On Thursday, Bill O'Reilly speculated that Sandra Fluke -- the Georgetown law student who testified about the need for insurance coverage for contraception and was then subjected to unrelenting misogynistic attacks by Rush Limbaugh -- was a White House plant. O'Reilly based his suggestion on the fact that Fluke is now being represented by former White House communications director Anita Dunn's PR agency.
As we've noted, that conspiracy theory imploded when it became clear that Dunn's PR firm started representing Fluke pro bono on Monday and that prior to that Fluke was fielding media requests herself.
Nevertheless, O'Reilly and fellow Fox News host Eric Bolling were still trying to push Fluke conspiracy theories tonight.
On The Five, Bolling (who is always up for a good conspiracy theory) lauded O'Reilly for his theory that the White House is running Fluke through Dunn's firm. After playing a clip of O'Reilly's Thursday comments, Bolling said: “Ms. Fluke, who has already her ties to the uber-liberal website Media Matters, has now been connected to the White House, via former communications director Anita Dunn. Dunn, White House, Media Matters, Ms. Fluke. Ah, Ange, how the onion unfolds.”
On the Factor, O'Reilly not only failed to correct the record about whether the White House has been running Fluke all along, but he actually introduced more Fluke conspiracy theories.
O'Reilly only obliquely referred to Dunn during the show tonight, but he did make time to cast Fluke as a shadowy figure nevertheless.
O'Reilly suggested that the White House used Fluke to combat the challenge from Catholic bishops on Obama's birth control plan. “This story is really about the nanny state and the imposition of a huge federal apparatus on all Americans,” he said. “When the Catholic bishops challenged the nanny state on moral grounds, the White House got nervous and the women's health play began to ramp up. Of course, that's when Sandra Fluke suddenly appeared, popping up at Congressional hearings, showing up the in media. Polls show President Obama's poll numbers among women now on the rise, and he has Ms. Fluke to thank for that.”
And in an effort to further portray Fluke as a Democratic lackey, O'Reilly reported that Fluke is “on spring break in California with her boyfriend, who is the son of Democratic stalwart William Mutterperl. He has made at least 56 donations to Democratic candidates or organizations.” But O'Reilly wasn't done yet.
O'Reilly also claimed: “If you don't pay close attention to this story, it looks like President Obama's simply helping out a young woman under siege. But again, that's not what's going on here.” O'Reilly didn't really explain what he meant by that comment, however. Instead, he segued into an attack on Democrats and Fluke for supposedly being in favor of a “nanny state.”
So there you have it. Yesterday, O'Reilly comes up with a laughable conspiracy theory. The conspiracy theory gets debunked. Nevertheless, Bolling treats it as a great scoop on Fox today. And O'Reilly, rather than owning up to his mistakes, continues to attack Fluke.
That's Fox News for you.