As ThinkProgress continues to wage an action campaign against Bill O’Reilly’s harassment machine, the Fox News host is getting increasingly belligerent in his attacks on TP, the Center for American Progress, and CAP’s founder and CEO, John Podesta. On Wednesday, O’Reilly lashed out, calling TP and CAP part of a “well-financed, well-coordinated cabal” that will “go after your sponsors, they’ll go at your house, they’ll go after your family.”
Last night, O’Reilly defended his attacks, reading letters from viewers condemning the “far-left hate machine.” When one viewer asked if O’Reilly was worried about a lawsuit for his slandering of Podesta, O’Reilly insisted he had “just presented the facts”:
O’REILLY: Gary Stebnitz, Madison, Wisconsin: “O’Reilly, how in the world do you expect to avoid a lawsuit after your attack on John Podesta?”
Now, I want you to write this down, sir, so you can read it to all of your Kool-Aid crew out there in Madison. Podesta is running a hate Web site. Everything we said about him was true. We used no ad hominem attacks, just presented the facts. Got it?
As he read the letters, the screen showed CAP’s logo with the title “HATE MACHINE” underneath. Watch it:
No ad hominem attacks? Really?
— O’Reilly on TP Managing Editor Amanda Terkel: “Well, Miss Terkel is certainly a villain.” [3/23]
— O’Reilly on ThinkProgress: “They’re insects, OK?” [3/25]
— O’Reilly on Podesta: “This smear merchant, character assassin John Podesta…” [3/25]
And as for the “facts” O’Reilly presented, he repeatedly insisted that CAP and NBC News were affiliated. First he insisted that “elements at NBC News” paid Amanda to write about O’Reilly and that Amanda “was obviously used by NBC News.” Two days later, O’Reilly switched gears to declare that Podesta — and, by some sort of transitive property, President Obama — is in control of NBC News:
O’REILLY: And Podesta’s mainstream media is, of course, NBC News. That’s the outlet Podesta uses. … A well coordinated, well financed cabal attacking dissent, it’s a pretty big story, especially because it involves Podesta, who has access to the president and NBC, which along with its parent company General Electric is grossly misusing its power.
Despite his frantic tirade against CAP’s “well-coordinated, well-financed cabal” the night before, O’Reilly insisted last night, “I’m not a conspiracy guy.”