Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) criticized the partisan political environment, saying, “Can you imagine writing the Constitution today?” Graham asked, speculating that Fox News host Bill O’Reilly would complain of “Ben Franklin giving in on something.” Last night on Fox News, Bill O’Reilly playfully confronted Graham about the accusation and attempted to defend the integrity of his network. O’Reilly said that unlike the New York Times, Fox News doesn’t break stories that hurt people:
O’REILLY: And I think you raise a very interesting point in what you said. And you said — I’m glad you mentioned me because that got attention And then people to think about this. We don’t break stories that are going to interfere with President Obama or President Bush or whoever’s in office if we feel that the story is going to hurt anybody, our military, our policymakers. We’ll hold it back. Okay? We’re not The New York Times. We’re not trying to do that.
Fox News and O’Reilly may not “break stories” that directly “hurt anybody,” but they certainly haven’t made great efforts to take targets off anyone’s back either. In fact, O’Reilly producer Jesse Watters regularly stalks and ambushes anyone O’Reilly and his goons disagree with (like TP’s own Amanda Terkel), even if it means following them home and confronting them in places such as their garages.
In May, a radical anti-choice crusader gunned down Dr. George Tiller, a Kansas physician who administered abortions. Prior to this incident, O’Reilly regularly singled out Tiller on his show, referring to him as “Tiller the Baby Killer,” saying that he “has blood on his hands” and that he “executes babies.” After the murder, O’Reilly stood by all his claims and even lied that he never called Tiller “Dr. Killer.”
Other hosts, such as by Glenn Beck, have attempted to scare the American public by calling the President a “socialist,” saying that he has ties to communists (or fascists), or that he’s even a “racist” who hates “white culture.” Beck regularly fears that the country is being “stolen” and has even said that the Obama administration had created concentration camps.