Fox News' Powers: Media Matters' criticism of Matthews "very fair"

››› ››› ANNE SMITH

On The O'Reilly Factor, Kirsten Powers called Chris Matthews' comment that "the reason [Hillary Clinton is] a U.S. senator ... is her husband messed around" was "totally inappropriate," adding that she has "been appalled at the way [Matthews] treats Hillary Clinton." Responding to O'Reilly's claim that he was "shocked and appalled" that the "big propaganda machine" Media Matters is "ripping up the far-left people at MSNBC," Powers also said that "what [Media Matters is] doing is going after Chris Matthews for attacking Hillary, and I think it's a very fair criticism."

On the January 11 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News political analyst Kirsten Powers and host Bill O'Reilly discussed Media Matters for America's coverage of MSNBC host Chris Matthews' recent comments about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), that "the reason she's a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around" O'Reilly asserted that "Media Matters is a big propaganda machine, and they're ripping up the far-left people at MSNBC. And I, for one, am shocked and appalled." In response, Powers stated that "what [Media Matters is] doing is going after Chris Matthews for attacking Hillary, and I think it's a very fair criticism," adding that she has "been appalled at the way [Matthews] treats Hillary Clinton." Later in the segment, Powers asserted, "what Chris Matthews said was totally inappropriate."

On the previous day's edition of The O'Reilly Factor, as Media Matters has noted, guest Jane Hall, a Fox News contributor, also expressed disapproval of remarks like Matthews'. She noted Matthews' comments about "how [Hillary Clinton] got elected not on her own merits, but because of his [Bill Clinton] fooling around, as he put it. ... He said she wanted to bury his [Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL)] campaign and what would she do with the body? That she wanted to strangle Obama in the crib." Hall then stated, "[E]very woman I know saw the media coverage declaring her dead and said, 'You know, I've been through that. I've experienced that kind of sexism.' " O'Reilly asked, "So there was a backlash against that?" Hall responded, "Oh, absolutely."

Additionally, on the January 9 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly himself criticized Matthews' remarks as a "personal attack," adding that "it is questionable whether a network should allow that or not."

From the January 11 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: "Impact" segment tonight: There is a split in liberal America. The far left seems to like Barack Obama, and the less far left favors Hillary Clinton. Perhaps the best example of this is Media Matters, the smear machine that spits out anti-conservative propaganda on a daily basis. Those people are now after Democrat Chris Matthews because he's brutally criticized Hillary Clinton.

On another front, the insane left -- Daily Kos -- tried to convince Democrats in Michigan to disrupt the Republican primary there. Now, traditional Democrats can't be happy about that.

[...]

O'REILLY: With us now, a woman who stands for -- I don't exactly know what, but I'm sure she does. Fox News political analyst Kirsten Powers. Ooh, ooh, you got this little -- and I want to point out to everybody in a fair and balanced way -- the Republican's right hasn't really, you know -- Rush Limbaugh is hammering Huckabee pretty brutally --

POWERS: Yeah.

O'REILLY: -- but other than that, this isn't the warfare we're seeing on the left.

POWERS: Oh, see, I don't think that's true. I think that all of the sort of movement conservatives, the National Review types, those people are very against Huckabee. There's been lots of complaints about him, and you saw even Fred Thompson -- I mean, he was giving --

O'REILLY: Yeah, but that was a debate, of course.

POWERS: -- but he was giving voice to something that a lot of conservatives feel and that you will see on the blogs.

O'REILLY: Are you going to sit there and tell me that the vitriol in this is equal? You just heard Roseanne Barr. Now, Roseanne Barr, doesn't she run he Democratic National Committee?

POWERS: Yeah, exactly. What does she have to do with the Democratic Party? I mean, I don't -- if she was representative of what was going on, then I think you would have a fair point, but who listens to Roseanne Barr? I can tell you how many people make a decision based on what she says: zero. Zero.

O'REILLY: Media Matters is a big propaganda machine, and they're ripping up the far-left people at MSNBC. And I, for one, am shocked and appalled.

POWERS: Yeah, well, I mean, what they're doing is going after Chris Matthews for attacking Hillary, and I think it's a very fair criticism. I mean, I shouldn't admit to this, but I watch his show because I'm a political junkie, and I've been pretty appalled at the way he treats Hillary Clinton. I mean, it's very, very biased --

O'REILLY: It's not just him --

POWERS: -- biased against --

O'REILLY: -- it's all of them over there.

POWERS: --biased against -- but he in particular is so pro-Obama and so against Hillary that it's just -- it's very unfair. And some of the things he says about her, I think, really cross the line.

O'REILLY: OK, now here's the wider question. After this is all over, do they reconcile, these nuts? Do they come together under either a banner of Hillary Clinton or a banner of Barack Obama?

POWERS: They will definitely reconcile, and I think you're exaggerating what's going on.

O'REILLY: You do?

