Last month, torture advocate Bill O’Reilly launched a “boycott” of Spain after Spanish prosecutors were considering a probe of Bush administration officials who gave legal cover for torture. “There will be a boycott and there will be ill will towards Spain. This is going to become a huge story and it’s not going to be good for Spain,” he claimed.
Spanish prosecutors have now recommended throwing out the criminal complaint. The news elicited a declaration of mission accomplished from O’Reilly last night. Discussing the investigations with Megyn Kelly, O’Reilly explained the economics behind how his boycott brought down the probe:
O’REILLY: Now, I don’t know whether “The Factor” was a Factor in this decision, but I am taking full credit for it.
O’REILLY: You bet. Because Spain, according to The Economist magazine, is pushing 19 percent unemployment. We were going to boycott Spain. That means millions of Americans would have at least been exposed to the idea. And they folded pretty darn fast. We started this last week. Today no mas. … Well, we’re taking full credit for that, ladies and gentlemen, whether deserved or not.
Kelly seemed skeptical but still played along. “There is some travel from American citizens. It would have hurt a little. Maybe that played a role in it. I don’t know,” she said. Watch it:
Fox Nation is also touting the meme today: “Spain Caves After O’Reilly Boycott Threat.” Of course, the brash comments aren’t surprising from O’Reilly, considering his massive ego about his show’s alleged influence. Last year, when Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was behind in the polls, O’Reilly told his viewers that McCain was behind because he wasn’t appearing on The Factor. Some others:
— O’Reilly saved Christmas: Producer Jesse Watters bragged in December: “We saved Christmas last year.”
— O’Reilly brought down the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Seattle’s “nutty-left newspaper” went under after O’Reilly’s staff ambushed publisher Roger Oglesby.
— O’Reilly lowered gas prices: After oil execs supposedly artificially raised oil prices after Katrina, O’Reilly said they “got scared. Because of my reporting and the reporting of some others.”
— O’Reilly brought down O.J.: Responding to the cancellation of Fox’s interview with O.J. Simpson, O’Reilly said, “It’s a culture-war victory. The folks did it; and I am the messenger.”
It is surprising that O’Reilly is so heavily promoting his “boycott” of Spain. When ThinkProgress launched campaign urging O’Reilly’s advertisers stop supporting his show, O’Reilly said on March 27 that our tactics were “Stalinist” and “certainly not Democratic.”
O’Reilly may be declaring victory too early. Reuters reports that Judge Garzon of Spain “is def[ying] pressure to drop the case.”