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Whether it is on television or radio, in books, in newspapers, or here on the web, the name Bill O'Reilly is synonymous with hard hitting, uncompromising No Spin reporting and analysis. For some thirty years Bill has been a working journalist: a writer, news producer and reporter, anchor, and show host. His numerous awards include two Emmy Awards for Excellence In Reporting and two National headliner Awards for his news reporting for the ABC network. O'Reilly was also honored by The National Academy of Arts and Sciences for his reporting and analysis on and after September 11th, 2001. Bill began working in news in 1975 at a local station in Pennsylvania and quickly moved up to larger venues in Dallas and then in Denver and Hartford. By 1980 O'Reilly was in New York, working at CBS as host of a nightly TV magazine show. His work there caught the eye of the network people who named him a CBS network news correspondent. In 1986, Roone Arledge, the President of ABC News, came calling. Bill joined ABC, providing award-winning coverage for the network during his three-year stay. In 1989 a new nationally syndicated magazine show called Inside Edition was rolling out across the country, and Bill was tapped to host the show. Six years later, after considerable success with Inside Edition, Bill felt it was time to move on. After a break at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Roger Ailes recruited him to the Fox News Channel, which was about to go on air. His show, originally called The O'Reilly Report, began in October of 1996. And now Bill O'Reilly is at the top of his profession.
"The O'Reilly Factor," seen weeknights on the Fox News Channel, continues to dominate the television news ratings, consistently ranking as the highest rated cable news show for more than two years. It is also carried in dozens of foreign countries.
In 2002, Bill came to radio. The Radio Factor was an immediate hit. It is one of the most successful syndicated radio shows ever, heard Monday through Friday on more than 400 stations nationwide. The demand is such that Premium Members here at BillOReilly.com can listen at their leisure daily to "streaming" audio of the latest program.
Bill is one of only two authors in the past ten years to have three consecutive number one non-fiction books on the New York Times Best Sellers list. "The O'Reilly Factor," "The No Spin Zone," and "Who's Looking Out for You" have sold millions of copies. Bill continues to find the time to write, most recently turning his attention to Teenagers and a new book entitled "The O'Reilly Factor For Kids."
Bill's syndicated column is carried in hundreds of newspapers across the USA, including The New York Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is pleased to preview each week's column weekly right here at BillOReilly.com.
Education sparked O'Reilly's career. He graduated with a degree in history from Marist College, with a Master's Degree in broadcast journalism from Boston University, and attained another Master's in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Raised in a working class family in the huge housing subdivision of Levittown, New York, Bill O'Reilly has stayed close to his roots. He still lives on Long Island, is married with two children, and his best friends remain the neighborhood guys.
O'Reilly fabricated "personal attacks" by others; has launched his own
FOX News host Bill O'Reilly frequently accuses the "left-wing media" of launching "personal attacks" on him and other conservatives with whom they disagree. But O'Reilly's accusations of "personal attacks" and "character assassination" from the "left" are often baseless, while his own attacks on liberals and Democrats are both personal and frequent.
On January 7, O'Reilly devoted the "Talking Points Memo" on FOX News' The O'Reilly Factor and an entire hour of the nationally syndicated Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly to discussing these "personal attacks." Here's how he opened the Radio Factor:
O'REILLY: The topic in the first hour is character assassination. Is it okay with you? We're seeing it now on a daily basis in the newspapers -- mostly left-wing newspapers -- practicing character assassination as routine business.
O'Reilly rarely provides specific examples of such attacks. Discussing White House counsel and attorney general nominee Alberto R. Gonzales on January 7, O'Reilly referred to "a smear on Gonzales by the left-wing newspaper industry in America"; he also mentioned efforts by the "left" to "smash Gonzales, embarrass Gonzales, demean and marginalize Gonzales" but provided no specific examples of such treatment. On The O'Reilly Factor the following evening, O'Reilly referenced articles from that day's New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Boston Globe as part of a "coordinated effort" to "attack" Gonzales but did not provide specific examples of unfair attacks in those articles.
On the January 7 broadcast of The Radio Factor, O'Reilly did cite examples of what he claimed were "personal attacks" on him -- but these were actually arguments with O'Reilly about political issues. O'Reilly accused Boston Globe editors of writing an editorial in response to one of its regular conservative columnists, Jeff Jacoby, whose December 30, 2004, column chronicled "liberal hate speech." O'Reilly claimed that the Globe's editors gathered examples of right-wing hate speech, including one from O'Reilly, and published them in response to Jacoby and that the quotation of him telling a Jewish caller concerned about Christmas celebrations in school, "If you are really offended, you gotta go to Israel" was "totally out of context and false." In fact, the January 3 Globe piece O'Reilly referenced (which echoed Media Matters for America's "Top 10 Most Outrageous Statements of 2004") was a single reader's letter to the editor.
