samplings of O’Reilly’s holy war," Lewison writes, "you don’t have to actually pull the trigger to help sponsor terrorism:"
Tiller was better known to Fox "News" viewers as "Tiller the Baby Killer," as he's long been described by Bill O'Reilly, who has spent years targeting Tiller on the most-watched show in cable news. O'Reilly has long demonized him with allegations of performing illegal late-term abortions, characterized as murder by O'Reilly and his guests.
Of course, it's no more O'Reilly's fault when a lunatic takes action to murder someone the Fox host has targeted for years on his popular television show than it was when another lunatic gunned down church-goers in Tennessee last year, claiming in his pre-murder "manifesto" that it was "a symbolic killing," and that he had "wanted to kill...every Democrat in the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book." Goldberg is a regular featured guest on O'Reilly's show, and the author of 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (And Al Franken is #37).
Jim David Adkisson, the Knoxville, TN, murderer, also advocated the murder of "liberals" in his manifesto, echoing comments frequently made by O'Reilly that "The Major News outlets have become the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party. Liberals are evil, they embrace the tenets of Karl Marx, they're Marxist, socialist, communists."
Those are all merely coincidences, of course. Nobody, other than the murderers themselves, should feel it necessary to take any personal responsibility whatsoever when such events occur.
In March of this year, after Tiller had been acquitted of charges alleging that he'd performed late-term abortions in violation of Kansas state law, O'Reilly continued his series of programs focusing on the Kansas physician, charging him with "operating a death mill" (video here), and alleging that he was "executing babies" (video here).
O'Reilly had previously been highly critical of the state's Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, charging, during his Talking Points commentary in 2007, that she was "allowing [Tiller] to continue the slaughter."
Now, O'Reilly won't have to worry about that anymore.
FURTHER UPDATE: A quick read of the far right website FreeRepublic (O'Reilly's base), reveals hundreds of comments on a number of threads, applauding and even celebrating the death of Tiller. We've reposted many of them below. (Hat-tip Charles at Little Green Footballs.)
Note to O'Reilly, who has proven not to understand the difference when he repeatedly highlights a selected anonymous user comment from what he describes as "liberal hate-sites," such as Huffington Post and Daily Kos, while comparing them to the Ku Klux Klan: The following are comments by readers at the site, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of those who run Free Republic. Nor is there any guarantee that such posters are not purposely posting these comments in hopes of reflecting poorly on the site in question. Though, in this case, there are so many of them, most posted by users with a long posting history on the site, that we'll leave it to your judgement as to whether you believe these comments are for real or not...
TV and Radio flim-flam artist and Bush-era dinosaur Bill O'Reilly told listeners of his radio show today that his role in the next few years will be "to be Paul Revere." (Audio clip at end of article.)
O'Reilly had little explanation for his new-found patriotism and why he had decided, over the last eight years, to be a front line general for "the British" instead.
During much of this morning's Radio Factor w/ Bill O'Reilly, which he will soon be leaving for good, he chided so-called "Bush haters" who believe in accountability for the soon-to-be-former "President," for their unwillingness to simply "move ahead" and ignore the myriad crimes of the outgoing Administration.
The phrase, oft-repeated this morning by the wanna-be-patriot O'Reilly, was reminiscent of similar "get over it, move on" admonitions proffered by his ilk when Bush was awarded the Presidency by the Supreme Court in late 2000 despite his opponent, Al Gore, having received more votes in Florida [PDF] and across the entire nation.
"Move on" then, "move ahead" now, warns the new Paul Revere who has previously noticed no British either coming nor going...
[Update 8/15/08 5:05pm PT: The offending death threats discussed below, though not all of them, have now been removed by Townhall.com, and the writer's Townhall blog has had all comments scrubbed as well. So O'Reilly should therefore know about it all now, and can report on it next time Townhall's Amanda Carpenter joins him to dishonestly bash "far-left" blogs. Our cached version of the webpage still shows the offending more-than-month-old comments, as does the graphic at the bottom of this article.]
