Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

O’Reilly And Hume Claim Fox News Covered ‘All The Bad News That Came Out Of Iraq’

Posted on  

"O’Reilly And Hume Claim Fox News Covered ‘All The Bad News That Came Out Of Iraq’"

Share:

google plus icon

Yesterday, former Special Report anchor Brit Hume helped lead the Fox News pushback against the White House’s charge that the network is “opinion journalism masquerading as news” and “often operates as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.” “If Fox News really were a GOP mouth piece, the White House would not be attacking it,” said Hume in a Special Report commentary. “It would feel no need to.”

Later that night, Hume joined Bill O’Reilly to continue defending the network’s news coverage. O’Reilly and Hume agreed that Fox “routinely hammered President Bush on Iraq” and was “very faithful about covering all the bad news that came out of Iraq”:

O’REILLY: Now you and I came up in the old school, where we were taught as a reporter you should be skeptical of everybody. I mean, that’s your job as a reporter.

HUME: Right.

O’REILLY: To be skeptical, skeptical of the Democrats, skeptical of the Republicans. It doesn’t really matter. And I have to say that when President Bush was in trouble in Iraq, this network and this program and your program, as well, routinely, routinely hammered President Bush on Iraq.

HUME: Well, we certainly — we were very faithful about covering all the bad news that came out of Iraq.

O’REILLY: Absolutely.

“There was no cheerleading of President Bush on this network when his administration ran into trouble,” claimed O’Reilly. Watch it:

O’Reilly and Hume appear to have a selective memory when it comes to their cheerleading of the Bush administration. When Hume stepped down from the Special Report anchor chair, he marveled that Bush had put America on “an amazing” foreign policy “path.” During his time at Fox, Hume repeatedly spun bad news for Bush and pushed misleading information that bolstered the Bush administration’s faulty case for invading Iraq. Perhaps this is one reason why a 2003 study found that 80 percent of those who primarily relied on Fox News believed falsehoods about why we went into Iraq.

When it came to Iraq war coverage, O’Reilly explained his philosophy on his radio show in June 2007 after the Project for Excellence in Journalism found that Fox covered the war less than CNN and MSNBC. Claiming that Fox’s competitors were reporting on violence “because they want to embarrass the Bush administration,” O’Reilly said, “Do you care if another bomb went off in Tikrit? Does it mean anything? No!” “There’s little news value in broadcasting daily bombings,” O’Reilly added on his Fox show.

Transcript:

O’REILLY: Now you and I came up in the old school, where we were taught as a reporter you should be skeptical of everybody. I mean, that’s your job as a reporter.

HUME: Right.

O’REILLY: To be skeptical, skeptical of the Democrats, skeptical of the Republicans. It doesn’t really matter. And I have to say that when President Bush was in trouble in Iraq, this network and this program and your program, as well, routinely, routinely hammered President Bush on Iraq.

HUME: Well, we certainly — we were very faithful about covering all the bad news that came out of Iraq.

O’REILLY: Absolutely.

HUME: .for a very long period of time. The criticisms were made of him were reported and discussed at length on FOX News. Now, he had his defenders. The war had its defenders.

O’REILLY: But there was no cheerleading.

HUME: There were commentators.

O’REILLY: There was no cheerleading of President Bush on this network when his administration ran into trouble. There was no cheerleading, you know. It was skeptical coverage. Iraq’s going south. When the economy started to wobble last September, we were right on that.

Now, what has changed, in your opinion, from when you and I came up in the journalistic ranks and we were told — taught in school and then told by our bosses you be skeptical of those in power. Doesn’t matter where they are, what party they are. That does not in many quarters take place anymore.

HUME: Well.

O’REILLY: We mentioned NBC and CNN. And certainly those networks are dramatically favorable to Barack Obama. What is happening.

HUME: Well, I think that – well, I think what happened in this particular case — look, it has been universally recognized for a long period of time and survey after survey has shown it that most reporters vote Democrat, particularly in presidential elections. The journalists who inhabit Washington, and I think it’s fair to say the key spots in the network headquarters and newspaper headquarters in New York with very few exceptions are Democrats, or at least they vote Democratic. They tend to be liberal in their outlook. That was true for a long time.

The level of discipline, exercised by the conventions of journalism on them have weakened.

« »

By clicking and submitting a comment I acknowledge the ThinkProgress Privacy Policy and agree to the ThinkProgress Terms of Use. I understand that my comments are also being governed by Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policies as applicable, which can be found here.