It’s no secret that Fox News host Bill O’Reilly can’t stand MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. In fact, when a caller into his radio show had the gall to mention Olbermann’s name on air in March 2006, O’Reilly threatened to turn his personal information over to “Fox security.”
Yesterday, O’Reilly took his rivalry a step further. He sent his top henchman, producer Jesse Watters, to infiltrate the GE shareholders meeting and press executives on why MSNBC has a “leftward political slant”:
But one of those questions came from Jesse Watters [sic], a producer on “The O’Reilly Factor” whose criticisms were cut short when his microphone was cut off, according to several attendees. Watters apparently did not publicly identify himself as a Fox employee. [...]
GE pointed out that Watters had Fox News cameras waiting outside the Orlando meeting.
Attendees who spoke to THR said shareholders asked about 10 politically charged questions concerning MSNBC as well as one about CNBC. [...]
When he got the floor, Watters focused his question about MSNBC on Olbermann’s interview of actress Janeane Garofalo, who likened conservatives to racists and spoke of “the limbic brain inside a right-winger.”
“He (Watters) was complaining that Olbermann didn’t bother to challenge her,” another GE shareholder said.
Watters is reportedly a GE shareholder. Naturally, the Drudge Report is now blowing up this story with the headline, “GE shareholders outraged over MSNBC bias; Microphone cut off…”
Yesterday was not the first time that O’Reilly’s henchmen have confronted NBC/GE executives. In 2007, O’Reilly sent his producers to ambush Immelt while he was having dinner, pushing and shoving their way past restaurant staff in order to harass him. Of course, when outlets such as ThinkProgress and the New York Times have contacted Watters for comment on his ambush tactics, he has refused to respond.
No doubt that O’Reilly will use this incident to fuel his conspiracy theories against the left-wing “smear pipeline,” which supposedly includes GE, NBC News, Osama bin Laden, John Podesta, President Obama, and insects.