Bill O'Reilly responded to viewer complaints about his calling Hearst Newspapers columnist Helen Thomas a "pinhead," by saying: "This woman is a pinhead. She's been a pinhead for decades. She will always be a pinhead. And I'm calling it the way it is." O'Reilly went on to assert: "She is consistently anti-American in her point of view." Fox News anchor Laurie Dhue then responded: "And she certainly has been in the last several years," adding: "Increasingly so."
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On his radio show, Bill O'Reilly took a call from a listener who said, "It sounds like [Oprah Winfrey is] voting for [Sen. Barack Obama] because he's black." O'Reilly responded: "I don't think your assessment is wrong." In a recent speech, after naming several specific actions Obama has taken, Winfrey said: "We need a president with clarity and conviction, who knows how to consult his own conscience and proceed with moral authority. We need Barack Obama."
On his radio show, Bill O'Reilly replied to a caller who said she was "disturb[ed]" over an email she received about Sen. Barack Obama, showing he was "the only one with his hand not over his heart" during the "Pledge of Allegiance," and "over the lapel pin thing," by saying, "Well, I think that Obama needs to answer some questions about his point of view, not only on the USA, but on a lot of things, and he simply doesn't do it."
On his Fox News show, Bill O'Reilly stated that Warren Buffett "was not being truthful" when he said that, in Kirsten Powers' words, "he doesn't think his secretary should be paying a higher tax rate than he is." O'Reilly asserted, "His secretary isn't paying a higher tax. ... Mr. Buffett gets no salary. He gets return on his interest. And he gets capital gains tax at 15 percent. That's what it's taxed as," adding that Buffett was "being deceptive because he doesn't make a salary." But Buffett has acknowledged that most of his income is not salary, saying, "Most of my income is taxed at 15 percent, and doesn't pay a payroll. Mainly it's dividends and capital gains."
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann named Fox News' Bill O'Reilly the "runner-up" in his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment for his recent statements regarding the November 17 killing of two undocumented immigrants. O'Reilly stated: "All right, look, these two illegal aliens are dead because of Houston's sanctuary city policies. That's why they're dead. ... [T]hese guys are dead because of chaotic immigration policies."
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On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly stated, "Fox News turns down blatantly anti-American ads. We just turned one down recently." Fox News recently refused to air an advertisement produced by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) that claims the Bush administration is "destroying the Constitution" through its use of renditions, torture, and other tactics. However, in an email provided to Media Matters by CCR, a Fox News account executive told CCR that Fox would not run the ad "with it being [narrator] Danny Glover's opinion that the Bush Administration is destroying the Constitution. If you have documentation that it is indeed being destroyed, we can look at that."
Bill O'Reilly accused The New York Times of "rooting for a recession," citing a Times article reporting on both the possible positive and negative effects of a recession. But O'Reilly did not note an article in The Wall Street Journal -- owned by Fox News' parent company, News Corp. -- with the headline "Recession Fears Weigh Heavily on the Markets," nor did he mention that FoxNews.com columnist Susan Walker penned a column headlined "5 Reasons Why We Are Closer to a Recession."
On The O'Reilly Factor, Newsmax.com chief Washington correspondent Ronald Kessler falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "voted to give Osama bin Laden the same rights that Americans have when it comes to intercepting his calls, even if he made calls within Pakistan, to Pakistan. They voted in August to not revise the FISA act." In fact, Obama and Clinton both voted for legislation sponsored by Sen. Carl Levin that would have amended FISA to allow warrantless wiretapping of foreign-to-foreign calls, regardless of whether they are transmitted through the United States.