During the same show, O'Reilly claimed that a University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey R. Stone, who appeared as a guest on the December 17 O'Reilly Factor, called him "all kinds of names" and labeled him "the meanest guy" because O'Reilly "destroyed him on The Factor." O'Reilly explained that Stone had resorted to personal attacks in a December 24, 2004, op-ed because "he knew he got his butt kicked" in debate.
In fact, Stone's op-ed did not include name-calling or personal attacks but addressed the substance of questions he and O'Reilly had debated. Stone did accuse O'Reilly of "demagoguery" and deliberately inciting hatred against people who oppose the Iraq war, but he did so based on his interpretation of specific statements by O'Reilly. There were no baseless attacks on O'Reilly's character or personal life.
Perhaps O'Reilly considers terms like "irresponsible," "opportunistic" and "demagoguery," which Stone used, to be "personal attacks," but by this standard O'Reilly is far guiltier of engaging in such attacks than those he criticizes, though he has repeatedly insisted that he doesn't engage in "personal attacks." "I don't get up every day and personally attack people. I don't," he said on the December 10, 2004, Radio Factor.
O'Reilly accepts Media Matters' "Misinformer of the Year" award -- sort of
Two weeks after Media Matters for America named FOX News host Bill O'Reilly "Misinformer of the Year," a viewer wrote an email to O'Reilly congratulating him on the award. O'Reilly read the email on the January 6 edition of FOX News' The O'Reilly Factor, labeling the emailer, Media Matters, and his other critics "Kool-Aid people":
O'REILLY: Jeanne Rowlette, Brighton, Michigan: [reading email] "Mr. Bill, heard you won another award; misinformation show of the year. Congrats. You earned it." You know, thanks for reminding me, Jeanne. Happy new year to you and all of the other Kool-Aid people
O'Reilly Responds to Clooney
George Clooney can stop writing letters: He and Bill O'Reilly are finally on the same page.
The Fox News host has accepted Clooney's invite to appear on the Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope telethon, set to air Saturday on NBC and its cable networks.
"NBC has faxed us over information that all of the money that you donate to the telethon on Saturday night is going to the American Red Cross--all of it," O'Reilly said. "I like that. So, I'm gonna go over and do it."
Per Clooney's rep Stan Rosenfield, "George was very pleased" with the decision by the object of his correspondence.
But due to crossed wires--Clooney's camp was unaware of the radio-issued acceptance--George, a volunteer talent wrangler for the event, initially sounded very perturbed.
One day after addressing a lengthy missive to O'Reilly, in which he accused the broadcaster of undermining the telethon with remarks on his cable show, and challenged him to appear at the fundraiser, Clooney dashed off another note.
"We're not playing games here, we're trying to save lives," Clooney wrote, reacting to O'Reilly's iffy-response to the invite on Monday's O'Reilly Factor. "It's as simple as this: you're either with this joint effort or against it."
In a bit of bad timing, Clooney's demand for an immediate "yes" or "no" was issued to reporters almost two hours after O'Reilly had accepted. NBC later confirmed the multi-media talker was on board for the benefit.
Although Clooney and O'Reilly are now comrades working toward a common goal, they still aren't close--geographically speaking. During Saturday's telethon, O'Reilly will make his appeal on behalf of those ravaged by the southern Asian tsunamis from a studio in New York; Clooney from a studio in Los Angeles.
In related news Tuesday, NBC revealed another batch of big names who, like O'Reilly, have agreed to go on telethon duty.
Clint Eastwood, Renée Zellweger, Ben Affleck, Meg Ryan, Morgan Freeman, Ray Romano and Robert Downey Jr. will join the likes of Matt Damon and Halle Berry as presenters.
Elton John, Annie Lennox and Nelly have been added to the cast of scheduled performers.
With A-listers in abundance, NBC has expanded the telethon to two hours. The show is set to kick off at 8 p.m. (ET/PT).
Clooney gives O'Reilly the business
George Clooney seems to adhere to the motto: Keep your friends close, and your Bill O'Reillys closer.
On Wednesday, the Fox-TV talkmeister questioned Clooney's sincerity regarding the "Ocean's Twelve" star's tsunami-relief telethon on NBC, airing Saturday night. "If George Clooney and other stars go on TV and ask you to give, then they had better be involved all the way down the line," O'Reilly said Wednesday.