On Wednesday night, Fox "News'" Bill O'Reilly continued his dishonest and deceptive attacks on websites, such as Huffington Post and Daily Kos, which he misleadingly describes as "hate sites" featuring "vicious far-left attacks" as based on selective reader comments he's discovered posted on those sites.
In the latest of his continuing segments with "Internet Cop" Amanda Carpenter, of the rightwing website Townhall.com, O'Reilly pointed to a number of objectionable comments at the two sites, from "far-left kooks," before tepidly lauding both HuffPo and Daily Kos for having removed some of them, presumably after they were brought to the attention of site moderators.
"Where is that rocket propelled grenade launcher when you need one," O'Reilly displayed on a chyron, and then "Let's hope the dissidents aim is good!" Both of the quotes are purported to be from a "Blog Posting" at HuffPo, according to the Fox "News" graphic, posted in regard to a group of Iraq War Veterans who support the war effort.
Failing to note any distinction between actual articles posted by contributors to the two sites versus comments from anonymous and pseudonymous users, O'Reilly accuses "bloggers" at the two sites of posting "despicable" material, even though it's unknown whether the commenters in question are actually rightwing posters, or even O'Reilly supporters, writing under a pseudonym. The entire segment is posted at left, as recorded yesterday by The BRAD BLOG's Alan Breslauer.
"These people are out of control and that's where they live," O'Reilly notes indignantly before tossing it to Townhall's Carpenter for comment.
"It's a good step that they are moderating the comments section more, and we've applauded that," Carpenter says in reply, before noting the "deeper issue...of posting blogs" critical of the Iraq vet group, which is reportedly going back to the war-zone to report on the country's status following George W. Bush's "troop surge."
But O'Reilly and Carpenter clearly have been protesting a bit too much, as it turns out Carpenter's own website is guilty of the same --- and even far worse --- "vicious" attacks, and potentially even illegal ones, including death threats issued against Barack Obama and "traitorous liberals."
Despite the mock outrage of the Fox rightwingers, The BRAD BLOG has been pointed, by a reader, to a number of out-and-out (and repeated) death threats issued by "bloggers" at Carpenter's own Townhall site.
The multiple threatening comments are posted on the Townhall blog of rightwing radio host and blogger Hugh Hewitt, and include death threats against the presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee, Barack Obama. They were posted on July 10th of this year at Townhall and, as of this posting on August 14th, still remain on the popular rightwing website which requires registration before commenters are allowed to post...
"Adkisson targeted the church, Still wrote in the document obtained by WBIR-TV, Channel 10, 'because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country, and that he felt that the Democrats had tied his country's hands in the war on terror and they had ruined every institution in America with the aid of media outlets.'
"Adkisson told Still that 'he could not get to the leaders of the liberal movement that he would then target those that had voted them in to office.'
"Inside the house, officers found 'Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder' by radio talk show host Michael Savage, 'Let Freedom Ring' by talk show host Sean Hannity, and 'The O'Reilly Factor,' by television talk show host Bill O'Reilly."
"Adkisson, a 58-year-old truck driver on the verge of losing his food stamps, had 76 rounds with him when he entered the church and pulled a shotgun from a guitar case during a children's performance of the musical 'Annie.'
"It appears that church had received some publicity regarding its liberal stance," the chief said. The church has a "gays welcome" sign and regularly runs announcements in the News Sentinel about meetings of the Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays meetings at the church.
The church's Web site states that it has worked for "desegregation, racial harmony, fair wages, women's rights and gay rights" since the 1950s.
In related news yesterday...The DoJ's Office of the Inspector General issued a 140-page report [PDF] finding that officials at the Bush Justice Department, including Monica Goodling and Kyle Sampson, broke the law for years by screening job applicants for non-political career civil servant/civil rights jobs based on professed fealty to George W. Bush, sexual orientation, their political views on same-sex marriage and abortion, and Internet searches to determine if they might be "liberal Democrats," as opposed to "good Americans."
Violations of the Rule of Law by Bush's Justice Department include a less-qualified candidate being hired for a counter-terrorism job on the belief that the more-qualified candidate's wife was a Democrat, a career prosecutor kept from promotions on the belief that she was a lesbian, and the firing of the U.S. Attorney with whom she was falsely rumored to be having an affair.
