O'Reilly launched "smear merchant" campaign, claimed "the smear stops here"

Video ››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

Bill O'Reilly launched a "campaign to hold the smear merchants accountable," because "some media people" allegedly "have been using personal attacks and smears to try to marginalize people with whom they disagree."

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During the April 24 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly launched a "campaign to hold the smear merchants accountable," because "some media people" allegedly "have been using personal attacks and smears to try to marginalize people with whom they disagree." O'Reilly declared that "the committed left-wing media hates Fox News, along with me ... because we provide a balance to the overwhelming secular presence in the media." O'Reilly cited the Dayton Daily News and the Post-Standard of Syracuse, New York, as examples of newspapers that have recently "smeared" him, and added that he has posted "contact numbers" on his website for "[t]he villains at" the Post-Standard -- publisher Stephen Rogers and editorial writer Mark Libbon, who O'Reilly called "unprofessional" and "incompetent." Concluding, O'Reilly stated: "Any media person who uses smear tactics in any way ... will be featured on The Factor and inducted into the billoreilly.com 'Hall of Shame.' ... [B]eginning today, the smear stops here."

O'Reilly also referred to his "don't buy, don't advertise list," which he has repeatedly touted on his television and radio shows in recent months. While O'Reilly's website has no "Hall of Shame* ," it does contain a "media defamation" section, to which O'Reilly was apparently referring, listing eight media outlets that allegedly "have regularly helped distribute defamatory, false or non-newsworthy information supplied by far left websites." After the list, the website states, "We recommend that you do not patronize or advertise with the above."

In an April 15 Post-Standard editorial, the paper wrote, "O'Reilly put his spin on current events as the keynote speaker for Wednesday's Boypower fundraiser for the Boy Scouts." The editorial then offered a quiz on O'Reilly's discussion, writing:

The Fox News personality was especially critical of:

a) The American Civil Liberties Union, for pointing out flaws in the United States of America.

b) Liberal newspapers and other "secular progressives" for urging tolerance and generosity.

c) Syracuse University, for denying organizers the use of campus facilities because of the Boy Scouts' prohibition of openly gay members.

d) Former associate producer Andrea Mackris, for making him about $10 million poorer when he settled the sexual harassment lawsuit she filed against him.

O'Reilly added the Post-Standard to his "media defamation" list on the April 17 edition of his television show, declaring that "the ultra-liberal Syracuse Post-Standard newspaper didn't like" his Boy Scout speech, "and personally attacked me in its pages for absolutely no reason whatsoever. ... Its disgraceful lack of professionalism is not worth your time up in upstate New York."

Though he did not officially list it on his "media defamation" webpage, during the April 24 broadcast, O'Reilly included the Dayton Daily News as an example of newspapers that have "smeared" him. A March 19 Dayton Daily News editorial that addressed the sentencing of a convicted pedophile to probation instead of prison mentioned O'Reilly's recent interest in impeaching the judge responsible for the sentencing. The editorial advocated due process in any proceeding against the judge, arguing that "O'Reilly should realize on a very personal level the importance of a legal system not inflamed by the politics of the moment," and noting, "Mr. O'Reilly was sued by a female colleague for allegedly making sexually harassing telephone calls."

On March 20, O'Reilly said he was adding the Dayton Daily News to the "don't buy, don't advertise list," stating that the "Dayton Daily News personally attacked" him and accusing Dayton Daily News editor Jeff Bruce of "smearing anyone who disagrees" with him. Bruce responded to O'Reilly's boycott, stating:

"Mr. O'Reilly is upset with the newspaper because in an editorial we referred to his own recent legal history in which he was accused of sexual harassment. His producer threatened that unless we published an apology they would resort to their 'bully pulpit.' That's what they've done. This isn't about being 'soft' on child molesters. It's about Bill O'Reilly getting even.

[...]

"His producer, in a conversation with me, acknowledged the logic of our editorial's argument. But they felt dragging O'Reilly's own legal problems into the article was gratuitous. While I expected O'Reilly to take a shot at us, I was shocked that he would suggest that this newspaper 'has sympathy for child rapists.' That is a deliberate distortion of what we said and what we stand for, and nothing could be further from the truth."

From the April 24 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight. Fighting the culture war in the media, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo".