Clooney simply responded by inviting O'Reilly to be a presenter on the show. "This way, you can personally follow up on our fund-raising. This is your chance to put your considerable money where your considerable mouth is.
"Either you ante up and help out, or you simply stand on the sidelines and cast stones, proving that your Jan. 6 TV show was nothing more than a 'box of lights and wires' designed to make you wealthy."
The letter was signed simply, "Your fan, George Clooney."
Christina Aguilera, Sheryl Crow and Tim McGraw have already signed on for the fund-raiser.
The Fox host had raised the same concerns when Clooney helped organize a telethon for victims of Sept. 11 - only to see Clooney and Julia Roberts, Bruce Springsteen, Celine Dion and others rake in $150 million that was turned over to the United Way.
A rep for O'Reilly did not return calls.
Meanwhile, Ricky Martin left for Thailand last night to visit tsunami victims and Thai officials.
"He's going to be visiting shelters and he's meeting with the Thai foreign minister and interior minister, as well as various ambassadors, to raise awareness [in the] trafficking of children," the singer's rep told us.
"Ricky has been very active in fighting child abuse and child trafficking in Latin America and he wants to see what his foundation [www.RickyMartin.com] can do to help and to raise awareness in Thailand."
'O'Reilly Factor' Rules Cable News
The top-rated cable news show of the year was "The O'Reilly Factor," with an average audience of about 2.4 million viewers. It was followed by FNC's "Hannity & Colmes" (1.8 million viewers) and "The Fox Report with Shepard Smith" (1.5 million viewers).
After "Larry King Live," CNN's next most watched program was "Newsnight with Aaron Brown," which was ranked 13th and drew about 730,000 viewers. CNN's "Wolf Blitzer Reports," "Paula Zahn Now," "Lou Dobbs Tonight" and "Crossfire" ranked 15th, 17th, 19th and 20th, respectively.
Fox News Channel is a division of News Corp., which also owns The Post.
Bill O'Reilly Singled Out As Conservative 'Misinformer' of the Year
And the winner (or loser, depending on one's viewpoint) is Bill O'Reilly, says a liberal group that monitors "conservative misinformation" in the media.
Media Matters for America announced that it has awarded its first annual "Misinformer of the Year" title to Fox News Channel's O'Reilly -- who beat out Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Britt Hume and Bob Novak for "top honors."
"Our staff analyzed more than 1,000 instances of conservative misinformation captured on our website and tallied the number of times members of the media espoused lies, distortions, or mischaracterizations of fact in order to further the conservative agenda," said David Brock, founder of Media Matters for America.
"In the end, Mr. O'Reilly stood out from all the rest."
Media Matters for America, which began its chronicles of "conservative misinformation" in May, said it has identified and corrected more than 70 examples of O'Reilly lying, exaggerating, or distorting the truth. ("We didn't include comments by O'Reilly that were simply offensive or absurd," the press release noted.)
According to Media Matters, O'Reilly's "most egregiously false and misleading claims" include assertions that President Bush did not oppose the 911 Commission; repeated declarations of an Iraq-Al Qaeda link; and "one instance where O'Reilly fabricated a Paris newspaper to support his claim of a successful French boycott."
In other instances, Media Matters said, O'Reilly "promoted falsehoods about the tax structure, economy, and the American electorate."
"When media figures promote blatant misinformation in the news media, regardless of whether they call it news or commentary, the health of our democracy is threatened," said Brock.
Media Matters for America, modeled loosely after the Media Research Center, the parent organization of the Cybercast News Service, says it is the first organization to "systematically monitor the media for conservative misinformation every day, in real time."
The group made headlines earlier this year for demanding that Rush Limbaugh's talk-radio show be dropped from taxpayer-funded Armed Forces Radio.
Media Matters also was part of a liberal, election-year push to discredit Fox News Channel as a partisan spin-machine and mouthpiece for the Republican Part.
Jesus weeps for Bill O'Reilly
Okay, that's just downright silly. After a couple of columns briefly touched on O'Reilly's tired claims of being Superman to poor helpless Christmas' Lois Lane, O'Reilly called, as his first witness, the Lord. According to Media Matters, he said: "[s]omewhere Jesus is weeping."
Uhh. Okay. Jesus was recently used in a game of compare the winky by American General William Boykin who claimed that Allah was a false God; Jesus can often be found supporting football teams (or at least one or two crucial plays), and now he's bringing his weight to bear in defending Bill O'Reilly from the satanic clutches of the "liberal media."
