For several weeks, Joe Scarborough has been fighting back against Bill O’Reilly’s petty attacks on MSNBC and NBC News. The battle continued yesterday as Scarborough’s production team took a page from Think Progress and tracked the relative importance O’Reilly has been placing on two issues: NBC and the war in Iraq.
According to Scarborough’s figures taken from one week of The Factor, O’Reilly referenced NBC 47 times and mentioned Iraq only 20 times. (11 of those Iraq mentions came during anti-NBC segments.) “While the war in Iraq rages halfway across the globe,” Scarborough asked, “what does Bill O’Reilly spend night after night talking about? NBC News, of course.” Scarborough went on to scold O’Reilly: “Stop being self-righteous.”
SCARBOROUGH: Bill O’Reilly is at it again. Now, while the war in Iraq rages halfway across the globe and America’s deadliest enemy, al Qaeda, is reportedly rearming, using arms against us, what does Bill O’Reilly spend night after night talking about? NBC news, of course.
I’m telling him that we have important issues to talk about across the globe. If you look at our show every night, we talk about Iraq, we talked about Iran at the top, we talked about nuclear proliferation last night. We talked about the coming war with Iran.
GUEST: And he doesn’t.
SCARBOROUGH: We talk about Pakistan. Take a look at Bill O’Reilly’s show just over the past week. Let’s see how much time he’s devoting to this “NBC jihad” as opposed to say, an important story like the war in Iraq. We counted a total of 47 references and attacks to NBC, dwarfing the 20 times he mentioned Iraq. All I’m saying — and it gets worse. Some further digging shows that 11 of those Iraq references were during segments where he was bashing NBC.
GUEST: You’re trying to tell him how to program his show. He’s trying to tell you to be straight down the middle.
SCARBOROUGH: No, I’m saying this guy is being self-righteous. You know what I’m saying? It’s biblical, really. Before you look at the plank in our eyes, check the plank out in your own eyes, Bill O’Reilly. Stop being self-righteous.