In his opening "Talking Points Memo" segment on The O'Reilly Factor on June 4, host Bill O'Reilly responded to remarks critical of O'Reilly made by John Podesta -- formerly President Bill Clinton's chief of staff and currently the Center for American Progress' president and CEO.
As reported on June 4 by the right-wing news service CNSNews.com, Podesta spoke at the Campaign for America's Future "Take Back America" conference on June 3. "I think when you get so distant from the facts as guys like Limbaugh or Sean Hannity do, I think that tends to corrupt the dialogue. ... What about television? It's time to sue Bill O'Reilly," CNSNews.com quoted Podesta.
"Have I told any lies, sir?" O'Reilly asked rhetorically on The O'Reilly Factor. O'Reilly then said Podesta was a "coward and a sleazy propagandist who deserves to be scorned" if he did not appear in person on The O'Reilly Factor to "produce some proof" of O'Reilly telling lies.
From the June 4 edition of FOX News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: John Podesta, former chief of staff to President Clinton, has actually formed a corporation that shapes and distributes propaganda. Incredible. Speaking to go a group of liberal activists, Podesta was asked what can be done about news outlets that tell lies. Podesta answered, it's time to sue Bill O'Reilly.
Well, that's just cheap. Have I told any lies, sir? Why don't you come right on this program and produce some proof of that? And if you don't, you're a coward and a sleazy propagandist who deserves to be scorned.
But just the fact that a former presidential chief of staff is running around peddling that kind of garbage tells you where we are as a country today. John Podesta and Michael Moore, two of a kind. All honest, liberal thinkers should be embarrassed. And that's a memo.
The O'Reilly Factor has refused a request by Media Matters for America President and CEO David Brock for time on the broadcast to respond to right-wing attacks on progressive financier, philanthropist, and political activist George Soros. O'Reilly's challenge to Podesta came on the same day that Media Matters for America called on visitors to the website to e-mail O'Reilly to ask him to grant Brock's request to appear on The O'Reilly Factor.
Following are more examples of O'Reilly's dissemination of misinformation:
April 28: FOX's O'Reilly fabricated evidence of success of purported boycott of French imports
May 21: O'Reilly opposes income redistribution -- unless he's on the receiving end!
May 21: Huh? O'Reilly can't decide what's wrong with Oregonian story
June 4: O'Reilly lied about Soros speech
June 3: O'Reilly doctored quotation to suggest Soros wished his own father dead