Bill O’Reilly has indeed proven again and again that he has no journalistic standards. It is becoming somewhat tedious having to point this out when it occurs with such frequency, but this latest example just cries out for attention. I’m going to let O’Reilly tell the story himself…
“Sources tell ‘The Factor’ that there is a federal investigation underway to find out if any American company sold components for roadside bombs to nefarious people. In May of 2008, and again in October ’08, coalition forces discovered unexploded roadside bombs in Iraq and handed them over to the FBI bureau in Baghdad. The FBI discovered that radio frequency modules inside the bombs were part of a shipment made by a U.S. company to Corezing International, a business in Singapore with direct ties to Iran.”
Oh my. That’s sounds frightening. Do go on…
“According to authorities, these modules are still being used today to kill Americans. The FBI will not comment, and ‘The Factor’ believes the investigation may be classified, because information is very hard to come by.”
So I assume that “The Factor” dove in and conducted a thorough investigation to get the “hard to come by” information, carefully documenting the exploits of a corrupt and dangerous program that is threatening American soldiers and America’s interests…
“‘The Factor’ has been told, but cannot confirm, that the General Electric corporation is under suspicion in the case.”
Ummm…..If you’ve been told something that you can’t confirm, why are you reporting it? You know, I’ve been told that Bill O’Reilly fixes breakfast in bed for Osama Bin Laden every Sunday morning before going to Mosque together. I can’t confirm it, but…..
“To be clear, ‘The Factor’ is not accusing anyone of anything. We are just reporting what we believe to be true.”
You aren’t accusing anyone of anything? Unless I’m mistaken, you just accused General Electric of arming America’s enemies and killing American troops. You made the accusation despite not being able to confirm it. And “reporting what we believe to be true” isn’t reporting at all, it’s gossip. So your assertion that you aren’t making an accusation is contradicted in the very same sentence by your admission to being a gossip monger (see Antilogical Reasoning).
Needless to say, O’Reilly got it all wrong. GE responded calling O’Reilly’s allegations “irresponsible and maliciously false” GE’s spokesman, Gary Sheffer, said that GE doesn’t do business with Corezing, and they don’t even make the radio frequency modules to which O’Reilly referred. Sheffer continued…
“We usually do not respond to the misleading and inaccurate claims made on this program because very few people take them seriously, but tonight’s report took this smear campaign to a new low.”
It is a pretty good general policy to regard O’Reilly as someone who is “misleading and inaccurate” and whom few take seriously. Although O’Reilly takes himself seriously enough to make up for all of those who know that he’s a joke. In response to remarks by Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, O’Reilly imagines that he is now at war with the White House. And, once again, he cites his ratings as evidence that Fox News will prevail in such a war.
First of all, there is no correlation between TV ratings and public opinion. This has been proven repeatedly. Secondly, when will O’Reilly and his comrades at Fox get it through their heads that being a top rated cable network is not an endorsement of their journalistic credibility. The National Enquirer has twice the circulation of the nation’s top daily newspaper (USA Today). By O’Reilly’s reasoning, the Enquirer is the the best newspaper in the country.
Finally, the notion that O’Reilly could seriously address the question of whether Fox News and the White House are at war is the best evidence that they are a disreputable enterprise whose obvious biases should disqualify them from being granted press credentials. The truth is that Fox News has more in common with the National Enquirer than a vast community of gullible readers/viewers. It is only a matter of time before Fox broadcasts headlines directly from the Enquirer. In fact, they may already be doing so. Stories about the President being a secret Muslim born in Kenya, and a health care plan that implements “death panels” for the purpose of euthanizing your grandma, could have come right out of the same issue of the Enquirer announcing the capture of Bigfoot by intergalactic (illegal) aliens.