On the September 28 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, during a discussion with conservative blogger La Shawn Barber about his controversial comments following his visit to Sylvia's restaurant in Harlem, Bill O'Reilly falsely asserted that Media Matters for America made additions to the audio clip of his remarks after posting the item. Responding to Barber's statement that "to credit Media Matters a little bit, they posted enough of your audio that you could even listen to their clips and understand what you were saying," O'Reilly claimed that Media Matters added content to the audio clip of his September 19 comments after a September 26 appearance by Media Matters Senior Fellow Paul Waldman on NBC's Today. O'Reilly told Barber, "[T]hey only did that after ... they were busted, and after they were on the defensive, and after [Today co-host] Matt Lauer took the guy apart on the Today show." O'Reilly added: "Lauer slaughtered the Media Matters guy. ... Killed him. And then, they say, 'Oh, we better put up a little bit more.' " In fact, Media Matters added no additional audio of O'Reilly's original discussion about Sylvia's after the first item highlighting his remarks posted on September 21 -- five days before Waldman's appearance on Today.
From the September 28 edition of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
BARBER: The reason I agreed to go on the [CNN] show is just to sort of put things in context and make sense of it. I mean there's a lot of sound bites, a lot of accusations going around, but even to credit Media Matters a little bit, they posted enough of your audio that you could even listen to their clips and understand what you were saying.
O'REILLY: Yeah, but, look, don't give them any credit because they only did that after --
O'REILLY: -- after they were busted, and after they were on the defensive, and after Matt Lauer took the guy apart on the Today show.
BARBER: Oh, I see. I thought that --
O'REILLY: Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
BARBER: -- the audio was posted at the same time --
O'REILLY: Matt Lauer slaughtered the Media Matters guy.
O'REILLY: Killed him. And then, they say, "Oh, we better put up a little bit more."
BARBER: Oh, OK.
O'REILLY: Oh, yeah.
O'REILLY: No, this was an ideological play, not a -- this had nothing to do with race --
O'REILLY: -- Ms. Barber. This had to do with CNN collapsing on all fronts --
O'REILLY: -- and NBC News losing hundreds of millions of dollars to Fox News -- "Let's get O'Reilly, try to make him [Don] Imus. Let's get him off the air." That's what that was about. It didn't have anything to do with race.
BARBER: Yeah, I thought --
O'REILLY: And with Media Matters, it has to do with ideology.