After reading this astounding editorial from Richard Mellon Scaife's Tribune-Review, one has to wonder what's going on over there? The Trib's calling Bill O'Reilly a blowhard?
The fun comes, as always when deconstructing the braintrust, from tracking down the facts (or rather "facts") they use.
First the editorial:
Once upon a time, Fox News talk-show host Bill O'Reilly truly served well his role as the overseer of the "no-spin zone." With the greatest of precision, he dissected the prevailing shibboleths of the day and restored fact-based common sense to so many debates.Ok, ok. That last part - that quotation. Where did it come from? Of you google the quotation AND the word O'Reilly, you get one site - this one. From February of this year. No one has used the phrase the Trib quoted until now. No one.
That was then, this is now. And you know something has changed, dramatically, when those on the left start referring to Mr. O'Reilly as "the moderate voice of conservatism."
Granted, Jon Stewart called O'Reilly "the voice of sanity":
Comic Jon Stewart told Bill O'Reilly that the "no spin zone" ringleader had become the voice of sanity on Fox News Channel, although "that's like being the thinnest kid at fat camp."And "left wing":
Stewart continued that when it comes to Fox News, O'Reilly has "been overtaken by a more extreme version of you." On Fox News, Stewart chided O'Reilly, "you're left-wing."Why? The right has moved so much farther right that O'Reilly seems sane in comparison.
Back to Ryan Witt at the Examiner.com:
The debate between Limbaugh and O' Reilly reflects upon a changing conservative movement. As Fox News and the conservative world have gone further to the right Bill O' Reilly has strangely emerged as the "moderate" voice of conservatism. Formerly O' Reilly was known as one of the most extreme conservatives but his rhetoric now sounds moderate compared to people like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. While O' Reilly accuses the President of being wrong for adopting some arguably "socialist" measures Limbaugh and Beck argue that Obama is a socialist who is trying to take over all private property. [italics in original]So while the braintrust is writes that O'Reilly has softened his conservatism, the site they quote rather mockingly points out that it's the rest of the conservative world that has moved "further to the right" and thus turned O'Reilly "moderate". And notice Witt's use of the quotation marks - it was intended to be ironic.
Don't they get things like that at the Trib? Or are they hoping no one will check their work?
Back to the Trib:
O'Reilly has become a classic blowhard (not to mention a Butcherer Royale of the King's English). Indeed, Rush Limbaugh was not far off the mark (in Zev Chafets' recently published biography of Mr. Limbaugh) in describing O'Reilly as "Ted Baxter," the buffoonish news anchor from the old Mary Tyler Moore series.Um, not that recent. Chafets wrote published Limbaugh's characterization of O'Reilly way back in the summer of 2008:
Limbaugh told me he is no longer concerned about the opinions of his colleagues and rivals, and he makes no effort to disguise his contempt for most of them. Michael Savage, ranked No. 3 among talk-radio hosts by Talkers magazine? “He’s not even in my rearview mirror.” Garrison Keillor? “I don’t even know where to find NPR on the dial.”It was in the New York Times and everything. They coulda looked it up.
At dinner the night before, Bill O’Reilly’s name came up, and Limbaugh expressed his opinion of the Fox cable king. He hadn’t been sure at the time that he wanted it on the record. But on second thought, “somebody’s got to say it,” he told me. “The man is Ted Baxter.”
Then there's this:
Absolutely horrid has been O'Reilly's rationalizing of President Obama's predilection for advancing socialist policies. And does O'Reilly truly believe that America has secured its borders against illegal aliens, as he claimed in a July interview with Sarah Palin? Or that man-made global warming is real, as he appeared to stipulate in the summer of 2009?O'Reilly said America had secured its borders?
Um, no. Take a look at the video:
And that last part? "Man made global warming" is real. How many academies of science have to say it for the know-nothings to finally believe it? It's undeniable.
Another Saturday, another typically badly researched, badly conceived, badly thought out editorial from Richard Mellon Scaife's braintrust.