The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

22 September 2006

Bill O'Reilly, Keith Olbermann, Media Matters, T-Warrior


Is O'Reilly Playing His Critics For Fools?

*** Welcome Boston Globe readers ***

On the Enemies of O'Reilly front, it's been quite an entertaining week.

After an ABC- TV interview revealed that Bill refers to himself as "T- Warrior" (T = traditional), nothing was more predictable than the 100% probability that his lefty opponents would go bonkers.

Which begs the question: did Bill do this on purpose? More than that, is the top- rated O'Reilly Factor host frequently egging on his many detractors just for kicks?

After all, they sure are easy to manipulate!

In this case, Bill gave them enough to feast upon for months, especially with his assertion that he is among several FOX personalities considered to be al-Qaeda targets. But why wouldn't O'Reilly, or any other high- profile major media voice critical of the terrorist organization, be an obvious hit for these thugs? It sure would make a splash.

As for "T- Warrior", it's no goofier than the Radio Equalizer, is it? Or, for that matter, any other radio or TV handle (nickname) that one might develop?

But your Radio Equalizer still can't get past the idea that most of this was fed to ABC just to get the usual suspects worked up into a frenzy. And sure enough, it worked!

From ABC's now- infamous story:

"I write about all these guys in the book. And Cronkite, to me, was a surprise because I grew up watching him," he said.

"I thought he was fair. And then he comes out of the closet as this real radical left guy. And I am going, 'Whoa, Walter, where have you been all these years?'"

If it weren't for the media, O'Reilly says, there would be no ongoing debates over gay marriage or references to God in the Pledge of Allegiance.

According to O'Reilly, the media have created these controversies and Americans are overwhelmingly against gay marriage and support mentioning God in the Pledge of Allegiance.

"The media is really the balancing agent here between the 20 percent of Americans who are secular progressives, and about 60 percent who are traditionalists," O'Reilly said.

"I gotta expose it."

When asked whether he supported a particular political party, O'Reilly said, "I vote all over the map." But he says he feels sorry for President Bush.

"Bush found himself in a position that nobody can anticipate," O'Reilly said. "And [he] has made a lot of mistakes. Now, the American public, I think, has lost confidence in the president. And that's a terrible place to be."

Walters asked O'Reilly about his thoughts on the possibility of New York junior Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton running for president in 2008.

"My problem with Senator Clinton is, that she doesn't answer questions," he said.

O'Reilly says he's asked her key questions like, "What would you do in Iraq? What would you do with al Qaeda?"

Currently, he said, she does not give a clear answer for those questions.

"If you don't answer the questions, I am against you," he said.

And the responses, with Media Matters up first:

Bill O'Reilly's enemies list, available in hardback for $26

"My goal," Bill O'Reilly writes in the introduction to his latest book, Culture Warrior, which is published by Random House's Broadway Books imprint and will go on sale September 25, "is to expose and defeat people who have the power to do you great harm. My weapons will be facts and superior analysis based on those facts" (Page 5).

But if "facts" and "superior analysis" are what readers are after, they may want to look elsewhere. Media Matters for America's review of Culture Warrior shows the book to be replete with factual errors, rank hypocrisy, and ad hominem attacks directed at anyone who has crossed swords with O'Reilly.

O'Reilly recently claimed to have thwarted an attempt by Media Matters to review Culture Warrior prior to its release. On the September 21 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, he noted that his publisher had refused a request to provide an advance copy to "a guy who writes for the left-wing smear site Media Matters." "Nice try," O'Reilly said, "no book." Nice try, Mr. O'Reilly.

The book purports to "expose the secular-progressive movement in our country for exactly what it is, to explain why it is so harmful for America, and to identify the movement's top leaders" (Page 7). What qualifies someone as a member of the secular-progressive (or "S-P" in his book) conspiracy? It may be an obscure professor who said something O'Reilly considers unpatriotic or a judge who gave an offender a light sentence. While O'Reilly claims to be an independent who stands apart from the conservative movement, conservatives are almost never the target of his ire. In addition to liberals and Democrats, he lashes out at numerous news organizations and journalists such as Tom Brokaw and Walter Cronkite. In other cases, all it takes is that someone criticized O'Reilly, which places people like actor/director George Clooney and Newsday columnist Jimmy Breslin on the side of the sinister "S-Ps".

