O'Reilly's false claim about bans on holiday clothing makes him Olbermann's "Worst Person"December 14, 2005 1:51 PM EST ››› ROB MORLINO
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly once again earned the title "Worst Person in the World" during the December 13 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, this time for falsely claiming that the Plano Independent School District in Texas and the township of Saginaw, Michigan, enforced bans against red and green clothing during the holiday season.
Wondering, "[w]here does O'Reilly get this nonsense?" Olbermann noted that O'Reilly claimed during the December 9 O'Reilly Factor that the Plano Independent School District in Texas "told students they couldn't wear red and green because they were Christmas colors." As Olbermann informed his viewers and Media Matters for America noted, Plano Superintendent of Schools Dr. Doug Otto denied any ban on red and green clothing in a statement. A complaint last year claimed in part that the district had excluded the use of red-and-green colored napkins at the annual school holiday party and prohibited the distribution of religious materials on school property, but made no mention of clothing; the Associated Press later reported that the school district said the policy on the distribution of religious materials and the colors for holiday party decorations had been was rescinded following the complaint. Olbermann also awarded O'Reilly the title for making a similar false claim about the township of Saginaw -- noted by Media Matters -- which was refuted by township manager Ron Lee, "wearing his red shirt and his Santa Claus tie and sitting next to his Christmas tree in his office," as Olbermann noted.
O'Reilly's December 2 promise to "bring horror into the world of" those he claims are waging a "war" on Christmas earned him the "Worst Person in the World" title on Olbermann's December 8 program. (O'Reilly also received "runner-up" that same night for proclaiming himself "[t]he only television journalist" who "didn't put Abu Ghraib pictures" on his or her program, as the weblog ThinkProgress noted; in mock surprise, Olbermann asked of O'Reilly: "Wait, wait -- you think you're a television journalist?") On the November 30 edition of Countdown, O'Reilly swept the "Worst Person in the World" awards.
From the December 13 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann:
OLBERMANN: But the winner tonight: yeah, him again. You know how we've been telling you he's been making up this blarney about a plot against Christmas? Well, I had meant that term "making up" metaphorically. Silly me. O'Reilly told his TV audience that a school in Plano, Texas, was so anti-Christmas it had told its kids not to wear red and green during the holidays; he told his radio audience that this entire township of Saginaw, Michigan, had done the same thing. Plano's superintendent of schools had to contact parents to tell them O'Reilly was wrong. Saginaw's township manager Ron Lee, wearing his red shirt and his Santa Claus tie and sitting next to his Christmas tree in his office, has also demanded a retraction. Where does O'Reilly get this nonsense? Well, take a guess. Bill O'Reilly -- once again, the Worst Person in the World.