Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bill O'Reilly: up is down

Obviously, the following is parody, but it's parody that illustrates a point.

Bill O'Reilly (7/15/06): It's a well known fact, two plus two equals five.

Media Matters (7/16/06): On July 15, Bill O'Reilly stated that "It's a well known fact, two plus two equals five." Actually, mathematicians have proven rigorously that two plus two equals four, not five.

Bill O'Reilly (7/18/06)

O'REILLY: OK. I'm not happy, and I'll tell you why.


O'REILLY: Because this money going to be used for, as I said, nefarious purposes. And here's how it's going to be used. The pipeline is the money goes to smear websites, right? Gets into the smear websites. And the websites can say anything about Laura Ingraham or Bill O'Reilly they want to say. OK?


O'REILLY: They can lie. They can give directions to our homes.

INGRAHAM: So what?

O'REILLY: OK. Well, puts us some physical danger, Number 1.

INGRAHAM: No. I'm not worried.

O'REILLY: There's defamation, Number 2. Well, you're much more courageous than I am. Defamation, Number 2. And they can --

INGRAHAM: No, I'm not, but -- they're losers.

O'REILLY: -- and they can basically do all of these things. But it comes out of the smear websites and it goes into the far-left newspaper columnists.

INGRAHAM: It's not working, though, Bill, Bill --

O'REILLY: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. It does work. Here's how it works.

INGRAHAM: Soros spent $50 million in 2004. It doesn't work.

O'REILLY: Laura, here's how it works. It intimidates good people who may want to come into the public arena as politicians or commentators. It intimidates them. They don't want to put themselves --

INGRAHAM: I disagree. I hate to disagree with you, Bill, but I disagree. If someone is intimidated by George Soros and Media Matters, then they have no business being in politics or in our business. If you can't stand up for what you think is right and for the values that you think most Americans hold and for what you think is good for this country, then get out of the game, get out of the kitchen, whatever you want to call it, because these people are going to do that. That's the nature of this game. That has been politics for longer than you and I have been alive, and it's going to continue to be politics. And I understand what you're saying. I mean, it's amplified because of the new media and the Internet and everything.

O'REILLY: I'm not going to go over the Limbaugh thing in Palm Beach, which was a total setup. I'm not going to go over Bill Bennett, who said a remark metaphorically, and it was used to bludgeon him. And this kind of stuff -- I know you're just saying, hey, you gotta to take it. This kind of stuff is dangerous, Number 1, because kooks are out there.

Yep, Bill O'Reilly is worried that "character assassins" and "smear websites" like Media Matters, which provides a person's statements in context with links to the original statement and fact checks them with links to information so that their methodology is transparent so that a person can judge for themselves whether or not the original statement was truthful and accurate, are dangerous because "It intimidates good people who may want to come into the public arena as politicians or commentators" because "They can lie. They can give directions to our homes."

Yes, they can do that. Just like any person who has the ability to write or speak and had such information is capable of doing. But being capable of doing something and actually doing it are not the same thing, and Media Matters hasn't. Nevermind that self-described right-wing organizations and bloggers actually HAVE dangerously intimidated individuals in the public arena by character assassination and posting their home address. And nevermind that Media Matters documents such actions.

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