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09.19 Shell and Exxon's secret 1980s climate change warnings [that capitalists suppressed this for continuing profit is the most unforgivable crime ever]Trump administration rolls back methane pollution rule despite harmful health impacts [continuing in the tradition of stupid capitalism at all costs]
09.18 'I was horrified that children are breathing air this dirty inside the school' [if your government isn't working, change it!]
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09.18 'This Election Is Last Chance to Stop Them': Kudlow Confirms Trump and GOP Ready to Gut Safety Net After Midterms [Yes, there are far too many sociopaths]
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09.18 Racist rioting in Chemnitz has reopened Germany’s east-west split [We are all mixed-race after 10,000 generations. Helping suffering people makes us feel good, so become their friends instead.]
PERSONAL ATTACKS ON HATE TV:
O'Reilly Ambushes His Latest Critic
Do Fox hosts have special training to behave this way?
25 March 2009
This was not the first time O'Reilly's show has used such tactics--and not the first time he's violated his own professed standards.Fox News host Bill O'Reilly (O'Reilly Factor, 3/23/08) recently aired the results of his latest ambush-style interview, which targeted Think Progress blog editor Amanda Terkel. Terkel had dared to point out that O'Reilly, who was invited to speak at a fundraiser for a foundation for rape survivors, had previously suggested that a "moronic" rape/murder victim had invited assault by her drinking and the way she was dressed.
O'Reilly had commented (Radio Factor, 8/2/06) on the death of an 18-year-old New Jersey woman:
Terkel quoted from these remarks (Think Progress, 3/1/09) in the context of O'Reilly speaking at a fundraiser for the Alexa Foundation, which advocates for rape survivors, merely noting that these were "controversial comments."
The next day (3/2/09), MSNBC's Keith Olbermann picked up the story, citing O'Reilly in his "worst person in the world" segment for "expos[ing] this group to his bitter hypocrisy." (Olbermann also made reference to O'Reilly's suggestion that an 11-year-old boy who had been kidnapped and then repeatedly molested over a four-year period had not escaped his captor because the child was having "a lot more fun than what he had under his old parents"--FAIR Blog, 3/24/09.) Olbermann repeatedly referred to the controversy over the next several days.
After O'Reilly spoke at the fundraiser on March 19--more than two weeks after Terkel's blog post--he sent his producer Jesse Watters to confront Terkel in one of the ambush-style interviews that he specializes in (Raw Story, 3/23/09). Watters apparently stalked Terkel for two hours as she headed out of town on a short vacation, accosting her upon her arrival and accusing her of attacking the Alexa Foundation and bringing "a lot of pain and suffering to this group."
"O'Reilly never asked me for a statement nor invited me on his show before sending Watters to harass me," Terkel recounted (3/23/09)--despite O'Reilly's claim (O'Reilly Factor, 8/24/07) that before his show ambushes people, "We always ask them on the program first, or to issue a clear statement explaining their actions." O'Reilly also explained that the ambushes are "a vital tool in holding public servants accountable for their actions, and we do not go after people lightly."
In the March 23 segment, O'Reilly called Terkel a "villain," accused her of being part of a conspiracy masterminded by "elements at NBC News" and red-baited her as an employee of a "far-left" organization. (The Center for American Progress, which publishes the Think Progress blog, was founded by John Podesta, White House chief of staff during President Bill Clinton's second term.)
In the portion of Watters' confrontation with Terkel that O'Reilly aired, the producer badgered Terkel to explain "the Mel Gibson component to Bill's analysis." In the segment concerning Moore, O'Reilly had also gone after Gibson, blaming the actor's alcohol consumption for his anti-Semitic tirade, and explaining that Moore's rape and murder were similarly caused by her drinking. It's hard to fathom how this would exonerate O'Reilly.
This was not the first time O'Reilly's show has used such tactics--and not the first time he's violated his own professed standards. Earlier this year, O'Reilly's team ambushed Columbia Journalism Review executive editor Mike Hoyt at his local New Jersey bus stop at 7 a.m. after CJR had run a piece by contributing editor Michael Massing about right-wing media attacks on Barack Obama. According to Hoyt (CJR.org, 2/3/09), the Fox employee aggressively questioned why he would hire a writer from the "radical far-left" magazine the Nation to attack O'Reilly, even following Hoyt onto his bus to pursue that line of questioning.
And as Jon Stewart pointed out on Comedy Central's Daily Show (2/9/09), O'Reilly had previously ambushed other journalists who had displeased him, like the New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg (NewYorker.com, 12/5/08) and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Cynthia Tucker (AJC.com, 9/6/08).
Is this what passes as ethical journalism at Fox News?
Action: Please ask Fox News executive vice president John Moody if the O'Reilly show's tactics meet Fox's ethical standards.
Please share your letters to Moody by posting them in the comments section of the FAIR Blog: http://www.fair.org/blog/2009/03/25/holding-fox-accountable-for-oreillys-harassment/
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting is a nonpartisan media watchdog organization. Visit http://fair.org for more information, or share your opinion about this story by writing to email@example.com. Republished in the Chronicle with permission from F.A.I.R.
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This story was published on March 26, 2009.