O'Reilly's Midwestern Yuletide smear tour rolls on to "Madison, Wisconsin, where you expect those people to be communing with Satan"December 14, 2005 2:55 PM EST ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
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For the second time in five days, Bill O'Reilly smeared a city in the Midwest. On the December 13 edition of his Fox News show, The O'Reilly Factor, he compared the Richmond Times-Dispatch to media in "Madison, Wisconsin, where you expect those people to be communing with Satan." He made the comments in a discussion with Forbes.com executive editor David Adelman and former NBC correspondent Jackson Bain about editorials critical of his Christmas crusade. O'Reilly was particularly upset at a December 3 Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial, which wrote of "war on Christmas" promoters such as O'Reilly: "What planet do these Scrooges inhabit?"
The Times-Dispatch editorial board wrote that "to hear some voices -- Bill O'Reilly's, for instance -- Christmas lies under siege. Unless defended, it even could disappear!" O'Reilly denounced that statement as a "lie," and he also reacted with incredulity to the editorial's claim that "to refer to Christmas vacation as Winter Break in no way demeans an occasion blest best not by baubles but by souls in quiet communion."
As Media Matters for America noted, O'Reilly targeted another Midwestern town on the December 9 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, The Radio Factor, falsely claiming that Saginaw, Michigan, "opposes red and green clothing on anyone." His assertion was vehemently denied by township officials; the township hall is adorned in red and green lights.
From the December 13 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor.
O'REILLY: All right, well, listen, Jackson, we respect your opinion, but you're dead wrong on this one. Now --
BAIN: Well, maybe.
O'REILLY: -- in the South, Richmond Times[-Dispatch], for example.
O'REILLY: Now, this is a conservative city, Richmond. I mean, this is not Madison, Wisconsin, where you expect those people to be communing with Satan up there in the Madison, Wisconsin, media.
O'REILLY: All right, but not in Richmond. Richmond. "Bill O'Reilly: Christmas Lies Under Siege. Unless defended, it could even disappear." That's a lie, and they know it's a lie.
BAIN: You know --
O'REILLY: And then they go, "Christmas vacation" -- then they go, "Christmas vacation as winter break is in no way demeaning to Christmas." Come on.