During the July 19 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, while discussing JetBlue's demand that its logo be removed from the homepage of the YearlyKos convention, host Bill O'Reilly said of the blog Daily Kos: "[T]he hate this site traffics in rivals the KKK and Nazi websites." In recent days, O'Reilly has repeatedly criticized JetBlue's decision to provide several travel vouchers to the convention organizers and compared Daily Kos to the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. As Media Matters for America noted, O'Reilly responded to a viewer complaint on the July 17 edition of The O'Reilly Factor by asserting that "[t]he comparison is valid" and that "[t]hat website traffics in [hate], as do the Nazi websites. No difference." O'Reilly further asserted during the July 19 program, "Unfortunately, some Americans do wallow in hate. So an Internet site can do some business peddling that garbage, and there are a few radio and ... TV performers ... who make a living smearing people as well. But corporations and powerful people must understand their responsibility to reject the haters and not support them in any way."
Later on the July 19 program, during a discussion with Fox News contributor Jane Hall and conservative author Bernard Goldberg, O'Reilly asserted that "nothing on the right compares to what's on" Daily Kos. Goldberg agreed and claimed that "[w]hen it comes to the Web, the left is winning by about 20 miles on the hate meter." As Media Matters noted, an Indiana University study found that "O'Reilly called a person or a group a derogatory name once every 6.8 seconds, on average, or nearly nine times every minute during the ['Talking Points Memo'] editorials that open his program each night." Moreover, Media Matters has documented numerous examples of conservative media figures and bloggers advocating violence against their political opponents.
The blog Think Progress reported that JetBlue has responded to O'Reilly's denunciation of its support for YearlyKos by telling the convention organizers to remove the JetBlue logo from their website.
From the July 19 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: JetBlue changes strategy. That's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." Earlier this week, we confronted JetBlue CEO Dave Barger about his airline sponsoring a conference held by the hate-filled website the Daily Kos. That far-left concern routinely posts vile thoughts such as [White house press secretary] Tony Snow should die from cancer, the pope is a primate, and Israel deserves to be attacked.
The hate this website traffics in rivals the KKK and Nazi websites. Since JetBlue was the only major company sponsoring the Kos conference, we wanted to know why. So we confronted Barger.
Well, today the CEO sent us this statement, quote: "Because the only thing JetBlue has done with the YearlyKos convention is to provide 10 travel vouchers, we've asked to have our name removed from their website to avoid confusion. We're an airline. We're not a political organization," unquote.
We also asked JetBlue if they've helped the U.S. military in any way, and they sent us a list of their donations, which we posted on BillOReilly.com. And we applaud JetBlue's contribution in that area.
Now, the mistake JetBlue made was hooking up with haters. There's no room for that in America. Any corporation or politician who associates with character assassins and/or defamers will be scrutinized. A number of Democratic politicians are set to speak at the Kos convention. We'll report on that next week.
The rise of the Internet has led to a rise in hatred in the USA. There's no question about it. Coming up, in the "Most Ridiculous Item" tonight, we'll show you an example of right-wing hatred. So it cuts both ways.
The good news is, most Americans reject the politicians [sic] of hate. We saw that with the Air America Radio network. People just wouldn't listen to the vitriol spouted on that thing, and it went bankrupt.
Unfortunately, some Americans do wallow in hate. So an Internet site can do some business peddling that garbage, and there are a few radio and T performers -- TV performers, I should say -- who make a living smearing people as well. But corporations and powerful people must understand their responsibility to reject the haters and not support them in any way.
That's what JetBlue missed.
HALL: You've basically driven them off by saying they were sponsoring a website, compared it to KKK. I really disagree with what you've done. I'd like to see you look into hate on the right, and then I'll really -- you know, let's put your researchers on that.
O'REILLY: Well, it's nothing on the right compares to what's on this. What do you think, Bernie?
GOLDBERG: Yeah. First of all, I totally agree with that last statement that you made. It's always -- we're always comfortable saying, "Well, there are haters on the left and haters on the right." When it comes to the Web, the left is winning by about 20 miles on the hate meter.
O'REILLY: You bet.
HALL: Well, if you calculated that, I'd like to see it.
O'REILLY: Come on, Jane. Hey, let her -- let him talk.
GOLDBERG: Yeah, I did. I calculated it. It's 20-to-1.
Here's the thing that bothers me. Presidential candidates on the Democratic Party are going to go in front of this convention, and I guarantee you that mainstream reporters, mainstream newspapers and TV networks will never, ever mention the things that this website puts out. Markos Moulitsas, the head of it, is a very nasty guy and therefore encourages other people to write nasty stuff.
O'REILLY: Period. They traffic in it.