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O’Reilly Tells Ombudsman To Ignore His ‘Haters,’ Focus On ‘Regular Folks Who Enjoy This Program’

By Amanda Terkel  

"O’Reilly Tells Ombudsman To Ignore His ‘Haters,’ Focus On ‘Regular Folks Who Enjoy This Program’"

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In September, Bill O’Reilly announced that Fox News anchor Laurie Dhue would be the new O’Reilly Factor ombudsman. He claimed that he wanted her to be “tough” on him.

But on Thursday’s show, O’Reilly complained that Dhue was getting too much mail from his “haters” and encouraged more “regular folks who really enjoy this program” to write in:

O’REILLY: First of all, there’s a couple of things going on with “The Dhue Point” everybody should know, because we depend on your questions to Laurie. No. 1, there are pinheads who want you to try to embarrass me. Those people come from the far-left precincts. Ignore them.

DHUE: Yeah. I’m getting an awful lot of email saying I’m too easy on you.

O’REILLY: It’s all coming — it’s all coming from the haters on the far left. Just throw it in the garbage. But the regular folks who really enjoy this program, what we want you to ask Laurie is why we do things, why we do them. All right? Or “we didn’t really like that.”

The mission of PBS ombudsman Michael Getler is to review “commentary and criticism from viewers” and “ensure that PBS upholds its own standards of editorial integrity.”

Dhue’s job, on the other hand, seems to be to defend O’Reilly and make him look good. During one segment she calls a viewer criticism of the show “off the mark” and says O’Reilly is a “victim of misinformation.” The letters Dhue has read on-air have mostly been from viewers who want O’Reilly to be more conservative, wondering why he’s given a “pass” to liberal guests such as Bill Maher and Jesse Jackson. Watch some of Dhue’s softball reports here:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/11/dhuereport.320.240.flv]

For all you “regular folks” out there, start writing to Dhue HERE.

Transcript:

O’REILLY: “Back of the Book” segment tonight, “The Dhue Point”, where FOX anchor Laurie Dhue takes your questions and comments about The Factor and throws them right in my face. Ms. Dhue is in New York City this evening and joins us now.

LAURIE DHUE, “FACTOR” OMBUDSWOMAN: Hello, Bill.

O’REILLY: You know, I know your mom likes me. So you’d better be nice, or you’re going to have trouble with Mom in Atlanta. All right?

DHUE: That’s true. My mother does like you for some crazy reason.

O’REILLY: What’s your first question?

DHUE: All right. Let’s dive right in. And this has to do with your interview with Vicente Fox, Mexican president, the other day.

Quote, “Instead of confronting Vicente Fox with his corrupt government’s policies, Bill agreed with him when he blamed America for Mexico’s inabilities to control the drug dealers and illegal immigrants.”

What say you, Bill? [...]

O’REILLY: But I don’t know if I could have been in his face any more, Laurie.

DHUE: Yes.

O’REILLY: You say it. What do you think?

DHUE: I agree. I think this viewer is off the mark. And I was wondering if the viewer actually saw the same interview that I and millions of other people saw.

O’REILLY: I’ve been thinking about this a lot. We took a couple of calls on the “Radio Factor” about it. There are some people who want me to insult Vicente Fox.

DHUE: And you’re not going to do that, because you have respect for an international…

O’REILLY: They want — they want to get it personal. [...]

DHUE: But look, these are emotional issues that viewers feel strongly about. But I respectfully disagree with this particular viewer. I think you couldn’t have been any harder on him. [...]

DHUE: All right. Question No. 2. Let’s move on. Donald Trump. “When Donald Trump had his feud with Rosie O’Donnell, Bill advised Trump not to repeatedly respond to attacks. When Bill was recently smeared, he rightfully went after the smear merchants and vigorously defended himself. Why is Bill’s situation different?”

So you’re not following your own advice.

O’REILLY: Well, that’s not true. This viewer, Robert, misinterpreted it, and I don’t know how you could, because I yelled at Trump, “Don’t lodge personal attacks.” I didn’t say, “Don’t defend yourself.”

DHUE: Yes.

O’REILLY: Don’t, you know…

DHUE: You said don’t stoop down to her level.

O’REILLY: Don’t call her fat or whatever he was calling her. I mean, that’s not going to help your cause. So it’s not “don’t reply”; it’s how you reply. [...]

DHUE: Now I think the situations are different here, as you point out. This isn’t just one person against another person, like Rosie versus Trump. You, when you were attacked over the comments you made about Sylvia’s restaurant…

O’REILLY: That was corruption of the press. Yes.

DHUE: … you were the victim of misinformation.

O’REILLY: Yes, and the corrupt press. But look, Trump said, “I exposed that Rosie O’Donnell.” Fine, if he wants to expose Rosie O’Donnell, I don’t have a problem with it. How does calling her fat expose Rosie O’Donnell?

DHUE: Yes.

O’REILLY: I think we all — OK. What’s next?

DHUE: OK. Third question: “Bill seemed to give more credence to the acquittal of two soldiers by a military court than to some celebrities acquitted in Los Angeles courts. Does he get to pick and choose which acquittals he refers to as valid?”

O’REILLY: Absolutely. I get to pick and choose anything I want, because it’s my show.

DHUE: “The O’Reilly Factor”. [...]

O’REILLY: You said it. There’s only one Dhue on “The Dhue Point”.

Now ladies and gentlemen, you’ve got to e-mail. You’ve got a problem with me? You got a problem with me? You e-mail Laurie.

DHUE: Right.

O’REILLY: Anything about the program that you want to know, Laurie, there you go.

DHUE: Right. But I still think you should call me The Dhue, like The Donald. I’m The Dhue.

O’REILLY: Excellent.

DHUE: Got it?

O’REILLY: Laurie, we’ll see you next Thursday.

DHUE: OK, thanks.

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