Following recent demonstrations in which protesters marched against proposed legislation that would criminalize undocumented workers, some in the media have criticized the demonstrators for carrying Mexican flags. But these same media figures have not complained about people waving other nations' flags, such as Irish flags at St. Patrick's Day events, Italian flags at Columbus Day events, or Israeli flags at Israel Day events.
Commemorating the third anniversary of his MSNBC show, Keith Olbermann devoted a segment to his long-standing rivalry with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly; Olbermann aired a compilation of clips mocking O'Reilly. He also declared radio host Neal Boortz that evening's "Worst Person in the World" for saying that Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) "looks like a ghetto slut."
Bill O'Reilly distorted editorials on immigration from five major newspapers and accused the "left-wing print media" of not having "any solution at all" to the problem of illegal immigration.
Citing comments recently documented by Media Matters for America, Keith Olbermann named Bill O'Reilly the runner-up and winner of March 30's "Worst person in the World" award.
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On March 29, Bill O'Reilly appeared to declare that the so-called "culture war" he has waged is over, saying, "I don't feel persecuted as a Christian" because "I can still do what I want to do."
Bill O'Reilly accused Cardinal Roger Mahony and other opponents of a recently passed House immigration bill of "demagoguing the issue -- not telling the folks the truth." O'Reilly purported to "make [i]t clear to everybody" that the proposed legislation would not affect people like Mahony, but rather "the priests who would establish an underground railroad from Tijuana to L.A." In fact, the House bill specifically threatens up to five years of imprisonment to anyone who "assists, encourages, directs, or induces a person to reside in or remain in the United States."
Bill O'Reilly falsely suggested that only the "nutty left" wants Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to recuse himself from the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld case. In fact, a group of retired military officials and even conservative Fox News analyst Andrew P. Napolitano have joined the Center for Constitutional Rights and Rep. John D. Conyers (D-MI) in calling for Scalia's recusal from the case.
On his radio program, Bill O'Reilly declared that "the American press" is the "most damaging institution in the country today, because it's so blatantly partisan and dishonest intellectually." Later that day on The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly referred to the media as "the forces of darkness" for "working against Jessica's Law [which would institute harsher penalties for child molesters] for ideological, crazy, nutty, far-left, insane reasons."
While discussing immigration, Bill O'Reilly claimed that Cardinal Roger Mahony opposes a recently passed House immigration bill because he "knows he'll get those people in church when he doesn't have anybody in church anymore." O'Reilly also attacked Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, saying that "the Ted Kennedys of the world" favor immigration "because they know they'll get the lion's share of those votes."
Bill O'Reilly falsely attacked New York Times columnist Paul Krugman for "writing about illegal immigrants" but refusing to "put the word 'illegal' in there." In fact, the portion of Krugman's March 27 column that O'Reilly read referred to all immigrants, not only those here illegally. Later in his column, Krugman referred specifically to "illegal immigrants," "illegal immigration," and "an illegal immigrant."
Relying on his distortions and mischaracterizations of the positions of the "left-leaning" newspapers he targets, Bill O'Reilly claimed, during a discussion on his radio show about child abuse, that "[t]he print press does not care about the children."
After the contentious exchange between Hearst Newspapers columnist Helen Thomas and President Bush during Bush's March 21 press conference, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly and several other conservative commentators rushed to attack Thomas. O'Reilly accused her of "hat[ing] Bush and try[ing] to undermine everything he does," and even suggesting that if he were Bush, he "would have laid her out." Several other conservative media figures -- including Jonah Goldberg, Fred Barnes, Glenn Beck, and Tucker Carlson -- have followed suit, sometimes with highly personal attacks.
Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) supports "things most Christians do not, i.e., partial birth abortion." In fact, Clinton has consistently said she would support a ban on late-term abortions so long as there were exceptions to protect the health and life of the pregnant woman.
President Bush and senior aides have claimed that Americans are increasingly disillusioned about the Iraq war because the mainstream media report only the violent and tragic events occurring there -- an accusation that has simultaneously been advanced by an array of conservative media figures.