The stain of those illegally hired and fired by the Bush DoJ's Rightwing Affirmative Action Program will continue to spread its toxins throughout the Justice Department and American legal system for years to come.
Had this been a study showing liberal bias in the media, it would have been all over the place by now. But as the study offers evidence that it's McCain, not Obama, who has been given an edge by network media reporting since the start of the general election campaign, it seems we better help "catapult the propaganda" a bit.
Below is the beginning of David Knowles' coverage of the LA Times coverage of a new study from George Mason University's Center for Media and Public Affairs. The new study offers empirical evidence underscoring what most folks who honestly study the corporate media already know: Democrats get a far tougher time than do Republicans in the corporate mainstream media.
For those self-proclaimed "conservatives" who continue to buy into the nonsense of the "liberal media" canard (no matter the dearth of actual, hard, real-world evidence to substantiate it) please note this study does not come from one of those 'liberal elitist think-tanks.' Rather, it was led by a man hailed by "conservative" propagandists, such as Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck, for his previous studies on media bias. We have a feeling those same "conservatives" may accidentally not notice his latest study.
During a segment on his radio show this morning, Bill O'Reilly reported from the alternate universe he lives in that the non-conservative radio network, Air America Radio, had "folded." (The audio clip is at the end of this article.)
The news, undoubtedly, came as a bit of a surprise to Thom Hartmann, whose successful live weekday radio program is syndicated by Air America Radio and runs in the same time slot as O'Reilly in many markets.
Contrary to O'Reilly's misinformation, The Thom Hartman Program likely even outpaces the Fox entertainer in listenership, as he told us this afternoon.
In response to our query, Hartmann told The BRAD BLOG that, while he didn't currently have access to O'Reilly's ratings for comparison, in a number of markets his show regularly beats Rush Limbaugh, who also broadcasts during the same hours. Limbaugh, in turn, regularly beats O'Reilly in listener numbers, Hartmann explained via email.
"I beat Limbaugh in Portland in the last [ratings] book," wrote Hartmann, who broadcasts out of Portland's KPOJ, "and in Seattle in the Fall '06 book...Limbaugh almost always beats O'Reilly, and I've beaten Limbaugh in multiple markets (2) over multiple years (3)."
Yesterday, as we reported, O'Reilly featured a segment on his Fox "News" television show declaring that Progressive activists calling for reform of the corporate stranglehold on mainstream media and the public airwaves were "fascists," "loons," "unstable people" and a "threat to the country." One of his guests, rightwing Republicanist Mary Katherine Hamm, charged that proponents of media reform, and those who oppose her and O'Reilly's minority fringe viewpoints, are "a group of people living in an alternative universe."
This morning, while arguing on The Radio Factor that it's a "bad strategy" for the GOP to attack Barack Obama's wife Michelle because it would "turn off independent voters" as needed by John McCain to win the Presidency, O'Reilly responded to a caller who disagreed with him by pointing to Air America as "the best example I can give you." He then proceeded to use wholly inaccurate information, describing Air America in the past tense, as if it no longer existed, in his "best example"...
Black is white. Up is down. And it's those calling for media reform who are "fascists" and "pose a danger" to this country according to Fox "News" entertainer clown Bill O'Reilly. Yes, that's what he claimed during the coverage of last weekend's National Conference for Media Reform in Minneapolis.
Happily, O'Reilly was able to find two "Fair and Balanced" guests, rightwing pawn Mary Katherine Hamm of Townhall.com and Fox's own "non-Rightwinger" Juan Williams (who has, clearly, enjoyed his fill of delicious Republicanist-flavored Fox "News" kool-aid over the years) to agree with him. Go figure.
BTW, contrary to O'Reilly's and guests' claims that those of us who favor corporate media reform wish to shut out "Conservative" voices, when I guest host I regularly try to include such voices, as on today's show, for example, when one of my first guests will be Ron Prentice of the California Family Council and the "Protect Marriage Coalition." His group is sponsoring the "California Marriage Protection Act" [PDF] ballot initiative this November, which would amend the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage here. I look forward to the conversation on the air later today.