On his radio and television shows, Bill O'Reilly claimed that the food-stamp provision in the economic recovery bill will not stimulate the economy. But economists, including the director of the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office and a reported adviser to the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain, disagree.
On his Fox News show, Bill O'Reilly baselessly characterized the OneUnited Bank -- which received a $12 million federal loan under a provision of the Troubled Asset Relief Program written by Rep. Barney Frank -- as "Barney Frank's bank." But O'Reilly provided no evidence that Frank has a financial stake in the bank, and The Boston Globe reported that "OneUnited executives have not contributed to Frank's congressional campaigns, according to the database of Center for Responsive Politics."
On The O'Reilly Factor, Dick Morris repeatedly criticized Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner for his failure to pay Social Security taxes several years ago. But Morris has his own history of tax delinquency; USA Today included Morris in an April 2008 report on "[b]ig names" who are tax delinquents.
On his radio show, Bill O'Reilly advanced the falsehood that a 1995 memo written by then-Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick prohibited intelligence-sharing between the FBI and the CIA, thereby causing the intelligence failures that led to the 9-11 attacks, and asserted that Eric Holder, along with Janet Reno and Gorelick, "said that the CIA and the FBI couldn't talk to each other on investigative matters." In fact, the Gorelick memo had no impact on communications between the FBI and the CIA, the Department of Defense, or any other agencies.
Bill O'Reilly again falsely claimed that the Army Field Manual "says, quote, 'You are not to make any captured person uncomfortable in any way.' " In fact, the Army Field Manual includes an entire section on "Interrogation Operations," which includes several techniques and strategies that make detainees "uncomfortable."
On The O'Reilly Factor, Dennis Miller ridiculed Thomas Beatie, a transgender man who recently gave birth to a child, calling him a "nympho satyr" and saying: "[A]ll I know is the guy's more pregnant than the old woman in the shoe is. And somebody has got to get some protection for this guy, be it a condom or an IUD or a satellite dish or a catcher's mitt. I don't even know what he needs down there, but I need an equipment check on aisle five." Referring to the baby, Miller had video of the polar bear cub at the Berlin zoo aired.
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On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly claimed that "[t]he Army Field Manual bans any questioning that would make a suspect uncomfortable in any way," echoing his previous assertion that "[t]here is no interrogation under the manual. No unpleasantness." In fact, the Army Field Manual includes an entire section on "Interrogation Operations," as well as a chapter listing and describing "Approach Techniques and Termination Strategies" for use in interrogations of detainees, including several techniques intended to make detainees "uncomfortable."
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann named Bill O'Reilly the runner-up in his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment, saying that O'Reilly "called the media watchdog site, Media Matters, quote, 'the most dishonest website in the country,' because, well, it accurately quoted him, lying."
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Attacking Media Matters on his radio show for noting that his previous claim that Sen. Norm Coleman "was certified the winner" in the Minnesota Senate race was false, Bill O'Reilly repeated the falsehood, claiming: "[W]hat I said was, Coleman's victory was certified by the state because it was. He had 215 more votes, which is absolutely true." In fact, the Minnesota State Canvassing Board did not "certif[y]" a "victory" for Coleman or Al Franken, having authorized an automatic recount of ballots for that race; Minnesota election law states that "no certificate of election shall be prepared or delivered until after the recount is completed."
Echoing Sen. Norm Coleman's campaign, Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that Coleman "was certified the winner" in the Minnesota Senate race against Al Franken, adding, "Coleman won by a mere 215 votes." In fact, the Minnesota State Canvassing Board did not certify a winner in the Senate race, having authorized an automatic recount of ballots for that race.
While discussing the campaign for Proposition 8 to ban same-sex marriage in California, Bill O'Reilly asserted that if states allow same-sex couples to marry they would be required, "under equal protection," to allow polygamous marriages. In fact, the California Supreme Court explicitly stated that its May 15 decision that California's ban on same-sex marriage violated the state's constitution did not extend to polygamous marriages.
Discussing actions by individual protesters of Proposition 8, Newt Gingrich stated: "I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it. I think that it is a very dangerous threat to anybody who believes in traditional religion."
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Bill O'Reilly claimed that Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie (D) was "actively rooting for Al Franken" in the Senate race between Franken and incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman (R) and that "the fix is in." But O'Reilly did not note that Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty approved of the composition of the canvassing board Ritchie named to certify the vote and oversee the recount or that a lawyer for Coleman's campaign reportedly said that the "state should feel good about who's on the panel."
On The O'Reilly Factor, Dennis Miller stated of Gov. Sarah Palin: "[M]ostly women on the left hate her, because to me, from outside in, it appears that she has a great sex life." He continued, "I think she has non-neurotic sex with that Todd Palin guy. I think most of the women on the Upper East Side, their husbands haven't been aroused since Mailer signed copy of The Executioner's Song at Rizzoli's back in the early '70s."
Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, Megyn Kelly and Lis Wiehl falsely claimed that the ACLU has not raised privacy objections to the search by Ohio government officials of "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher's records, with O'Reilly saying the organization's response has been "nothing." In fact, ACLU of Ohio executive director Christine Link wrote in a letter that she "was deeply disturbed to hear that state officials approved the use of government databases to obtain information" Wurzelbacher, and the legal director for the ACLU of Ohio told Media Matters, "We would be very happy to talk to him and see if there's something we could do to pursue redress for this violation of his privacy rights."