On O'Reilly Factor, Goldberg compared "liberal media" to Ku Klux Klan

››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

On the August 16 O'Reilly Factor, Fox News contributor Bernard Goldberg asserted that "news executives ... don't seem to care very much about intellectual diversity of opinion." "[T]hat's why journalists can boo ... cheer ... bash Christians, and they're not afraid of what will happen." He concluded: "[T]his isn't that much different from how the Ku Klux Klan operates." O'Reilly responded: "I think it's even beyond that, Bernie." As Media Matters has documented, O'Reilly has repeatedly compared Daily Kos to the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.

During the August 16 edition of his Fox News television show, Bill O'Reilly hosted Fox News contributor Bernard Goldberg and Gemma Puglisi, an assistant professor of public communications at American University, to discuss three examples of what Goldberg called "liberal bias" in the media. Goldberg asserted that "news executives ... don't seem to care very much about intellectual diversity of opinion," adding, "[T]hat's why journalists can boo ... cheer ... bash Christians, and they're not afraid of what will happen." He concluded: "[T]his isn't that much different from how the Ku Klux Klan operates. The morons in the Klan felt very comfortable with their bigotry because they knew all the other morons in the Klan shared the same bigotry. Journalists in American newsrooms are very comfortable with their biases. They really don't have a problem. They don't even try ... to hide their biases because they know they are among friends." O'Reilly responded: "I think it's even beyond that, Bernie." As Media Matters for America documented, on the July 19 show, while criticizing JetBlue's decision to provide several travel vouchers to organizers of the YearlyKos convention, O'Reilly repeatedly compared the Daily Kos website to the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.

During the "Talking Points Memo" segment of the August 16 program, O'Reilly discussed a column by SFGate.com's Mark Morford that asserted that "the thing that modern Christianity seems to do best" is "splinter and divide and segregate. To exclude." Puglisi stated: "I'm a Christian and I was not completely offended by what was written. And I think that people know -- he's a journalist. And he's going to write about something. It's an opinion piece. And that's what he said. He wrote an opinion piece." O'Reilly replied: "I wasn't in tears either, and I'm a Catholic," adding, "[B]ut I know hate when I see it, and this was hate off the chart."

O'Reilly's examples of "liberal bias" included MSNBC's Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough's August 16 assertion that, on his first day at MSNBC, members of the news staff booed during the 2003 State of the Union address. On his August 16 show, Scarborough was discussing the disclosure by The Seattle Times that several staff members had cheered in a meeting after Karl Rove's announcement that he will be leaving as the White House deputy chief of staff on August 31.

As Media Matters has 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."

From the August 16 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: All right, Bernie, I don't even know what to say anymore, you know? I -- those are three -- and they all fell in our lap today, all of them: the NBC thing, Seattle Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle. What say you?

GOLDBERG: Let me make sure I have this right, Bill. The San Francisco Chronicle is a left-wing newspaper that bashes Christians and compares Americans to Muslim terrorists. At The Seattle Times, they openly cheer when they find out Karl Rove is out. And at MSNBC, which is a part of NBC News, they boo in the newsroom when George Bush delivers a State of the Union speech.

I'm shocked -- liberal bias in the media? I mean, I can't believe it.

O'REILLY: But isn't this more than it was when you were at CBS? Isn't it now way over the top?

GOLDBERG: It was like -- I could give you examples from the old days too, but here's why it happened to some degree then and why it's happening more now: because there's no diversity of opinion in the newsrooms. No matter how much news executives go on and on about diversity, about ethnic and racial diversity, and how much they say that we need that to give the full story about things, they don't seem to care very much about intellectual diversity of opinion.

And that's why journalists can boo, they can cheer, they can bash Christians, and they're not afraid of what will happen, because they know they're amongst like-minded people. Listen, Bill, this isn't that much different from how the Ku Klux Klan operates.

The morons in the Klan felt very comfortable with their bigotry because they knew all the other morons in the Klan shared the same bigotry. Journalists in American newsrooms are very comfortable with their biases. They really don't have a problem. They don't even try --

O'REILLY: But I think it's even beyond that, Bernie.

GOLDBERG: -- they don't try to hide their biases because they know they are among friends.

O'REILLY: Right. All the pretenses are gone. But, Professor, I think it's even further than that. If you're the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, you make decisions about what goes on the op-ed page, which columnists are used. And when you get a hate column, like Morford's column that basically says, not one Christian or two, not Jerry Falwell or this, that, and the other thing, all Christians are hateful, are destructive people, bad people.

You don't print that. That's irresponsible -- because you wouldn't print a diatribe against any of the others, blacks, Muslims, Jews, that I named. Am I correct?

PUGLISI: Well, I just wanted to comment on the NBC thing in terms of how things are --

O'REILLY: No, no, no, no. You gotta go with the San Francisco Chronicle first --

PUGLISI: Well, I just want to --

O'REILLY: -- then you can do the NBC thing. Go with the San Francisco.

PUGLISI: I would just -- I would just say that he brought out certain things about the story and he wrote about them. And I just think that, as an editor, there's certain things that you have to be careful of what goes in the paper. I'm a Christian and I was not completely offended by what was written.

And I think that people know -- he's a journalist. And he's going to write about something. It's an opinion piece. And that's what he said. He wrote an opinion piece.

O'REILLY: Again, it was hateful piece. You may not have been offended --

GOLDBERG: What --

O'REILLY: -- but you're pretty --

PUGLISI: And some people -- and you're right. Some people may have been offended. You're right; but some people were not.

O'REILLY: As a journalist, you're jaded. Look, I wasn't in tears -- wait a minute, Bernie. I wasn't in tears either, and I'm a Catholic, OK --

PUGLISI: Right, right, but some people may be.

O'REILLY: -- but I know hate when I see it, and this was hate off the chart. And it wouldn't have been directed at the San Francisco Chronicle by -- at any other group but Christians. That's it, OK? That's it.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bernard Goldberg
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The O'Reilly Factor
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Attacks on Progressives, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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