Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 14, 2010

MAYBE O'REILLY NEEDS NEW RESEARCHERS.... Sen. Tom Coburn (R) of Oklahoma recently told a group of constituents not to let Fox News warp their sense of current events. "[D]on't catch yourself being biased by Fox News that somebody is no good," the senator said, among other things.

The comments were not, as one might imagine, well received at the Republican cable network. Bill O'Reilly spoke to Coburn directly last night, and told the conservative senator that some of his allegations are incorrect.

"[Y]ou don't know anybody on Fox News -- because there hasn't been anyone -- that said people will go to jail if they don't buy mandatory insurance," O'Reilly said. He added: "[W]e researched to find out if anybody had ever said you are going to jail if you don't buy health insurance. Nobody has ever said it. What it seems to me is you used Fox News as a whipping boy when we didn't qualify there."

Maybe O'Reilly needs new "researchers."

November 13, 2009: Glenn Beck tells Fox News' audience that those without coverage will "go to jail."

November 12, 2009: Beck said "there will be jail time" for those who refuse to participate in the health care system.

November 9, 2009: Dick Morris argues, "One of the provisions in the Pelosi bill is you actually can go to jail for not having health insurance."

November 10, 2009: Sean Hannity tells viewers, "Penalties for people who don't get government-mandated health insurance, uh, jail time, a possibility?"

October 7, 2009: Greta Van Susteren says it's "theoretically possible" that if "you can't afford insurance for whatever reason" the government could "send you to jail."

November 10, 2009: The on-screen graphic during Fox & Friends tells viewers during a segment on the health care debate: "Comply or go to jail."

Remember, O'Reilly promised Coburn, "[W]e researched to find out if anybody [on Fox News] had ever said you are going to jail if you don't buy health insurance. Nobody has ever said it."

O'Reilly does realize that it's not that difficult to search Fox News transcripts, doesn't he?

Steve Benen 2:10 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (27)

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Comments

Maybe O'Reilly was "doing it live - dammit"

Posted by: G.Kerby on April 14, 2010 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Would it kill Barack Obama to have a press conference in which he uses this information helpfully compiled by Media Matters to prove that Bill O'Reilly—as well as the entire Fox nutwork—is completely, irreversibly, irretrievably FULL OF SHIT?

Posted by: bluestatedon on April 14, 2010 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

For the thousands of nitwits watching the segment, O'Lielly's uninformed or false assertion is akin to the infallibale word of God.

Your fact-checking doesn't mean shit.

Posted by: Winkandanod on April 14, 2010 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Truthiness refined to an art form.

Posted by: john R on April 14, 2010 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Steve,

Did you take the time to send your research to Colburn? Please do.

Bill-o-the-clown needs his facts checked more than most. What fun....

Posted by: Stevio on April 14, 2010 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with bluestatedon but while we are waiting for the President (after all he has been busy!) let's all cut and paste this post into an email to O'Reilly to make sure he knows what a lying jerk he is.

Posted by: robert on April 14, 2010 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

These are people who don't understand the concept of "archiving."

so yes, it is that difficult for them.

Posted by: fourlegsgood on April 14, 2010 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Bluestatedon - The problem is that it'd lower the president to directly do this sort of thing himself. Moreover, it'd be pointless. The people who watch Fox News would only use it as proof that Obama is "lashing out at his critics with his Chicago-style strong arm tactics" and wouldn't bother listening to any of his claims. In fact, it'd make them feel that Obama was scared of Fox and thus confirm their beliefs.

So why bother? Obama's more popular and has far more credibility with people than Fox. So it'd do no good to get in a pissing match with them. People believe O'Reilly because they have to. No amount of fact checking will ever change that. God himself could fact check O'Reilly and his viewers would accuse him of liberal bias and/or ignorance.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on April 14, 2010 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

"[W]e researched to find out if anybody had ever said you are going to jail if you don't buy health insurance. Nobody has ever said it. What it seems to me is you used Fox News as a whipping boy when we didn't qualify there."

Nor has anyone on this proud news network disparaged Nancy Pelosi in any personal way. Nor have we implied 16,000 IRS Agents are being hired to comb Americana looking for uninsured people to throw in jail.
So, please stop whipping me before I start liking it.

Posted by: TheOFactor on April 14, 2010 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

I've got it! Al Franken, who has a little history with O'Reilly, needs to come to the defense of Coburn, his fellow Senator! This could be so funny.

But we'll probably have to settle for Jon Stewart -- Franken has to watch his gravitas these days. And he probably has better stuff to do.

Posted by: David in NY on April 14, 2010 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

"...people will go to jail if they don't buy mandatory insurance," O'Reilly said

Pay attention, no one Fox said those words, verbatim. They paraphrased, so BillO is right. Semantics I know, but I am sure BillO's words were selected after they did their research.

Although his claim was true, it was very deceptive, pretty much what I would expect from him.

Posted by: ScottW714 on April 14, 2010 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Watch the clip. Coburn grovels to O'Rielly as if he were Rush. These repubs are such chickenshit weasels they crumble before anyone who pushes back.

Now if only the Dems would figure that out.

Posted by: martin on April 14, 2010 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

So, please stop whipping me before I start liking it. Posted by: TheOFactor

Perhaps that would make it TheStoryofOFactor?

Posted by: AnonFrenchAuthor on April 14, 2010 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

What amazes me is that Glenn Beck said this to O'Reilly himself, on O'Reilly's show.

Admittedly, it may be hard to hire someone to check against things in BillO's own memory, but he shouldn't need someone for that.

