FOX News Channel host Bill O'Reilly denied having told lies about progressive financier and philanthropist George Soros. But Media Matters for America has documented several instances of O'Reilly both lying about and smearing Soros.
Introducing a segment about Soros on the September 15 edition of FOX News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly claimed Soros "is funding some pretty nasty websites." Then O'Reilly reported Soros's unwillingness to appear on The Factor: "Now, we've tried to convince Mr. Soros to talk with us with no luck. His spokesman says, 'Bill O'Reilly has told so many lies about George Soros. I can't see any reason why George Soros would want to subject himself to the bullying.' Well, we're not aware of any lies, but we would like to hear from him, and our invitation remains open."
Following is a summary of O'Reilly's lies and smears against Soros, as documented by MMFA:
- O'Reilly smeared Soros with epithets and baseless accusations: On June 1, O'Reilly claimed that Soros is "a real sleazoid"; that his political views are "as far left as you can get without moving to Havana"; that he is "a total radical on all the issues that Americans care about"; and that he "wants abortion even out of the womb -- out of the womb!"
- O'Reilly doctored quotation to suggest Soros wished his own father dead: On June 3, O'Reilly doctored a quotation by Soros from a 1995 New Yorker article to make it seem as though Soros had wished his own father dead. (MMFA's subsequent request to appear on The O'Reilly Factor to correct the record was refused on the grounds that O'Reilly would no longer be covering Soros.)
- O'Reilly lied about Soros speech: On June 4, O'Reilly lied about a speech Soros made at the Campaign for America's Future "Take Back America" conference. O'Reilly claimed: "He [Soros] says, it's worse. What happened at Abu -- Abu Ghraib is worse than 9-11 and what Saddam and his sons did." In fact, Soros said no such thing.
- O'Reilly Factor guest Richard Poe smeared Soros: On May 18, O'Reilly invited NewsMax Magazine contributing editor Richard Poe to appear on The O'Reilly Factor, where Poe repeated many of the distortions that appeared in the magazine's May cover story, titled "George Soros' Coup" (distortions MMFA has documented).