Repeat jab at Fox News by Fox Broadcasting Co.'s The Simpsons was in direct response to O'Reilly

Earlier today, Media Matters noted that Fox Broadcasting Co.'s The Simpsons had taken a second swipe at Fox News in as many weeks despite being labeled as “pinheads” by Bill O'Reilly following their first of the two efforts.

You'll recall that two weeks ago a news helicopter with the Fox News logo appeared on The Simpsons with the slogan “Not Racist, But #1 With Racists” emblazoned on its side. This week the helicopter made a return appearance in the opening credits of the long-running animated program with a new slogan, this time reading “Unsuitable For Viewers Under 75.”

It has now been reported that producers of The Simpsons went to great lengths to make certain their latest shot at the right-wing cable outlet would be included on last night's broadcast. On the New York Times' Arts Beat blog, Dave Itzkoff writes:

[The Simpsons executive producer Al Jean] said the “Simpsons” producers -- in particular, the creator of the series, Matt Groening -- were pleased with how the first Fox News joke seemed to ruffle the feathers of Bill O'Reilly, the host of the Fox News program “The O'Reilly Factor.” (On his show last week, Mr. O'Reilly played the “Simpsons” satire of Fox News and, with a smile, said of the cartoon family: “Pinheads? I believe so.” )

The “Simpsons” producers could not let that remark stand, so they rushed their second Fox News joke into Sunday's episode -- so late in the production process that the gag could only be inserted into the version shown in North America, but not into versions shown in foreign markets or on the Internet.

“There's a lot of masters that go out,” Mr. Jean said in a telephone interview, “so to save money we just put it in the one master that's for the U.S. and Canada. More money that will then go to Fox News and undoubtedly to Bill O'Reilly.”

Previously: