Fox’s O’Reilly Can’t Apparently Use Footage From His Own Network: Chuckie Schumer “Doesn’t Care” About the “Fairness Doctrine”?

Fox’s Griff Jenkin’s played “chase the politicians” on Capitol Hill Thursday for Bill O’Reilly. As much fun as it was to watch Chuck Schumer speedwalking down a Washington corridor, there was more information available. Why does O’Reilly tell only part of the story? Are we too dense to pay attention long enough?

On Thursday’s O’Reilly Factor, the “No-Spin master” did another half story on an issue. I’m becoming more convinced than ever, that either Bill thinks his viewers have the attention spans of gnats, or he has one of the worst research teams in the media business, who don’t even seem to know how to use the internet.

In any case, the half story this evening regarded the Conservative Speech Suppression (aka “Fairness”) Doctrine. He sent reporter Griff Jenkins, to Capitol Hill to do one of those amusing deer-caught-in-the-headlights segments where a reporter chases politicians or other miscreants with a bright light and tries to stick a microphone in their faces whilst they proceed to look like the speedwalker in the banned Mr. T Snickers commercial.

Griff’s mission was to question lawmakers about their position on the Doctrine. During Mr. Bill’s “Talking Points Memo” the audience was treated to the surgically frozen smile of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The second lawmaker to be questioned, and to his credit, the only one of the three who actually stood still, was New Mexico Senator Ted Bingham.

Sen. Schumer of New York, was the third “contestant” and the one which most reminded me of the speedwalker. It’s just too bad Griff hadn’t brought along the tank, the Snickers, or, Mr. T.

Ok, let’s just pause a second an enjoy the visual on that one. [Pausing….visualizing….] Who among us wouldn’t love to watch Mr. T machine gun Chuckie Schumer with Snickers bars?

I can’t embed the O’Reilly video here, but “Talking Points” is the default listing that comes up on the O’Reilly portion of the Fox site. Click the title for the November 20 “Talking Points Memo” ‘Will Fairness Doctrine be reimposed?’

Of course the “Fairness” Doctrine is an important issue and the comments and reaction to reporters’ questions on the issue are interesting and informative viewing.

But, as has become obvious to me, and perhaps I’m just slow-witted or too willing to give the benefit of the doubt, it seems that Bill O’Reilly only tells part of most important stories.

Towards the end of his “Memo” O’Reilly commented that he spoke with Schumer sometime after Grif attempted to speak with him on Thursday afternoon, and Schumer said he “didn’t care about the issue, nor should he”. O’Reilly labeled this response as “a ruse”.

According to Merriam-Webster online:
ruse (noun): a wily subterfuge

Is anyone else tired of tap-dancing? Mr. Schumer’s statements to Bill were neither a “subterfuge” nor “wily”.

Let us call things what they actually are. When a feathered, beaked creature quacks, we call it a duck. When someone says something that is not true, we call it a lie.

And Chuckie Schumer did lie. On November 4, Election Day, on Foxs News Channel, Schumer equated talk radio with pornography. Perhaps after the imbecility of those comments, the estimable Mr. Schumer decided he’d better stop “caring” about the Fairness Doctrine, really quickly. He is right about one thing (kind of like a broken clock, it is accidentally right twice day) he shouldn’t care.

As if the pornography analogy were not enough, Chuckie has additional reason to continue to distance himself from the issue. Apparently he’s taking heat from people. I mean real people, not just people with pointy heads and huge egos.

On Monday, November 17, Mark Levin received a call to his radio show from a woman named Carla, from Brooklyn, New York.

Here is a transcript of the conversation:

Carla: Hi. I am so glad to talk to you and I’m also kind of nervous because I don’t want to end up like Joe the Plumber. Um, I had, an, let’s just say, an altercation with Charlie Schumer in the airport, at La Guardia, on Saturday night, that was pretty extensive and kind of –

Mark: Well, wait a minute, by “altercation” you mean a discussion.

Carla: Well, yeah, a heated discussion, about the Fairness Doctrine. I was deplaning, he was ahead of me, there was a fawning Democrat chick, who came over to him, and was like all over him and I had heard what he had said on, I think it was Fox News, on Election Day, I had heard his comments, about uh, about talk radio, and about the Fairness Doctrine which really repulsed me. So, I saw him there and he had this big smile on his face.

And I just said to him, “Don’t you dare try to take my talk radio away from me.”

And he said to me, “I’m not trying to take your talk radio away from you, but we can’t allow people to be nasty and rude and, and say things that aren’t true.”

And I said, “Are you kidding me? That’s what our democracy is about. Our democracy is messy.” I said, “Our democracy is about being able to be nasty and rude and sarcastic, and wrong when we want, and say opinions that may be wrong when we want. That’s what makes us different than Europe.”

And he, he just started lashing out at me. He told me how ignorant I was. And that they were not going to permit –

Mark: Wait a minute, wait a minute. So in other words, so in other words, he was shrill, and rude, and vile.

Carla: Well, he was obnoxious and shrill, and it was attacking my intelligence and uh, and my I.Q., [Mark: Gee whiz.] and I was dumb. And I told him that there was a very good country that believed in his philosophy and it was called Red China and it sounded like he was talking right out of, uh, Mao’s Red Book, and that that was not what our country was about and that our democracy was unique in that we allowed our discourse to be messy. And that we allowed our discourse to be wrong when it’s wrong. And that’s the nature of democracy.

Mark: Well, let me tell you something. You’re a patriot, uh, I wish more people would engage like you; politely but firmly, confronting the Left. Uh, and you’re not stupid, he’s a moron. And let me tell you Carla, what, what’s really upsetting Schumer. You know what it is, Carla?

Carla: No. I didn’t notice anything upsetting him, he looked pretty smug.

Mark: It’s me. Because he doesn’t like me, my mocking him. I know it gets under his skin because he thinks he’s greater and better than the rest of us. That’s why I mock all of them, to knock them down two or three notches. But when he says, “shrill” and all of that, he’s talking about me. Because he doesn’t like me ’cause I’m in his face, because I’ve challenged him, because I’ve urged him to come on this show, because I know he’s coward. But he’s a menace, he’s a menace to this country, he’s a menace to this society, he’s a menace to the judiciary. I think he should call a hearing. I think he should invite me and a couple of the others, we’ll come up there, and I’d be more than happy to testify under oath, assuming of course, that he would swear in, too, so he could be punished under penalty of perjury. I’d be more than happy to do that, Schmuckie. I’d be more than happy to educate you about the First Amendment, political speech, and if you don’t like it, it’s none of your damn business. I’d be happy to educate you, Schmuckie. What do you think of that, you dope?

And Carla, you’re I.Q. is twice of his. So you’re I.Q.’s about 140.

Carla: Yeah, well, I told him. I said I will fight to the death, for my, for my talk radio, for anyone else, to be obnoxious, to be as loud and as nasty as they want. Because –

Mark: But is he not the most obnoxious member of the Senate?

Carla: Of course, of course he is. But I said the point of our democracy is that we don’t censor our tones, we don’t control our tones.

Mark: Well, of course, of course, you’re right. And you’re extremely intelligent. But he wants to do by brute government force what the Constitution doesn’t allow him to do. You see, the Founding Fathers had dealt with people like Chuck Schumer; they’d dealt with people who would punish people dared to say things they didn’t believe in. They tried to squelch dissent, they tried to squelch free speech and that’s why, when they, when they passed the Bill of Rights, the very first one included the right to free speech, uh, and they would be appalled by Chuck Schumer. But Chuck Schumer doesn’t give a damn. He’s a power hungry menace. Thank you, Carla, God Bless You, and good job. You take care.

So, Bill O’Reilly devotes a “Talking Points Memo” to the topic, featuring Sen. Schumer, who had very recently (Nov. 4) made an ass out of himself on the issue. O’Reilly who works for the same network on which Schumer made his ridiculous statements, doesn’t play the tape. That’s getting your point across effectively, that’s following up. It’s about as effective coverage of the issue as O’Reilly’s was of Obama.