But O'Reilly puts a few individuals and organizations at the center of the conspiracy. At the top is financier George Soros, whom O'Reilly describes as "public enemy number one." (The FBI's collection of terrorists, drug dealers, and cop-killers apparently has nothing on someone who donates money to liberal organizations. Sorry, Osama.) Close behind is the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), about which O'Reilly writes, "American culture, in my opinion, has deteriorated drastically in large part because the ACLU, thanks to its enormous power, gets a free pass from most of the media" (Page 27). (See the "enemies list" below for a comprehensive roster of those O'Reilly attacks in the book.)


"I will try to avoid cheap shots and vindictiveness." Mission not so accomplished:


Page 94:

"He [Al Franken] was just another rabid show business liberal with a mean streak."

Page 95:

"... the guy [Franken] is an accomplished smear merchant."

Page 96:

"I can say this with absolute certainty: The man [Franken] is truly a loathsome individual."

Page 98:

"To borrow National Review columnist Mona Charen's description, Al Franken is a 'useful idiot.' [...] He, along with New York Times columnist Frank Rich, is their chief character assassin."

Page 103:

"A guy like Franken you can impale. Nobody's gonna feel sorry for an individual of that low caliber."

Gee, guys, this "review" is so long, you've just about written your own book! Besides, is Franken still worth defending? Isn't it getting pretty hard to do?

Sure enough, MSNBC's obsessed Keith Olbermann couldn't resist tearing into this, taking as many cheap shots as he could:

And, at RADAR Online, they're hard at work trying to discount O'Reilly's al-Qaeda claims:

The loofah-loving Fox News host is raising plenty of eyebrows around the office after telling Barbara Walters in an interview with ABC's 20/20 that, "the FBI came in and warned me and a few other people at Fox News that Al Qaeda had us on a death list." O'Reilly describes the experience—as well as other violent threats he says he's received from various "kooks"—as "disconcerting."

But the reaction from some of his colleagues sounds more like disbelief. "I've never heard that before," says a correspondent for Fox News, who added that neither he nor anyone he's spoken to at the network has been warned by the FBI. "I do know the government has warned Fox about threats in the past, but I don't think they involved specific people."

A high-level exec at another cable news channel was less circumspect. "That sounds like absolute bulls**t to me—it's typical O'Reilly," he says. "We've never received any similar warnings from the FBI or any other government agency, and we've done plenty of reporting to piss off Bin Laden."

As Bill's many enemies continue to go nuts, we'll be hearing about this for months. Thanks to O'Reilly, they've got enough fuel to get through the upcoming winter.

But is T- Warrior again having the last laugh?

ELSEWHERE: Mike Anderson has the real truth on the new feminist talk radio network founded by Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem.

Thanks for your continued and vital Radio Equalizer support, via Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of what you ultimately order!

CannibAL Franken: David A Lunde


  • MM wasn't "defending" Franken. It was pointing out O'Reilly's hypocrisy. First he says he won't do personal attacks. Then he does just that.

    By Blogger Justin, at 23 September, 2006 08:36  

  • O'Reilly is ALL about self-publicity, and he has a new book out too. Say what you will about his EGO and politics, you have to admit he's a smart cookie.

    Now let's see:

    O'Reilly puts out a new book and the general response from the press is: silence. If I recall correctly, his last book didn't even get reviewed in the NYT (I may be wrong about that).

    However, O'Reilly puts out a new book and makes an easily attacked outrageous statement. The press howls, and in the process pretty much has to mention his book in passing. The more they howl, the more publicity he gets - from the people who wouldn't even review his book.

    Can you say "tons of free publicity", boys and girls?

    Or maybe you prefer the more traditional O'Reilly saying, " Who's looking out for Bill?"

    By Blogger Lokki, at 23 September, 2006 08:46  

  • By Blogger frankenlies, at 24 September, 2006 22:48  

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