For two months now, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has been using his various media perches to criticize and attack Brian De Palma’s controversial new film, Redacted, which was financed by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. The film centers around a fictionalized portrayal of “the true story of a group of U.S. soldiers who raped and killed a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and murdered members of her family.”
O’Reilly kicked off his campaign against the film with a column in September, saying the filmmakers “should be ashamed” because “they are hurting their own country.” He sharpened his attacks last week, calling for a boycott of the “vile,” “anti-American” film during multiple segments on his show. In a second column, O’Reilly compared Cuban and DePalma to Charles Manson:
There is no excuse for “Redacted.” The incident is based on a true story, but those who committed the crimes are in prison for life. You don’t celebrate this kind of aberration with a movie–you don’t brand the U.S. military with this stigma.
Charles Manson is an American too, but does he represent this country in any way? Of course not. And I believe even the odious Manson would not make a movie like “Redacted.”
Cuban has responded to O’Reilly’s criticism by claiming that the Fox News star is mischaracterizing the film and attacking it without having seen it. Last week, in order to test “O’Reilly’s motivation” for his campaign, Cuban bought ad time for the film during The O’Reilly Factor. The ad ran during the Nov. 15 edition of the show.
Watch a compilation of O’Reilly’s attacks on Cuban and the ad he aired:
According to Cuban, the point of the ad buy was to see if the issue “really was important to Mr. O’Reilly, or whether” he “would say whatever he needed to say to get more people to watch.” Cuban said he had no problem whatsoever obtaining the time:
I had someone call FoxNews and tell them specifically, unequivocally that we wanted to run an ad for the movie Redacted. The same movie Bill OReilly was so upset about.
They said no problem. Do you want to run the ads in both the live show and the repeat?
Our first reaction was that this was just the sales department and at some point , someone at FoxNews would step in and stop the ads from running. The call to say they were stopping the ads never came.
The ad ran in both shows. Here is a link with Bill’s smiling face at the end.
O’Reilly has yet to comment on the fact that his show is now profiting off the promotion of a film he claims is “hurting our troops and helping the terrorists.”