Declaring that he "has had enough" of "national news programs" that mislead American voters, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said he will now aim to tell viewers "every time I see craziness in the national media during the campaign." However, the examples of "craziness" O'Reilly cited, including the myth that "Obama was not born in America," have all been promoted on Fox News -- something he did not mention.
O'Reilly: "We Live In An Age Where Truth Really Doesn't Matter Anymore"
O'Reilly Criticized "National News Programs" That Don't Tell Viewers "What's True And What's Not True." On his Fox News show, O'Reilly stated:
O'REILLY: The problem for American voters is that anything goes these days. The Internet is full of unbelievable nonsense, as well as gross defamation. And now on some national news programs, we're getting the same craziness. So if you're uninformed, how can you possibly know what's true and what's not true?
And the problem is not exclusively on the left.
How many times have we heard that Barack Obama was not born in America, that he's a Muslim, a Manchurian candidate, a plant from outer space? Whatever madness the anti-Obama forces can think up.
We live in an age where truth really doesn't matter anymore. Greedy news executives and the net have obliterated it. Journalistic standards have collapsed -- the Trayvon Martin case proves that.
You can pretty much do anything you want in the media, and the courts don't care. It's almost impossible for a well-known person to win a judgment of defamation.
But Talking Points has had enough. So every time I see craziness in the national media during the campaign, I'm going to show it to you. And I hope you will vote with the clicker. That's the only solution to the problem. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 4/24/12]
O'Reilly Also Complained That "Crazy People" Are "Being Taken Seriously" On Cable News. O'Reilly also lamented that "what's happened now is that the crazy people behind some of these websites and are on cable television are actually being taken seriously." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 4/24/12]
Fox News Has Spent Years Promoting "Whatever Madness The Anti-Obama Forces Can Think Up"
O'Reilly: "Barack Obama Was Not Born In America"
During 2008 Campaign, Fox News Promoted Birtherism. In August 2008, Fox hosted WorldNetDaily writer Jerome Corsi to cast doubt on Barack Obama's birth certificate. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/15/08, via Media Matters]
In 2009, Fox Continued To Push Birther Theories. In May 2009, Fox Nation posted the headline, "Should Obama Release Birth Certificate? Or Is This Old News?" [Fox Nation, 5/28/09, via Media Matters]
Fox News Embraced Birther Conspiracy Theory Promoted By Donald Trump. Following Donald Trump's lead, Fox News figures repeatedly embraced or hyped the birther conspiracy theory by falsely claiming that President Obama has not produced his birth certificate, or by hosting birthers to hype their discredited theories unchallenged. [Media Matters, 4/20/11]
Fox Promoted Birther Myth In At Least 52 Segments In March And April 2011. A report from Media Matters shows that between March 2, 2011, and April 21, 2011, Fox News hyped the birther conspiracy theory in at least 52 segments. [Media Matters, 4/27/11]
For more examples of Fox personalities promoting birther conspiracies, click here
O'Reilly: Obama Is "A Muslim"
Special Report On Obama: "Islam Or Isn't He?" During a June 2009 segment, Special Report aired a quote by Obama foreign policy adviser Denis McDonough, in which he talked about how Obama "experienced Islam on three continents" and spent part of his childhood in Indonesia with a Muslim father. Special Report included this question above the quote: "Islam Or Isn't He?" [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 6/3/09]
Charles Krauthammer: Obama "Does Have A Muslim Upbringing ... And An Affinity for Islam As A Result." On Special Report, discussing an Obama trip to the Middle East, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer stated: "I think it's good for the president to use the fact that he does have a Muslim upbringing, relations, contacts, and an affinity for Islam as a result. That's important. He should use that in trying to warm relations with the Muslim world." [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 6/3/09]
Brian Kilmeade Asked:"If [Obama] Was Worried" About People Thinking He's Muslim, "Wouldn't He Have ... Kept His Name As Barry And Not Barack?" On the August 30, 2010, edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade reacted to news that "24 percent of this country thinks the president is a Muslim" by asking, "If he was worried about that, wouldn't he have changed -- kept his name as Barry and not Barack?" [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/30/10]
Fox Guest Suggested Obama Is Secretly Muslim. Fox & Friends hosted controversial Pastor Robert Jeffress, who said:
JEFFRESS: Steve, let's look at what really is going on here. On the one hand, we have a president who never met a Muslim holiday he didn't like, or at least wasn't willing to issue a proclamation for, and on the other hand, here he is refusing to acknowledge publicly the most important event in Christian faith, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. And yet the White House is wondering, why do 20 percent of Americans think the president is a Muslim? Well, as my kids would say, duh. I mean, it's actions like these that really make people wonder what it is the president really believes. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/26/11]
For more examples of Fox personalities casting doubt on Obama's faith, click here
O'Reilly: Obama Is "A Manchurian Candidate"
Fox News Hosted Aaron Klein To Push His Book, The Manchurian President. Fox & Friends invited WorldNetDaily writer Aaron Klein to promote his falsehood and conspiracy-ridden attack book on President Obama called The Manchurian President. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/24/10; Media Matters, 5/7/10]
Fox Later Hosted Klein To Red Bait About Occupy Wall Street. On October 26, 2011, Fox & Friends hosted WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein, who claimed that Occupy Wall Street is linked to a "red army" of liberals that had "infiltrated" the White House. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/26/11]
O'Reilly: Obama Is "A Plant From Outer Space"
Hannity Endorsed ABC Show V, Suggested Alien Leader Was Similar To Obama. On November 4, 2009, Sean Hannity said:
HANNITY: And a new ABC drama seems to be taking aim at Obama-mania. That's right, you heard me right. The show is called V, and it focuses on a telegenic leader who arrives from outer space offering a message of hope and compromise and promising, you guessed it, universal health care. Sound familiar? Oh, and the media? They love this new leader. Now, V premiered last night. Let's take a look at a few clips.
You know, I think this is one TV show that I can actually get behind. [Fox News, Hannity, 11/4/09]
For more examples of Fox personalities likening Obama to an alien, click here
Fox Has Repeatedly Mainstreamed Guests To Propagate Conspiracy Theories
Fox Has Hosted Serial Conspiracy Theorist Joseph Farah. Joseph Farah, founder of the notorious conspiracy theorist website WorldNetDaily, has appeared more than once on Hannity. Farah has pushed the birther campaign against Obama and has engaged in other conspiracy theories as well. [Media Matters, 11/15/11; Fox News, Hannity, 1/31/12]
Fox News Has Legitimized Birther Propagandist Jerome Corsi. Since late July 2008, Fox News has hosted birther author Jerome Corsi and forwarded his conspiracy theories about the president's birth certificate several times. [Media Matters, accessed 4/24/12]
Fox Lifted Content From Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones. In February 2011, Fox Nation posted an article from well-known conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, suggesting President Obama was responsible for power blackouts in Texas. That August, the Fox News show The Five picked up a story from Alex Jones' website. [Media Matters, 2/4/11; 8/1/11]
FoxNews.com Host John LeBoutillier Pushed Birther Conspiracies On The Air. Former Republican congressman John LeBoutillier was hired by Fox News in 2011 to co-host an online show with Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen. In November 2010, LeBoutillier appeared on Fox & Friends to push a fictional book, which he said contained "real stuff," including debunked conspiracy theories about Obama's birthplace. [Media Matters, 9/28/11; 11/29/10]
Fox Mainstreamed Islamophobic Blogger Pamela Geller. Fox News hosted anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller multiple times in 2010 through early 2011. Her hate speech against Islam was reportedly cited in accused Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik's manifesto. [Media Matters, 7/25/11]