Speaking with a caller to his radio show who noted that Sen. John McCain "accepted money" from G. Gordon Liddy, and that Liddy "held a fundraiser for him in 1998," Bill O'Reilly declared that "McCain has nothing to do with G. Gordon Liddy -- nothing," and added that comparing the ties between McCain and Liddy that the caller referenced with Sen. Barack's Obama's ties to Bill Ayers is "ridiculous." However, in addition to the connections the caller referenced, McCain has repeatedly appeared on Liddy's radio show during the presidential campaign, and McCain recently said that he was "not in any way embarrassed to know Gordon Liddy."
On the October 21 broadcast of The Radio Factor, after a caller noted that Sen. John McCain "accepted money" from G. Gordon Liddy, and that Liddy "held a fundraiser for him in 1998," host Bill O'Reilly declared: "McCain has nothing to do with G. Gordon Liddy -- nothing." O'Reilly continued: "I mean, if you want to make a comparison between Bill Ayers, who has consistently over the years interacted face-to-face with John McCain -- with Barack Obama, I should say -- if you want to make a comparison to Liddy sendin' the guy some money and holdin' a fundraiser 20 years ago, I mean, come on. It's ridiculous." However, in addition to the fundraiser the caller referenced, which Liddy reportedly held for McCain 10 years ago -- not 20 years ago as O'Reilly claimed -- McCain has repeatedly appeared on Liddy's radio show during the presidential campaign, including as recently as May. Indeed, during his appearance on the October 16 edition of CBS' Late Show with David Letterman, McCain said that he was "not in any way embarrassed to know Gordon Liddy."
An online video labeled "John McCain On The G. Gordon Liddy Show 11/8/07" includes a discussion between Liddy and McCain, whom Liddy described as an "old friend." During the segment, McCain praised Liddy's "adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great," said he was "proud" of Liddy, and said that "it's always a pleasure for me to come on your program."
As Media Matters for America has detailed, Liddy served four and a half years in prison in connection with his conviction for his role in the Watergate break-in and the break-in at the office of the psychiatrist of Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers. Liddy has acknowledged preparing to kill someone during the Ellsberg break-in "if necessary"; plotting to kill journalist Jack Anderson; plotting with a "gangland figure" to kill Howard Hunt to stop him from cooperating with investigators; plotting to firebomb the Brookings Institution; and plotting to kidnap "leftist guerillas" at the 1972 Republican National Convention -- a plan he outlined to the Nixon administration using terminology borrowed from the Nazis. (The homicide, firebombing, and kidnapping plots were never carried out; the break-ins were.) During the 1990s, Liddy reportedly instructed his radio audience on multiple occasions on how to shoot Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents and also reportedly said he had named his shooting targets after Bill and Hillary Clinton.
From the October 21 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: Now Jay in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania's been hangin' on. He wants to talk about McCain and G. Gordon Liddy? Is that what you want to talk about? I don't know anything about G. Gordon Liddy, Jay.
CALLER: Yes it is, Bill. Hey, first of all, I just want to preface this by saying I -- if the election were today, I'd vote for Obama, but it's not written in stone. But I agree with you completely. All these Ayers questions are completely valid and --
CALLER: -- you know, everyone should pay attention to it. But to stress that I haven't heard -- I heard David Letterman ask John McCain about this G. Gordon Liddy stuff. I mean, Liddy donated --
O'REILLY: What is the G. Gordon Liddy stuff?
CALLER: Well, the fact that he, on his radio show, explained to his listeners how to shoot Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents. The fact that he --
O'REILLY: Yeah, but I mean, what does McCain have to do with that?
CALLER: Well, he accepted money from him. G. Gordon Liddy --
O'REILLY: Now, wait a minute. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
CALLER: -- held a fundraiser. He donated thousands --
O'REILLY: So Liddy made a donation to the McCain campaign? Is that what you're saying?
O'REILLY: Well, how would John McCain know that?
CALLER: Well, I would assume that he was told.
O'REILLY: How would he know that? I mean, Liddy's an American. He writes his check. He sends it to McCain -- the McCain campaign. I mean, how would McCain know he did that?
CALLER: OK. Gordon Liddy also held a fundraiser for him in 1998. So he knows --
O'REILLY: OK. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. That's 20 years ago. Whoa, whoa, whoa. It's 20 years ago.
CALLER: It's 10.
O'REILLY: Look, this is a -- look. This is a fabricated, nonsensical, far-left, kooky, stupid -- what other adjective can I throw in? All right. McCain has nothing to do with G. Gordon Liddy -- nothing. You know? And I mean, if you want to make a comparison between Bill Ayers, who has consistently over the years interacted face-to-face with John McCain -- with Barack Obama, I should say -- if you want to make a comparison to Liddy sendin' the guy some money and holdin' a fundraiser 20 years ago, I mean, come on. It's ridiculous.