FACT CHECK: O’Reilly Claims Conservatives Don’t Call Liberals ‘Racists’ Or ‘Bigots’

Yesterday on Fox News, Bill O’Reilly claimed that he tried to do some “fair and balanced” research, but couldn’t find anyone on the right who calls liberals “haters” — bigots, racists, anti-Semites, or homophobes. (He ignored Michelle Malkin when she admitted that in her columns, she takes “liberal bigots to task for their hypocrisy.”) Watch it:


We did some quick research for O’Reilly and found examples:

Welcome to the 21st century librarian: book-smart, reality-stupid, Bush-deranged bigots. [Malkin, 6/21/06]


And yet, I keep reading — and in fact, I think I read in, I believe, I heard you say that there was some crossover vote in this race, something like 20 percent of white voters voted for [New Orleans mayor Ray] Nagin, who is obviously a full-blown racist. [Tucker Carlson, 5/22/06]

[Senate Minority Leader Harry] Reid knows a little something about being racist. [Rich Galen, 6/22/06]

O’Reilly also dismissed calling liberals “insane,” “harpies,” “witches” or “retarded” as “just the usual partisan rhetoric.”

Full transcript below:

O’REILLY: I had Leonard Pitts in — he’s a columnist from the “Miami Herald” in some of the teases. Now, Pitts’ column today didn’t call anybody a racist. He was writing about Mel Gibson. Waling that line. Walking that line. Now, Michelle, have you ever done that in your column? Because we have researched right wing columnists and I’m going to get to that in a minute. But have you ever labeled anybody a racist, a homophobe or anything like that?

MALKIN: Well I call people what they are in my column. And occasionally that it does meaning taking liberal bigots to task for their hypocrisy. I was on your show back in the fall when I was on my book tour talking about “Unhinged” which has a whole chapter on unhinged liberal bigots who on the one hand talk about compassion an tolerance and on the other hand use the most vile epithets against their opponents.

And I think that there is a place for labeling it when it is .

O’REILLY: But aren’t they hypocrites rather than bigots? See, here is what I am objecting to. We had John Podhoretz, who is a columnist send — he is a conservative guy. He says that Al Gore is insane. OK. That is just the usual partisan rhetoric. Ann Coulter calls people witches, harpies, all kinds — retarded. Name calling is one thing but labeling a person a bigot, all right, saying they are anti-Semitic or homophobic, that elevates it up into here is a hater. That person is a hater. These columnists don’t know these people. They don’t know me. They don’t know Mel Gibson. They don’t know anybody. To do that, I think, is grossly irresponsible.

MALKIN: Well, yes, especially when, and of course, it is all they have. And I have been on the receiving end on that ever since I began my career as a public commentator when all they have to say in response to your meticulous arguments, for example, that lax immigration enforcement endangers us. The first thing that a lot of these leftists do is call you a xenophobe and immigrant barber. You hate Hispanics. If you talk about the war on terror, if you talk about jihadist infiltration, you are an Islamophobe. And it goes on and on. And this is a crude tool in the intellectual toolshed of the American left. It is all they have. It is old, it’s rusty and ineffective.

O’REILLY: I don’t know whether the right does it. We really try to research this fair and balanced. We didn’t come up with anybody on the right who did…

MALKIN: Well, that pretty much answers the question.

O’REILLY: Other than the name calling. There is a lot of name calling on the right.