All of this is assuming, of course, that BillO isn't just lying his ass off more shamelessly than normal.

Posted by: DH Walker on April 14, 2010 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

I recommend all posters rent "Guide to the Married Man" from Netflix or wherever....

The movie is filled with strategies to cheat on your wife, lie, fudge, etc. Substitute wife for the American people, and you will see dramatically portrayed in video all the current Republican talking points.

My favorite is the scene where Joey Bishop is caught in bed with his mistress by his wife. As the wife screams "harold, what are you doing" , husband and mistress get out of bed, quickly dress, mistress leaves, Joey makes the bed, all the while his wife is screaming..."harold, harold" as Joey replies "What?".. then Joey proceeds to the living room, sits in the armchair with pipe in hand and reads the paper..... the wife goes back to the bedroom, sees the bed made, returns to Joey reading the paper.... asks again "Harold?" he replies "What?" and she asks him what he wants for dinner.

Moral of the story.... just keep consistent with the lying and after a while it will all just blow away.

You stay classy Fox News

Posted by: Mike Reilly on April 14, 2010 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Either O'Reilly is applying the specious argument that there's Fox News versus Fox Opinion (which would be strange given O'Reilly would clearly have to put himself in the latter category), or he was pretty positive that Coburn would not have taken the time to come up with examples of Fox personalities making those kinds of statement - a safe bet given the context.

Posted by: DelCapslock on April 14, 2010 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

"no one [on] Fox said those words, verbatim"

You know, I don't think that there's any difference at all between what was said before and what O'Reilly said.

Posted by: David in NY on April 14, 2010 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

OF COURSE Fox "News" personalities know what archives are for! That's where you go to find video footage that can make the turnout at a demonstration look more impressive than it actually was.

God, I'd like to see these clowns held to the same standard to which they so gleefully held Dan Rather. On any given day, they do at least a half dozen things more irresponsible and more knowingly dishonest than he is alleged to have done once in his report about Bush. No such luck I suppose, because no one in the mainstream media dares challenge them. They might show a nasty doctored photo of you on the air and call you names.

Posted by: T-Rex on April 14, 2010 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Bill-O: THE KING OF FAIL!!!

Posted by: S. Waybright on April 14, 2010 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

I should be a researcher for BillO, instead of for small business. It probably pays better, and you don't even have to do anything!

Posted by: CPinHI on April 14, 2010 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

"let's all cut and paste this post into an email to O'Reilly to make sure he knows what a lying jerk he is."
Posted by: robert on April 14, 2010 at 2:37 PM

He already knows.
I might say that what this might accomplish is letting him know that we know, too.
I might say that, but I won't -- because, as Doc Biobrain and others have pointed out, it doesn't matter. We're not his target market, the teabeggars are. And they'll believe him no matter what. Their faith in him will go UP if he's called out publicly by anyone at all -- but especially if it's any Democrat, anyone in the mass media, or anyone sane.
And the more clear are the facts proving he's lying, the greater the increase in their credence will be.
I wish I were just kidding.

Posted by: smartalek on April 14, 2010 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

"O'Reilly does realize that it's not that difficult to search Fox News transcripts, doesn't he?"

Of course we all know the answer, but its worth saying out loud.

Yes, he knows. Yes, he is well aware that Fox has said it. Its all Bill's standard MO. Say anything you want to advance your agenda. Once its out there its nearly impossible to smack down, esp in the short term. Long term? who cares, by then we'll be on to other things. At the very worst, people will spend time smacking down the lie instead of spending time advancing an opposing agenda.

Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh its all the same shit. Its a paycheck and a political philosophy that advances their own per$onal agenda. With the exception of Limbaugh they don't believe half the shit they peddle.

Posted by: Simp on April 14, 2010 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

For all their moralizing, the Fox News folks sure don't seem to fear the God who is the author of the Ninth Commandment. When they reach the pearly gates, they're gonna have some 'splainin to do.

Posted by: kk on April 14, 2010 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

Who you gonna believe, O'Lielly or Faux News' lying video library?

I agree with G.Kerby -- a hint of that "We'll do it LIVE" jive that the O'Liar let's come through too much.

Remind me, is he a journalist or an entertainer?

But then I also agree with ScottW714 that "Pay attention, no one Fox said those words, verbatim. They paraphrased, so BillO is right." would be the response if anyone ever could get close enough to pin him down.

That's a standard ReThug response: remember Chuck Grassley saying he had never said "death panel"? But he sure as heck did say something like "pull the plug on Granny."

Posted by: Sarah Barracuda on April 14, 2010 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

O''Reilly could have Beck back on in the very next segment claiming people would be going to jail for not buying healthcare and the average Fox viewer would nod and applaud- and if you pointed it out to them they'd just get angry and deny it.

Posted by: MikeN on April 14, 2010 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

Oh you left out the best part. One of the times Beck falsely claimed people could be sent to jail for not having insurance (and then not paying the penalty) he was speaking with O'Reilly on the air.

http://tinyurl.com/y7aa8du

"Nov. 13,

BECK: No, they wouldn't. No. I don't have universal health care.

O'REILLY: Well you will soon.

BECK: Or I'll go to jail.

O'REILLY: Are you going to be a conscientious objector to health care?

BECK: You know, this is the first time in history in our country where, just to be a citizen, just to not go to jail, you have to buy something. "

Better researchers would not be enough. Either he is mentally impaired and doesn't remember what he hears, or he is lying, or (most likely) both.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann on April 14, 2010 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

Good thing it only happens on the right.

Posted by: Tyler Durden on April 15, 2010 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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