There's no question, the committed left-wing media hates Fox News, along with me and some other commentators here because we provide a balance to the overwhelming secular presence in the media.

Now, every poll of journalists says the same thing. Secular media people outnumber traditional media people by a huge margin. And some left-wing media companies aggressively push their agenda in their news pages.

That is not acceptable, because the press in America is afforded special constitutional privileges. Thus, we have an obligation to be fair and balanced.

For a number of years, some media people have been using personal attacks and smears to try to marginalize people with whom they disagree. They do this because they can't win the debate. So they try to demean and demoralize their opposition.

Well, that's no longer tolerable. And The Factor's now going to launch a campaign to hold the smear merchants accountable. You may remember a few weeks ago, The Factor investigated Ohio Judge John Connor, who sentenced a child rapist to probation, no prison time whatsoever.

The attorney general and governor of Ohio supported the evidence we presented that Connor is unfit to serve. Well, the Dayton Daily News didn't like that. It smeared the three of us. Thousands of you called that newspaper to complain. And it was badly damaged.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I traveled to Syracuse, New York, to give a speech in support of the Boy Scouts, who had been thrown off the campus of Syracuse University after the ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] complained.

For my trouble, I was smeared twice by the Syracuse Post-Standard. The villains at that paper are publisher Stephen Rogers and editorial writer Mark Libbon. These men are not only unprofessional, they are incompetent.

Over the past few years, the Post-Standard's circulation has declined nearly 30 percent. It is a disgraceful newspaper, nicknamed "substandard" by some in upstate New York.

Now, we posted contact numbers for Rogers and Libbon on billoreilly.com, should you want to speak with them.

And that is what we'll continue to do. Any media person who uses smear tactics in any way, not just on me, but any way will be featured on The Factor and inducted into the billoreilly.com "Hall of Shame."

We will keep a running list of media smear merchants on the website, in addition to our "don't buy, don't advertise" list.

As you know, we debate issues all day long on this program. I have no objection to any media criticizing my stand on any matters of the day. But beginning today, the smear stops here.

You guys want to do that? We'll let everybody know about it. That's called accountability.

From the April 17 edition of The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." Last week I spoke at a benefit to the Boy Scouts of Syracuse, New York, a very successful event.

Well, the ultra-liberal Syracuse Post-Standard newspaper didn't like that very much and personally attacked me in its pages for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Thus, the Syracuse newspaper joins our "don't buy, don't advertise" list. Its disgraceful lack of professionalism is not worth your time up in upstate New York.

Now, that paper is owned by the Newhouse Company, which also owns the ultra-left New Yorker magazine, also on the "don't buy" list. Last week The New Yorker ran a -- surprise -- pro-illegal alien article, which said, quote, "Bill O'Reilly accused the pro-immigrant demonstrators of intimidation," unquote.

From the March 20 edition of The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day" and perhaps the most vile and irresponsible editorial I have ever seen in an American newspaper. The Dayton Daily News personally attacked the governor of Ohio, the attorney general of that state, and myself for calling for the ouster of Judge John Connor.

The editor of the Dayton Daily News, Jeff Bruce, apparently believes Connor should not be sanctioned for giving probation to a child rapist and is smearing anyone who disagrees with that. Mr. Bruce can be reached at jbruce@coxohio.com, jbruce@coxohio.com. If you don't get that, it's on -- we're going to have it on billoreilly.com. And we'd like you to give him a little toot and let him know how you feel.

But the larger problem is the Cox newspaper company, which owns the Dayton Daily News, as well as the ultra-liberal Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The CEO of Cox, Jay Smith, routinely allows his newspapers to use smear tactics against perceived opponents. Smith is simply too cowardly to address the situation.

Dayton Daily News now goes on our "don't buy, don't advertise" list, joining the Atlanta paper. Like the good folks in Georgia, the good folks in southern Ohio deserve much better than this. Ridiculous doesn't even begin to cover it.

*At the time of publication, O'Reilly's website had no list officially titled "Hall of Shame;" rather, the website touted a "Media Defamation" list. Since publication, the website has re-named its "Media Defamation" list "Hall of Shame."

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Fox News Channel
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Bill O'Reilly
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The O'Reilly Factor
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