O'Reilly: The “word is” that Soros funds Michael Moore

FOX News host Bill O'Reilly claimed without evidence that progressive financier, philanthropist, and political activist George Soros “funds” author and filmmaker Michael Moore's activities overseas. O'Reilly himself admitted he "[c]an't prove it" but insisted, “that's the word.”

From the January 10 broadcast of Westwood One's Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:

O'REILLY: So, anyway, Moore comes in and he wins [a People's Choice Award], and he gives a mild speech about “We all love the country, live in a great country.” This is the same guy who runs around Europe saying we live in a terrible country. ... No, we live in a great country when he wins a People's Choice Award voted on by Americans. He goes over to London -- “We live in a bad country, America's bad, exploits people, causes pain and suffering all over the world.” This is what Moore does. And who funds all of his stuff overseas? Word is George Soros does. Can't prove it -- that's the word.

In fact, Soros has stated publicly, “I am not a fan of Michael Moore,” and he has criticized what he called Moore's efforts “to mislead the American people.”

O'Reilly's willingness to repeat baseless rumors to smear his political enemies contradicts his frequent insistence that he reports only claims he has verified and his frequent criticism of the “mainstream media” for supposedly reporting unsubstantiated claims from the Internet.

From the December 10, 2004, Radio Factor:

O'REILLY: Because freedom of speech is really what's at play. Guys like me -- who speak out, speak their mind -- every day run the risk of being destroyed by these people who disagree with us. And on left wing [sic] too -- but again, left wing [sic] not as much because the right wing can't get it into The New York Times. They can't get it anywhere.

I get stuff all the time; I never use it. I mean, my mandates to my producers are, “You gotta check it. You gotta confirm it. We're not printin' unless we know it's true.” We don't use it. But that's not what's going on in the mainstream media most of the time. It's not happening. They will print and say anything they pick up from the Internet.

From the November 11, 2004, Radio Factor:

O'REILLY: Ladies and gentlemen, I mean, it is outrageous. Because when the stuff appears on the Internet, then the straight press picks it up. And then when you call 'em on it, it's, “Well, I read it on the Internet. Not my fault. There it was, public domain.”

From the October 27, 2004, Radio Factor:

O'REILLY: Now, there are no rules anymore in the media -- no rules. It used to be that you had to verify your story. You had to have proof before you printed. No longer. If there's an allegation out there, you can print it. It doesn't have to be true; it doesn't have to come from a credible source -- you know, boom, it's out there. You've seen that in the presidential race right now.

From the July 14, 2004, Radio Factor:

O'REILLY: Now, if somebody calls me up and says, “O'Reilly, so-and-so is doing this,” and it sounds like a good story, I can't just report that to you like the websites do, for example. Somebody calls up a website, tells anybody, “this is happening,” and they just post it, and then they say, “Well, so-and-so told me,” or, you know, “what sources say.” We can't do that. We've got to verify independently what is happening. We can take the tip, but we have to verify independently.


As a journalist, you know, I have to fight that every day. Somebody gives me a -- a really juicy item about somebody I despise, I want to go right away and use it, you know, but I can't, because if it's wrong, I get -- I get killed.