On his radio and television shows, Bill O'Reilly criticized an Obama campaign ad for including a May 2003 statement from Sen. John McCain, in which McCain said that "there was a recent study that showed that I voted with the president 90 percent of the time." O'Reilly asserted that the "country was in a far different place" when McCain made those comments. In fact, according to a vote analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Quarterly, McCain was the administration's most reliable supporter in 2007.
On his radio show, Bill O'Reilly called prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib "pathetic," "awful," and said "[n]o one should justify that, ever," then added, "But nobody died." In fact, at least one detainee reportedly died at Abu Ghraib during an interrogation by CIA personnel.
Bill O'Reilly used both his radio and TV programs to attack former Vice President Al Gore for delivering a July 19 speech at the Netroots Nation conference, calling Gore an "evil enabler" and repeatedly comparing the event to gatherings by the Ku Klux Klan, Nazi Party, and David Duke. O'Reilly made his attacks on Gore and the Netroots conference after asserting that the blog Daily Kos posted "hateful e-mails" about Tony Snow. But while O'Reilly repeatedly linked Netroots Nation to Daily Kos, Daily Kos was not an official organizer or sponsor of the Netroots convention.
On his Fox News television program, Bill O'Reilly said, "[Sen. Barack] Obama must condemn organizations like MoveOn and the Daily Kos if he truly wants to run without a race component. These are the people that are dividing Americans along racial lines. It is not a stretch to say MoveOn is the new Klan."
Discussing the issue of whether health insurance plans that cover Viagra should also cover birth control, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly asserted: "Viagra is used to help a medical condition -- that's why it's covered. Birth control is not a medical condition, it is a choice." But O'Reilly's assertion is contradicted by professional medical associations that have stated that pregnancy is a medical condition and that "[c]ontraception is medically necessary" for women.
Commenting on Fox & Friends' airing of an altered photo of New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly said: "You may remember Fox News made fun of him recently for painting a distorted ratings picture -- that's why they distorted his picture -- and propping up MSNBC." O'Reilly previously compared the altered photo, which Fox & Friends did not indicate was distorted, to a Times illustration of him.
On his radio program, Bill O'Reilly stated, "Remember when Katrina hit, none of the oil rigs spilled in Louisiana." However, O'Reilly did not note that according to a report prepared for the federal government by an international consulting firm, Hurricane Katrina resulted in 70 spills from outer continental shelf structures with a total volume of approximately 5,552 barrels of oil and petroleum products, including 27 spills from platforms and rigs that resulted in the spilling of approximately 2,843 barrels of petroleum.
On both his radio and television shows, Bill O'Reilly again cited Sen. Barack Obama's ranking by the National Journal as the "most liberal senator" for 2007, without noting the rankings' subjectivity. O'Reilly did not note that the rankings were based not on every vote cast by senators in 2007, but rather on "99 key Senate votes, selected by NJ reporters and editors, to place every senator on a liberal-to-conservative scale."
Discussing the controversy over Fox & Friends' airing of altered photos of two New York Times staffers, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly compared the photo of Times reporter Jacques Steinberg, which Fox & Friends did not indicate was distorted, to a Times illustration of him.
Bill O'Reilly asserted: "The Tennessee Center for Policy Research [TCPR] says the former vice president [Al Gore] is still using a massive amount of energy at his Tennessee mansion -- more than 20 times the national average." O'Reilly later stated: "So it looks like Gore is a pinhead, but we would like to hear his side of things. And he has an open invitation to appear on the Factor." But at no point did O'Reilly mention that Gore has reportedly given "his side of things" in response to a June 17 TCPR press release on the subject of Gore's purported energy use.
While discussing ninth-grade students at a school in New Jersey who were suspended for distributing topless photographs of their classmates, Bill O'Reilly stated, "But it's an amazing amount of kids involved with this -- 20 -- in an affluent school district. This isn't, you know, the inner city; you would think that these kids would have some kind of a values system."
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Discussing supporters of Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, Bill O'Reilly said of Rev. John Hagee's controversial comments, "[T]he Hagee thing isn't going to take off because there's no tape on Hagee." In fact, there is audiotape of several of Hagee's comments about Jews, Islam, and Hurricane Katrina.
Bill O'Reilly compared Markos Moulitsas, founder of the progressive Daily Kos blog, to white supremacist David Duke and criticized Newsweek for its decision to hire Moulitsas as a regular contributor, stating: "And Newsweek magazine, by the way, has legitimized him by giving him a columnist position. I talked to the editor by email, and I said I can't believe that you're -- that's like hiring David Duke. Again, I use Duke too much, but I have to -- the level of hatred coming out of that website is unprecedented."
Bill O'Reilly again misrepresented comments he made in 2005 about a possible terrorist attack on San Francisco, stating on his Fox News show: "I made a joke out of San Francisco. If they didn't want the military, then the next time there was a terror attack, they're on their own." In fact, O'Reilly had said: "[I]f Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead."
Referring to a controversial ad by the North Carolina Republican Party attacking Sen. Barack Obama, Bill O'Reilly said: "[T]he reality -- and we've researched this -- is that Senator McCain has no power at all in North Carolina, all right? ... And that's the truth." But several people identified as having leadership positions in the North Carolina Republican Party also have "official" roles in the McCain campaign. Additionally, neither McCain nor the Republican National Committee, which has also denounced the ad, has suggested that the North Carolina GOP will face any repercussions for its refusal to pull the ad.