But there was additional information available regarding New Mexico’s Sen. Bingham. Although he was polite and forthright enough to stand still, to not play duck and cover, he is on record elsewhere, letting everyone know exactly where he stands on the issue of the Fairness Doctrine, with more detail and more in-depth information than the twenty seconds Griff spent with him.

In late October, Bingham was interviewed on New Mexico radio station, KKOB, on this issue. You can read more about this HERE and listen to an audio clip of it.

I’m not part of the highly paid staff of the #1 prime time show, on the #1 cable news network. I could find the information. Why can’t Bill O’Reilly?

I’ve begun to believe that with the telling of half-stories, O’Reilly isn’t only doing a disservice to his own viewers, but because he has the largest audience in cable TV, he is rather dangerous.

Hey Brit Hume: How about trying to put a CONSERVATIVE on your “All Star Panel?”


Fox News Channel is part of the mainstream media.

Pathetically, unless you want to spend an entire broadcast yelling at the pinheaded, kool-aid drinking anchor, its the only available news network. It is better than most other networks because there are some real conservatives available by way of some guests and Sean Hannity, but let’s not fool ourselves. It’s becoming more “mainstream” (mainstream = out of touch) by the minute.

In some ways, its no surprise; there’s little investigative journalism anywhere in the news business these days, and cable news spends too much of its time myopically covering and recycling the same small handful of stories. Fox has always had somewhat of a tabloid-type flavor to it, especially during non-primetime hours. Ever turned the channel on from about 9AM – 5PM (central)? Besides Neil Cavuto’s Your World (including when delightful fill-in Stuart Varney makes an appearance) and the occasional Megyn Kelly smackdown, you can see as much footage of overturned semis on I-90 near Atlantic, Iowa, as you can handle. It doesn’t help the network’s “cred” rating, in my opinion, that every woman on the network besides Julie Banderas must have her colorist on speed-dial to touch up those roots.

Even in primetime, the situation is sketchy. Mr. Mountain-sized Ego, otherwise known as Bill O’Reilly, prides himself on being one of the toughest interviewers on television. Poppycock. If ranting, turning red, and pointing fingers at the camera and screaming, “Coward!” at Barney Frank passes for “toughness” then I’m a monkey’s uncle. (And that can’t be; I’m a woman.) Instead of playing the miles of footage of Barney Frank attacking regulators of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and confronting him, loopy statement by loopy statement, Mr. Ego pitched a fit.

What was worse than that was O’Reilly’s coverage and interview of Barack Obama. Who does his research? Skipping over the birth certificate question (which is a diversion), the “he’s a Muslim” dead-end, where was the coverage of everything else? He said, “I don’t have a problem with Mr. Obama.” Super. Then, the night before the election, he and regular contributor, Dennis Miller, giggled their way through a conversation that was essentially about how ridiculous it was that Barack Obama was about to be elected. Joe Wurlzebacher revealed more for us about Barack Obama with one question than Bill O’Reilly did in twenty minutes. Yeah, he’s real tough.

The biggest problem, I have, though, is with Brit Hume’s daily show, Special Report, and his overall coverage of Election 2008. He is managing editor of his own show, so he must have some input into the members of his illustrious “All-Star panel”. The same tired parade of people is rotated and recylced for all election coverage, which Hume anchors. Nary a real conservative in the bunch. There have been random appearances of Bill Sammon, formerly of the Wall Street Journal, and now deputy managing editor at Fox News, and he’s a straight shooter, but that’s about it.

First of all, would someone please, please poke Mr. Hume with a stick? For at least six months, he’s been nearly napping his way through his on-air time. Sometimes when the camera moves onto him after coming out of commericial break, especially on longer nights during the primaries and debates, his mouth is literally, hanging open. Someone hand the man a napkin, he needs to wipe the drool off the corner of his mouth. He’s gone into retirement a little too early.

