A couple of weeks ago, Bill O’Reilly aired a hard-hitting piece from the wilds of North Carolina. He had dispatched his crack investigative team to dig up dirt on John Edwards. What he found was a trailer park across the street from Edwards’ home whose unidentified working-class residents had no love for Senator Edwards.
Unidentified Male: Everybody here is just normal income people. You know, just live day-to-day. And I don’t think he knows anything about us.
O’Reilly: We couldn’t find anybody in the trailer park to say anything nice about John Edwards.
This story would be irrelevant and dull in the best of circumstances. Finding people on the street to disparage any public figure really only requires two things: 1) a street and 2) people. But O’Reilly made this simple task even easier by making all of it up!
The News & Observer of North Carolina, having engaged in actual reporting, has learned that there is no trailer park across the street from Edwards’ home. The interviews actually took place at an auto repair shop. What’s more, the N&O identified the folks interviewed by O’Reilly’s team and it turns out they were the owners of the repair shop and the property on which it resides. Not exactly the picture of working-class citizens that O’Reilly had painted.
For my conclusion I would just like to paraphrase O’Reilly’s own conclusion from his fictional news item:
‘Talking Points’ News Corpse tries to respect all of those who want to serve their country report the news, but Edwards O’Reilly is an exception. I have no respect for him. He’s a phony and is in the tank for special interests to damage this country. Edwards O’Reilly is going nowhere to Hell, but deserves to be called out.”