On the June 28 edition of FOX News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly reacted to a column by New York Daily News movie critic Jack Mathews that accused O'Reilly of routinely lying on the air and suggested that O'Reilly, who has rebuffed repeated attempts by Media Matters for America to appear on his show with documented evidence refuting his lies, was “hiding” from MMFA. O'Reilly called the Mathews column “the most ridiculous item of the day” but did not appear amused while delivering a harangue against Mathews and Media Matters for America.
In his June 28 column, titled “Hide this, Bill O'Reilly,” Mathews cited -- and challenged O'Reilly to disprove -- three “O'Reilly untruths, courtesy of the media watchdog group Media Matters for America”:
Example 1: In an April 27 radio debate with a Canadian journalist, you threatened to lead a boycott of Canadian goods if Canada didn't deport two American military deserters, saying that a previous O'Reilly-led boycott of French goods cost that country billions in lost export business. You cited the Paris Business Review as your source for those losses.
In fact, Media Matters found no evidence that a Paris Business Review even exists, and France's export business with the U.S. actually increased during the run-up to the Iraq war.
Example 2: In discrediting philanthropist and John Kerry supporter George Soros, you distorted his account of his feelings about his father's death, deliberately misquoting him from a 1995 New Yorker article to make it appear that he had callous disregard for his father's life.
Example 3: On May 4, in announcing his acquisition of a cable TV channel, Al Gore said: “This is not going to be a liberal network or a Democratic network or a political network in any way, shape or form.”
On “The O'Reilly Factor” that night, you said: “Al Gore has announced that he is starting up a new cable channel exclusively devoted to liberal stuff. We wish Mr. Gore good luck. And he'll need it.”
O'Reilly responded to none of the specific allegations of lying, which have been documented by Media Matters for America here, here, and here. Rather, he attempted to dismiss the entire controversy as a “bunch of baloney”:
O'REILLY: [T]he new Far Left tactic is to distort the record of anyone who challenges. Every week day we do three hours of commentary, two on the radio, and an hour on TV. The bomb-throwers are now recording all of that with an eye on finding so-called lies.
Now anybody can find something in three hours to challenge. But it is the straight press who is enabling the propaganda. Today in the New York Daily News, for example, writer Jack Mathews quotes a Far Left website in questioning my honesty. It's all a bunch of baloney.
That Mathews isn't really worth the time. But the overall dishonesty of the Far Left is very important. They are giving all liberals a very, very bad name. And that's ridiculous. These people.