Regulars on Humes glittering panel include Juan Williams, of NPR, who committed random acts of actually rational analysis of Mr. Obama’s troubling background, during the primary season, but nearly burst into tears the night Obama gave his convention speech in front of those Grecian columns in Denver.

NPR is not under-represented on Hume’s panel; there’s also the penetrating Mora Liason. About a week and a half before the election, the esteemed panel was discussing the wisdom of the McCain campaign beating the “William Ayers” drum. Liason actually stated, “Ayers was just someone who lived in Obama’s neighborhood and their kids went to school together.” Nary a word from Hume or anyone on the panel to correct her. The statement was a virtual copy of the answer David Axelrod floated after the question of the extent of Obama’s association with Ayers first surfaced during the primaries. There’s at least a twenty year age difference between the Obama and Ayers children, and the relationship between the two has proved to be very extensive, reaching back at least to 1995, possibly 1987, when their wives worked at the same law firm in Chicago. Obviously, all of these “stars” are just filling air time, not actually have real, informed discourse on real issues that affect real people.

Other regulars include Mort Kondracke of Roll Call, Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes, Executive Editor of the Weekly Standard, Nina Easton of Fortune, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer.

Nina Easton was widely quoted on Fox during “Bailout Fest 2008”, including in a David Asman piece that attempted to carefully dissect the entire debacle. It was one of the best pieces of journalism on the subject, truly, but trotting out Easton, who repeated her favorite phrase everywhere possible, “The people on Main Street don’t want to bailout the ‘Wall Street Fat Cats'” was insulting to our intelligence. It didn’t help that Asmen introduced the clip of the wise Easton by saying, “Many Americans just don’t understand.” Easton was able to work in her take on the bailout on several occasions during her turn on Hume’s “panel”. But that wasn’t her only gem. My personal favorite was her statement during a discussion of the media’s bias in favor of Obama. I wish I could remember her exact words, but she literally looked perplexed when her turn came and said that she didn’t think it would really effect the outcome of the election.

Krauthammer and Kristol are definately the most thoughtful of the bunch. One hears decent insight from them on occasion. Unfortunately, like the overwhelming majority of pundits, they are looking at the world through their permanently fixed inside-the-beltway prisms. The most ridiculous moments are when they are asked what the American people, or the electorate specifically, are “feeling” about a particular policy or event.

The most egregious offender attending Hume’s tea parties is Fred Barnes. If one didn’t know better, one would often think Mr. Barnes was the editor of a liberal publication. Listening to him talk makes me want to reach through the TV and punch him right between the eyes.
On Thursday, during the august panel’s pontification on intepreting the outcome of the Presidential race, Mr. Barnes informed Republicans that they must recognize that they have to change their strategies moving forward; essentially, they must move to the left.

But this was the second night in a row that “conservative” editor Barnes had made that kind of statement. And this is just another in a long line of the same kind. As a “conservative” he wasn’t too bothered about the Bailout bill. At least Bill Kristol was clear that it was going to be a bad piece of legislation.

Perhaps I shouldn’t pick on Mr. Barnes quite so much. He’s probably taking the brunt of my frustration on the whole issue of perhaps well-intentioned “conservatives” in Washington who have not clue one as to how the majority of American people “feel”, do not do any real homework, do not call eachother out when one of them spews falsehoods, and observe “crisis”‘ situations in the same bored, lofty voices as they would commenting on the weather.

The whole panel needs to be scrapped, along with its moderator. There isn’t one, real tough-but- fair questioner on all of news after 3:00Pm (central). If Fox wanted real probing questions, and real diversity of real opinion, they would put Neil Cavuto or Stuart Varney in Hume’s time slot. The “All Star” panel should be turned into the “All America Panel” and have one articulate pundit from each side of the aisle, and rotate through a group of articulate, “average citizens”, two at a time, one from each side of the aisle, each night.

I’d start with Joe the Plumber on the conservative side. A conversation among that kind of group would prove far more interesting than the elitist pap that’s served up by the “All Star panel” everynight.