Bill O’Reilly STILL Needs To Fire His Research Staff: The Drone Edition

Last night Bill O’Reilly mustered up his signature pomposity in a debate with Bob Beckel over whether or not NBC had ever criticized President Obama on the use of drones or even reported on the controversy. O’Reilly was almost shaking with contempt at what he considered an outrageous example of hypocrisy. Beckel didn’t seem to care much about NBC’s reporting or pretend that he knew anything about their coverage of this story. But O’Reilly was relentless about NBC’s reporting and refused to let it go.

O’Reilly: “Remember the outcry about waterboarding? You know, everybody jumping up and down? Uh, NBC News, I thought they were going to, like, melt down over there. You heard anything on NBC about the drones? […] Neither have I. Neither has my staff.”

O’Reilly went on to accuse NBC of deliberately avoiding the story “because they are protecting the President.” There’s only one small thing wrong with O’Reilly’s bombastic condemnation of NBC: It was NBC who broke the story that made the drone controversy the lead on every news network on television. A little exclusive published by NBC’s investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff revealed the memo that outlined the administration’s rational for drone strikes targeted at American citizens.

The intensity with which O’Reilly insisted that NBC was derelict in their reporting only made his egregious mangling of the facts all the more preposterous. And by explicitly affirming his mistaken assertions with his staff, he casts doubt on their competence as well. In that regard, this isn’t the first time that O’Reilly’s staff has let him down in spectacular fashion. Back in April of 2010, O’Reilly reproached GOP senator Tom Coburn for suggesting that Fox had aired allegations that failure to get health insurance under ObamaCare would subject you to a prison term. He vigorously denied that anyone at Fox had ever said such a thing saying…

O’Reilly: “It doesn’t happen here, and we’ve researched to find out if anybody on Fox News has ever said ‘You’re going to jail if you don’t buy health insurance.’ Nobody’s ever said it. So it seems to me what you did was, you used Fox News as a whipping boy when we didn’t qualify there.”

Unfortunately for O’Reilly and his crack research team, the video record was readily available (And this pretty hilarious stuff. The “jail” assertion was even made on O’Reilly’s program by Glenn Beck):

Fox News has been blathering for much of this week about what they delusionally call the “liberal” media for ignoring the drone story. One of the more prominent critics is the fake Fox version of a Democrat, Kirsten Powers. She has taken to the Fox airwaves to lambaste liberals and Democrats for not challenging the administration on their drone policy. However, no one has been more critical of the President on this than Isikoff, the reporter who broke the story, and Rachel Maddow, who devoted extensive portions of her show to it.

If anyone is guilty of hypocrisy it’s the Fox/GOP crowd who only seem to care about human rights when a Democratic president is accused of violating them. Both Fox and the Republican Party fiercely defended George Bush’s use of torture and wiretapping. Democrats opposed those breaches of human rights, and they are consistent today in opposing the use of drones and the targeting of Americans without due process. But these facts escape dullards like O’Reilly whose only purpose is to bash his adversaries and the facts be damned. However, if there is one thing that O’Reilly is consistent about, it’s his indifference to journalistic ethics or standards.

Bill O'Reilly

I couldn’t agree more, Bill-O.

[Update] O’Reilly addressed the response to his deliberately deceitful characterization of NBC’s reporting the following night. As might have been expected, he lied through his teeth absolving himself of any responsibility. His argument was simply that “I didn’t say NBC broke the memo story because we weren’t talking about that.” Not true. For the record, let’s review what he was talking about: “You heard anything on NBC about the drones? […] Neither have I. Neither has my staff.” Either he and his staff weren’t listening very closely or they don’t regard talking about drones to be talking about drones.


5 thoughts on “Bill O’Reilly STILL Needs To Fire His Research Staff: The Drone Edition

  1. Doesn’t this imply he has one? We thought he got all his information because he’s the Great and Powerful Turtle, er, Bill-O the Clown, and he knows everything that must be known.

    Oh, and from Drudge…

  2. Keep this in mind Bill-O, we’re not laughing with you, we’re laughing at you.

  3. I’m sorry I just couldn’t bring myself to click on that video. Reading about it was hard enough.

  4. While discussing Drone Strikes topic with Bob Beckel, Bill O’Reilly never once mentioned the word ‘analysis’ when he repeatedly accused NBC and the Left of NOT mentioning or discussing the topic.

    When in fact, the Left and NBC have been discussing it every single day since they broke the story last Monday.

    Here’s a Recap:

    Monday Night – Drones Memo story broke on Rachel Maddow Show and was discussed at length with detailed analysis.

    Tuesday Morning – Heated discussions and analysis about the Drone Strikes on MSNBC.

    Tuesday Afternoon – Discussion and analysis of the Drone Strikes continues on MSNBC.

    Tuesday Evening – Every single show on MSNBC and even NBC Nightly News cover and debate the Drone Strikes extensively.

    Wednesday Morning – MSNBC and NBC continues to cover the Drone Strikes with heated debates.

    Wednesday Afternoon – MSNBC continues covering the Drone Strikes with analysis.

    —Up to this point, everything I have recapped took place prior to O’Reilly’s 4 PM taping when he made the first erroneous statement.

    Wednesday Evening – MSNBC and NBC continues discussing the Drone Strikes memo with tons of analysis.

    Thursday Morning, Afternoon, and Evening – NBC and MSNBC continues their coverage on the Drone Strikes memo and debate…again, with lots of analysis.

    In addition, since last Monday’s release of the memo, all of the Left wing websites have been discussing and debating the Drone Strikes with lots of analysis.

    Bill O’Reilly just needs to admit what he actually said on Wednesday Night. Take a look at his transcript from that night and read what he said and what we all heard him say.

    He said that Left hadn’t hadn’t even mentioned or discussed the Drone Strikes. He never even mentioned the word ‘analysis’. Meanwhile, NBC and MSNBC were covering the story wall-to-wall and somehow Fox News, Bill O’Reilly, and his staffers completely missed it.

    They are either lying because they got caught with their pants down or they’re simply incompetent.

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