POWERS: I don't think there's anything --

O'REILLY: You think I'm exaggerating?

POWERS: Yeah, I don't think there's anything unusual going on. I think what's happening is you're seeing a vigorous debate going on in the Democratic Party, which is supposed to happen in a primary, Bill --

O'REILLY: I know --

POWERS: -- and there's nothing unusual about it.

O'REILLY: I know you're best friends with the cowardly lion and Toto.

POWERS: Oh, yeah, right.

O'REILLY: I know you live there in --

POWERS: Please.

O'REILLY: -- a very, very nice condo in the land of Oz.

POWERS: Uh-huh.

O'REILLY: But if you're going to sit there and tell me that it's not unusual for a Media Matters, which is dedicated to killing me and anybody else who's not a loon on the left, OK -- you're going to sit there and tell me that they're ripping up MSNBC, and that's not unusual?

POWERS: Well, MSNBC isn't --

O'REILLY: Of course it's unusual.

POWERS: You're talking about people coming in and uniting -- MSNBC has nothing to do with it. Chris Matthews has nothing to do with it. The people who are the activists and the bloggers, the ones that are also -- who are complaining about Chris Matthews as well, and some of them are on the Obama side and some of them are on Hillary's side.

O'REILLY: But what I am telling you is --

POWERS: -- and some of them are on the John Edwards side.

O'REILLY: -- the bitterness is unprecedented. You didn't see it with Al Gore. You didn't see it with John Kerry -- on the left I'm talking about. You didn't see this kind of bitterness. Come on, get in the game, Powers.

POWERS: I don't, because I think -- I just -- Bill, I think you're exaggerating what's going on. I don't think Roseanne Barr or, you know, Chris Matthews define what's going on.

O'REILLY: OK, David Geffen --

POWERS: Ultimately --

O'REILLY: -- the big money man --

POWERS: Ultimately, sure. David Geffen has a problem with the Clintons.

O'REILLY: -- Clintons are liars.

POWERS: He has a problem with the Clintons. OK.

O'REILLY: I'm not exaggerating, I'm reporting.

POWERS: But the idea that the Democratic Party is somehow fractured, I mean, they're more united than ever.

O'REILLY: They're more united than ever?

POWERS: Yes, absolutely.

O'REILLY: They're gouging each other's eyes out.

POWERS: But it's a primary. It's a primary. That's what happens in primaries. Democrats aren't crowning people. They're having a vigorous debate.

O'REILLY: But it didn't happen in 2000 and 2004.

POWERS: They're having a vigorous debate, and I don't think people were as excited about the candidates. You have two, in particular, really strong candidates.

O'REILLY: So they're overly excited, maybe.

POWERS: Well, people are very passionate about Obama --

O'REILLY: Who do you support, who do you like, Hillary or Obama?

POWERS: I like both of them.

O'REILLY: You like both of them?

POWERS: Yes.

O'REILLY: So what does that mean? You -- when the New York primary comes, you live in New York, you got to rip your ballot? Are you going to vote for both?

POWERS: Well, are you going to tell everybody who you're voting for?

O'REILLY: You're going to get arrested. Then we're going to bail you out.

POWERS: Are you going to tell -- are you going to tell everyone who you're voting for?

O'REILLY: What?

POWERS: You going to tell everyone who you're voting for?

O'REILLY: No.

POWERS: Yeah.

O'REILLY: But I'm asking you who you support at this point.

POWERS: Well, I'm not - you know, I'm probably more inclined towards Hillary, but I like both of them, and I would support both of them. I think they're both really good candidates.

O'REILLY: You like John McCain, too, right?

POWERS: I like John McCain. I would not vote for John McCain, though.

O'REILLY: You like me, right?

POWERS: Um, let's not push it.

O'REILLY: Powers, I like both of them. All right, so you're -- right now, and you can change your mind, I'm sure.

POWERS: Right. Well, that's the thing. I mean, I don't --

O'REILLY: All right.

POWERS: I don't -- it's like I said, I'm inclined in that direction.

O'REILLY: So you're in the Hillary camp.

POWERS: Yes.

[...]

O'REILLY: All right, so all in all, you have come on the program and speaking to millions of people now. You're saying that there's nothing unusual about this hatred between the far left and the moderate left.

POWERS: There's not hatred. It's not hatred.

O'REILLY: It's not.

POWERS: No, it's not. It's just --

O'REILLY: Saying that the woman deserves to be a senator because her husband messed around? That's not hatred?

POWERS: OK, Roseanne -- but that's -- what Chris Matthews said was totally inappropriate.

O'REILLY: That's not hatred?

POWERS: I don't know if it's hatred. I think it's totally inappropriate. I think it completely crossed the line, but I don't think that it's hatred.

O'REILLY: All right. Always good to see you, Kirsten. Thank you very much for coming on.

POWERS: Thank you.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bill O'Reilly, Kirsten Powers
Show/Publication
The O'Reilly Factor
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