Last night on The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly dedicated a segment to disingenuously attacking the upcoming YearlyKos convention, its namesake DailyKos, and one of the event’s sponsors, JetBlue. The Fox newsman who has encouraged terrorists to target San Francisco is now claiming that DailyKos is “one of the worst examples of hatred America has to offer.”
O’Reilly went on to compare the YearlyKos blogger convention to “a David Duke convention” while calling DailyKos “hatemongerers” like “the Ku Klux Klan” and “the Nazi Party.” Watch it:
Not only is O’Reilly’s “report” a textbook example of shoddy journalism — passing off an extreme minority of reader comments and diaries as representative of the site itself — but it also reveals his own intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
As BooMan points out, one of the “hateful” comments O’Reilly parrots — “the Pope is a primate” — isn’t actually an insult. The prime definition of “primate,” the seemingly offending word, is actually:
1. Ecclesiastical. an archbishop or bishop ranking first among the bishops of a province or country.
Furthermore, when Business Week Senior Writer Diane Brady notes that DailyKos is “an open forum” and anyone, even “lunatics,” can post there, O’Reilly dismisses her, saying “I have my own website. Open forum is bull. You can regulate what’s on your website.” O’Reilly doesn’t mention, however, that his website doesn’t have a public forum and the message boards are available only for a $50 annual membership fee.
Voices across the blogosphere have weighed in on the “report,” responding to different portions of O’Reilly’s disingenuous attack:
- McJoan points out that it’s not news that individuals “say stupid things on the Internet.”
- BarbinMD notes the many positive contributions DailyKos makes to the public discourse, such as the I Got The News Today series honoring fallen soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Noting the irony, Kos posts some of the hateful email he has received as a result of the O’Reilly segment.
- Jeffery Feldman shows how O’Reilly has hosted “hateful” voices on his show numerous times in the past.
As Cenk of the Young Turks points out, thanks to O’Reilly’s declaration that he’ll never fly on JetBlue again, passengers can fly in comfort knowing their flight won’t be interrupted by Papa Bear.
UPDATE: O’Reilly has previously said that he’d like to “go in” to the blogosphere “with a hand grenade.”