Deploying one of his favorite tactics, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly sent out a “reporter” last week to ambush PBS journalist Bill Moyers, at a journalism conference. The reporter, Porter Barry, accused Moyers of not “having the courage” to come on the O’Reilly Factor. Moyers replied, “I will come on Bill O’Reilly’s show after he accepts my invitation to come on my show, unedited, a whole hour. I’ll give him a whole hour.” He added, “But let’s see if that message gets on the air.”
Unsurprisingly, O’Reilly chose to air only a tiny portion of the ambush on his show Monday night. He praised Barry’s performance, saying “he handled himself well.” O’Reilly’s “body language expert,” Tonya Reiman, agreed, saying that Barry “handled himself beautifully.” Unsurprisingly, O’Reilly used the segment to launch personal attacks on Moyers:
— “Now, it doesn’t matter what he says. It’s just pure rank propaganda.”
— “Isn’t that rude? No, really?”
— “Look, he’s a real fanatic, this Moyers. He’s like a crazy guy.”
— “Moyers is scary.”
O’Reilly has never been one to mince words about his dislike of Moyers. In April, though he judiciously said he would wait to “really hang Moyers” until he saw Moyers’ entire interview with controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright, O’Reilly said the two should “take a long vacation, perhaps in Iran.” More recently, he was forced to issue a correction for falsely reporting that Moyers didn’t provide his employees with health insurance.
During that same episode, O’Reilly ironically claimed, “We’re not fans of Mr. Moyers, but he does deserve to be treated fairly.”
Watch the full ambush of Moyers that O’Reilly hid from his viewers here.
BILL MOYERS, PBS: There’s one mindset in the Murdoch empire, and when Rupert Murdoch turned the dogs of war loose in a…
MOYERS: Wait a minute, wait a minute. Support the Iraq war Rupert Murdoch said the best thing that will come out of the Iraq war will be gasoline at $20 a barrel.
PORTER BERRY, FOX NEWS: How many times do you want me to invite you to come on to our program to talk about it?
MOYERS: How many…
BERRY: No, you’re preaching to the choir here. You have your minions.
MOYERS: You’re the choir.
BERRY: No, I’m not the choir. No, I’m here to talk to you. You’ve got to have a little balance here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O’REILLY: OK. Now, it doesn’t matter what he says. It’s just pure rank propaganda. But he’s patting Porter’s cheek. He’s got the hand on the — what is all that about?
REIMAN: The one who touches is normally seen as the more dominant of the two. Now, what’s interesting about this is, as he goes to touch Porter, if you notice Porter closes his eyes and kind of pulls his head back, and then he keeps his eyes closed for the duration of the touch. And that’s because he knows it’s coming and then, look, it becomes uncomfortable. See, eyes closed, closed. Closed.
O’REILLY: He’s a professional. Sure. Who wants Moyers…
O’REILLY: See, that’s patronizing gesture.
REIMAN: It is a patronizing gesture.
O’REILLY: You’re so stupid you can’t understand what I’m saying? Look at the finger in his face.
O’REILLY: Isn’t that rude? No, really?
REIMAN: Yes, it is very rude.
O’REILLY: Because he’s so close. I do the finger, but I’m 3 or 4 feet away from you.
REIMAN: Yes. He is. But I think it’s also almost a paternal thing: let me show you the right way.
O’REILLY: Right, let me show you the way.
REIMAN: Yes, yes. That was the impression I got.
O’REILLY: Look, he’s a real fanatic, this Moyers.
REIMAN: But you know…
O’REILLY: He’s like a crazy guy.
REIMAN: As they’re having this conversation, chins are just going higher and higher and higher, as if I’m not going to let you one-up me. And the two of them doing this together.
O’REILLY: I thought Porter handled himself well.
REIMAN: He handled himself beautifully.
O’REILLY: Moyers is scary.