On his television and radio shows, Bill O'Reilly attacked Media Matters for America and The Plain Dealer of Cleveland, Ohio, for the newspaper's publication of a review by a Media Matters research fellow of his new book, Culture Warrior, saying that it was "blatantly dishonest" and "ridiculous" for the newspaper to publish the review without identifying Media Matters as a "far-left" organization, which "hates me." But O'Reilly identified no factual inaccuracies in the review itself.
Sean Hannity baselessly accused Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington of "prioritiz[ing] partisan politics over the safety and security of children" regarding Rep. Mark Foley's alleged communications with former underage congressional pages. In fact, CREW provided the FBI with the emails allegedly sent from Foley to a former page two months before ABC News reported their existence. Additionally, Michael Barone stated that CREW "would also have been wise to turn [the emails] over to, for example ... the House Page Committee"; in fact, the House leadership reportedly learned of the emails long before CREW did.
In a report on the recent resignation of Kirk Fordham, the former chief of staff of Rep. Tom Reynolds, Fox News' Carl Cameron mimicked Dennis Hastert's characterization of alleged emails from then-Rep. Mark Foley to underage male former congressional pages as "overly friendly." As Media Matters for America has noted, Hastert has described the alleged emails as "over friendly" to justify why the House Republican leadership did not investigate Foley's behavior when it was first informed of the alleged emails.
Bill O'Reilly claimed that "a lot of secular progressives" do not "believe in the concept of evil," even though, he has previously attributed the belief that the United States is "evil" to Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore.
An article on CBS News' website and a segment on Fox News' Special Report reported the FBI's claim that it did not launch an investigation of former Rep. Mark Foley after the nonprofit group CREW provided the FBI copies of sexually suggestive emails Foley allegedly sent to an underage former congressional page, because CREW refused to provide further information about the emails. Neither CBS nor Fox News, however, gave any indication that they asked CREW to respond to the FBI's allegation. Nor did they note that CREW executive director Melanie Sloan has stated that the FBI never contacted her after she sent the emails and never asked for further information.
Bill O'Reilly asked whether Bob Woodward was "reporting spin-free" in his new book State of Denial, but O'Reilly blocked Woodward from responding to the charges when Woodward requested to do so, stating: "I'm not real interested in that, so much ... I just want to get on the record that some people are questioning, you know, your controversial book."
Seeking to minimize the extent to which the House Republican leadership can be blamed for the scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley, several congressional Republicans, media figures, and conservatives have posited various conspiracy theories and placed blame on just about everyone and everything else -- including liberals, Democrats, the media, "politically correct culture," gays in Congress, and congressional pages.
In deflecting blame from House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) for apparently failing to properly address inappropriate emails allegedly sent by former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) to an underage male congressional page, Bill Kristol said that "the voters in Florida" shared the blame for what Fox News host John Gibson called "the exposure that Republicans now have" due to the scandal, adding, "Maybe they should have known better."
Despite his long history of attacking judges, newspapers, and elected officials he deems to be soft on child predators, Bill O'Reilly declined to discuss allegations of inaction on the part of House Republican leaders to learning months ago of emails allegedly sent by Rep. Mark Foley to an underage congressional page, instead attacking the Democratic leadership and the "San Francisco values" of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Numerous news outlets have continued to uncritically report House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's description of the emails Rep. Mark Foley allegedly sent to a 16-year-old former congressional page as "over friendly" and, in some cases, have themselves adopted his characterization.
On Special Report, Morton Kondracke stated that the scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley is "the sexual equivalent of cash in your freezer," referring to bribery allegations against Rep. William Jefferson.