What I want to know is, why aren't the Christian voices offended at having the "Prince of Peace" evoked to settle personal vendettas or rally troops (in a secular army) for war, being amplified? Maybe there really is a conspiracy against Christianity from within. Either way, some Evangelicals are pissed that it's not yet beginning to look like Christmas in the White House.
Coward" Bill O'Reilly continues to smear Media Matters while ducking David Brock
Bill O'Reilly -- apparently stung by criticism that he recently "play[ed] into one of the oldest anti-Semitic canards about Jews" with his "deeply insensitive" suggestion that a Jewish caller "go to Israel" -- has repeatedly lashed out at Media Matters for America for publicizing his comments.
This week, Media Matters for America President and CEO David Brock had enough, and wrote to O'Reilly:
As you can see, Mr. O'Reilly, you have repeatedly and personally attacked me, Media Matters for America, and my fine staff, calling us "vile," "despicable," and "weasels," and comparing us to the Ku Klux Klan, Castro, Mao, and the Nazis. And you have refused my repeated requests to appear on your broadcast.
You once offered your viewers your definition of the word "coward." On the January 5, 2004, O'Reilly Factor, you declared: "If you attack someone publicly, as these men did to me, you have an obligation to face the person you are smearing. If you don't, you are a coward."
Well, Mr. O'Reilly, you have attacked me publicly on numerous occasions, and you refuse to face me. You, sir, are a coward -- by your own definition of the term. You are "hiding under your desk" (to paraphrase your August 26, 2003, claim about a "coward" who declined to appear on your show) rather than allowing me on your program to discuss your insults. You are "gutless," to borrow the phrase you used on January 10, 2003, and February 8, 2001, to describe people who would not appear on your program. I attach additional examples of your pejorative descriptions of those who decline invitations to appear on your broadcast.
Your frequent complaint that your words are taken out of context appears to have spurred your recent assault on my organization. While reasonable people can disagree about conclusions we, or you, have drawn about your comments, you are simply wrong to say that we took you out of context. I remain willing and eager to appear on either your television or radio program to discuss your contention that my organization has taken your comments out of context.
Should you continue to refuse this offer, it is only reasonable that the American people will conclude that you are not only -- as you would put it -- a "coward," but a hypocrite as well.
As of this writing, Media Matters for America has not received a response from O'Reilly.
Bill O'Reilly has no respect for women
What is good for the goose is good for the gander. FOX News superstar Bill O'Reilly just settled a Clintonesque lawsuit. If O'Reilly were President of the US, it is a pretty good bet that we would see the impeachment of Bill. Not Clinton, O'Reilly. Bill O launched a preemptive strike against his accuser. He claimed he was being subjected to an extortion scheme. For most of the US not familiar with the crime of extortion, the threat of exposure can and usually is the truth. It is the threat of exposure to extract personal gain that is the crime. Blowreilly puffed and used his bully pulpit to demean his accuser. But there was a settlement that happened faster than a lightning strike. One second they were "going to the mattresses". The next second the issue was settled.
What happened? We can only speculate. After the original complaint was filed, it was filled with very specific accusations. Most nuisance suits are not specific in nature. And you deal with those accordingly. But specific information in a lawsuit demands an immediate investigation. The corporation and the accused are separate parties, and they have separate interests. When the corporation speaks with the accused, the accused gets what is known as the "mini Miranda Warning". It reinforces the fact that there are two distinct interests, and if the accused says something that helps the company and does not help the accused, the company will use that information to relieve itself of liability.
Almost immediately after the legal papers started to fly, FOX filed a demand for the accuser to produce what FOX believed were recorded conversations. Now, in a contentious situation such as this was, where you believed there were recorded conversations, the last, and very last thing I would advise my client to do would be to demand tape recorded conversations. Unless, of course, my employee (O'Reilly) swore up and down that he never had those conversations. When you read the information set forth in the original complaint, it is very specific. Times, dates, locations and detailed conversations. Blowreilly, per the Complaint saw himself as a coach. And in the conversations revealed himself as a modern man. Bill apparently loved his phone sex, and was a skilled swordsman with a vibrator. So skilled, in fact, that he brought himself to orgasm with his very own vibrator while talking on the phone to his assistant producer. I have no desire to know how a man uses a vibrator to bring himself sexual satisfaction.
