Accuracy in Media

An article on the ABC News website quotes Bill O’Reilly as saying that Bill Clinton did a “brilliant” job as president but had “a little problem” with being honest. The article was done in conjunction with the release of an O’Reilly book in which the Fox News personality postures as a supporter of traditional values. I thought those values included fidelity and honesty. If so, how can someone be a “little” dishonest?

The same article quoted O’Reilly as saying that the the FBI “came in and warned me and a few other people at Fox News that al Qaeda had us on a death list. ?That’s a little disconcerting.” This is big news, but there’s no evidence that it is true. Does O’Reilly, like Clinton, have a problem with being honest? In response to O’Reilly’s claim, Jon Stewart on the fake news Daily Show commented that every American was on al Qaeda’s hit list. But that, of course, is not what O’Reilly meant. He wanted us to believe that he had been singled out. Again, he has not produced any evidence that that is the case. One might say that O’Reilly, like Clinton, has been successful but is a little bit dishonest.

O’Reilly’s false claim has helped to divert public attention from real al-Qaeda threats to real people. On September 2, an al-Qaeda website aired a speech by an American al-Qaeda operative, Adam Gadahn, speaking in English and singling out three writers and a former CIA official as “Zionist Crusader missionaries of hate and counter-Islam consultants?”

Gadahn’s enemies list included writers Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, Steven Emerson, and Michael Scheuer, who was in charge of a CIA unit that was trying to track down and kill Osama bin Laden. Gadahn urged these individuals to “abandon their unbelief and repent, and enter into the light of Islam and turn their swords against the enemies of God?”

In the same message, Gadahn identified those “who have expressed their respect and admiration for Islam, and acknowledged that it is the truth, and demonstrated their support and sympathy for the Muslims and their causes, like George Galloway, Robert Fisk, and countless others?”

Galloway is the British politician implicated in the U.N.’s oil-for-food scandal with Iraq. Fisk is a British journalist who covers the Middle East for The Independent.

In an analysis of the Gadahn message, Walid Phares said, “?expect this speech to be aired on al-Jazeera’s English Channel in the near future, repetitively.”

That channel is now seeking carriage on U.S. cable and satellite systems.

O’Reilly, a self-described “cultural warrior,” hasn’t said a word about this assault on our culture and the nation.




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