Responding to an unflattering commentary in The New Yorker about Fox News' crusade against the so-called "war" on Christmas, Bill O'Reilly announced that he would add the magazine to his list of "media operations have regularly helped distribute defamation and false information supplied by far left websites."
As "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day" for the December 20 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly announced that he would add The New Yorker magazine to his list of "media operations [that] have regularly helped distribute defamation and false information supplied by far left websites." The list already includes the New York Daily News, the St. Petersburg Times, and the cable news network MSNBC.
The New Yorker landed in O'Reilly's "hall of shame" because of a commentary by executive editor Hendrik Hertzberg in its December 26 issue in which Hertzberg argued: "The War on Christmas is a little like Santa Claus, in that it (a) comes to us from the sky, beamed down by the satellites of cable news, and (b) does not, in the boringly empirical sense, exist." Hertzberg called Fox News "[t]he Christmas Pentagon" and O'Reilly its "Patton."
O'Reilly alleged that Hertzberg used "dishonest propaganda fed to him by left-wing smear sites." Hertzberg reported a statistic documented by Media Matters for America that Fox News "during a recent five-day period carried no fewer than fifty-eight different segments about the ongoing struggle." Media Matters undertook a survey of coverage of the so-called "war" on Christmas on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News from Monday, November 28 until Friday, December 2. Hertzberg further referenced additional Media Matters research, all of it excerpted from transcripts of The O'Reilly Factor and his nationally syndicated radio program, The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly.
O'Reilly chastised The New Yorker, stating that it "should be ashamed," and advised Hertzberg to "rethink" his "practice of character assassination."
From the December 20 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." New Yorker magazine joins our hall of shame. We are recommending readers and sponsors avoid the publication. The reason: that magazine allows writer Hendrik Hertzberg to print dishonest propaganda fed to him by left-wing smear sites. As I previously stated, any publication or news operation that does that will be listed on BillOReilly.com as not worthy of your attention or advertising dollars. The spin and the propaganda stop here. The New Yorker magazine should be ashamed and is absolutely ridiculous. And one note to Mr. Hertzberg: You might want to rethink your practice of character assassination, sir. Just looking out for you.