Even if the truth lies somewhere in the middle between the complaint and Bill's outright denial, it is troubling. If not disgusting. If half of what was said about Blowreilly is true, he is in the same class as the other Bill. A man that has no respect for women does not deserve our respect. This is not a feminist issue. This is an issue of honor and what distinguishes right from wrong.
O’Reilly Defends Abortion?!
A quick note to our readers. This and a few of my subsequent posts are late. Occasionally, life takes over and writing posts must drop to the bottom of the priority list. I’m reporting on these topics because I think they further illuminate the new themes of the Bush administration as promoted by FOX News Channel. On November 11, 2004 Bill O’Reilly made a 180 degree shift and supported a teenager’s right to choose without notifying her parents first.
O’Reilly defended a Texas Supreme Court Judge who sided with a 17-year-old girl and allowed her to obtain an abortion without first notifying her parents. Shocking, you say? Not when I tell you that the name of that Texas Judge was Alberto Gonzales, current White House Counsel, defender of torturing prisoners and Attorney General-elect of the United States. Note how O’Reilly - notorious for excoriating “liberal activist judges” - twists in the wind as he endeavors to justify Gonzales’ actions.
O’REILLY: We like President Bush’s nominee for Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales. His tough stance against terrorism is what’s needed in this very dangerous world. But, some conservatives have doubts about Gonzales, because of an underage abortion controversy. Joining us from San Antonio, Texas is Allan Parker, a lawyer for the Justice Foundation, a parents rights advocacy group. Now, this happened in the year 2000 when Gonzales was on the Supreme Court of Texas and involved a 17-year-old girl who got pregnant, wanted to have an abortion, but didn’t want to tell her father, because she feared he would physically abuse her. Pick it up from there.
You see the difficulty here. This is an enormously difficult problem for both the courts and the girl and the family. If the girl’s telling the truth and her father is an abusive guy and he’s gonna slug her and throw her out as soon as the state tells the father that this is in play, father’s gonna wig out. If the girl is just makin’ it up, because she doesn’t want to be embarassed in front of the father - so Gonzales, I guess, I think he’s a responsible guy. I mean, c’mon, he’s the Presidential Counsel. He looks into it. He sided on the girl’s - don’t you have to give Gonzales the benefit of the doubt here? I’m gonna give Gonzales the benefit of the doubt here. I mean, I’m not gonna be mad at him because he sided with this 17-year-old girl. Because I figure that Gonzales is responsible enough to make the decision based on evidence. I’ll give you the last word.
Just imagine that this was a “liberal” judge. Do you honestly believe that O’Reilly would be willing to give THAT judge “the benefit of the doubt”? In a pig’s eye! This is one of the clearest examples of pro-Bush bias I’ve seen on FOX.
O'Reilly settles lawsuite with former producer
Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly said Thursday he and a former producer of his talk show have agreed to settle their legal dispute over her allegations of sexual harassment, and his accusations that she was trying to shake him down.
"This brutal ordeal is now officially over, and I will never speak of it again," he said on his talk show, "The O'Reilly Factor."
Andrea Mackris, 33, who was a producer on the show, filed a lawsuit against the top-rated TV host Oct. 13, alleging O'Reilly made a series of explicit phone calls to her, advised her to use a vibrator and telling her about sexual fantasies involving her.
Earlier that day, O'Reilly, 55 and married with two children, had filed a lawsuit accusing Mackris and her lawyer of trying to extort $60 million in "hush money" to make the case quietly go away.
O'Reilly is host of the top-rated prime-time cable news program - and he's seen his ratings go up by 30 percent since the case was filed.
He told his viewers Thursday night, "This matter has caused enormous pain, but I had to protect my family, and I did. All I can say to you is please do not believe everything you hear and read."
Shortly before "Factor" aired, O'Reilly's lawyer, Ronald Green, issued a statement saying the cases and claims had been withdrawn and all parties agreed there was no wrongdoing by O'Reilly, Mackris or Mackris' lawyer Benedict Morelli.
Morelli did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
Green's statement about the settlement did not mention money, and it could not be learned immediately whether it was a factor.
"Out of respect for their families and privacy, all parties and their representatives have agreed that all information relating to the cases shall remain confidential," Green's statement said.
When the accusations began, Green refused to confirm or deny specific things that Mackris claimed O'Reilly said to her, but he said at the time that "Mr. O'Reilly denies that he has done anything that rises to the level of unlawful sexual harassment."
Green also had said he believed there were tapes of conversations between the two and asked a court to compel Mackris to produce them so they could be played publicly.
"I know that he does not fear what is on the tapes," Green said at the time.