Last night on The O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly engaged in one of his usual diatribes against bloggers. In attempting to demonstrate that the blogosphere is full of extreme hate-mongers, O’Reilly criticized both conservative and liberal blogs for allowing commenters to freely post opinions with which the sites may not agree.
In his “policing the net” segment, O’Reilly displayed a few hateful comments against Judge Sonia Sotomayor that were posted on Michelle Malkin’s Hot Air blog. Then O’Reilly set his sights on ThinkProgress (aka “the insects”):
ThinkProgress, another crazy website on the left: “It will be so funny seeing a bunch of old white guys questioning her during the Senate hearings.” Nothing racist about that. You know, these people — as I said on the conservative guy — they don’t think that they’re racist. They don’t think that they’re bigoted. But you know, it’s so obvious they are.
In both cases, O’Reilly was not quoting posts on ThinkProgress or Hot Air. Rather, he was referencing a couple of the many commenters that post to each site. Watch it:
You have to forgive O’Reilly because he doesn’t actually “go on the Internet” to figure out what he’s talking about. Conservatives are rightfully criticizing O’Reilly for unfairly attacking Hot Air. Allahpundit writes, “Ah, there’s nothing like yanking a comment out of context and using it to smear the entire site.”
This morning on Fox and Friends, Malkin criticized O’Reilly, saying that he unfairly “smeared” bloggers last night:
MALKIN: I think there is this attitude about the blogosphere that, “Oh, they don’t know what they’re talking about.” There’s denigration — Hot Air was smeared, unfortunately, by the O’Reilly Factor last night — when a lot of people get good information, information they cannot get anywhere else.
Right-of-center blogger Jon Henke calls O’Reilly a “dumbass.”
,Right Wing News writes that if O’Reilly cares about accuracy, “he definitely should do a retraction and he needs to make sure that the people compiling this info for him in the future know the difference between a comment and a blog post.”