Bill O’Reilly: Shut Up!

Help this man! Al Franken’s nemesis and the host of Faux News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” went plumb loco during a guest appearance on the Oct. 8 installment of National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air.” Follow the “Fresh Air Audio” link and take a listen: You really have to hear this one for yourself. (We provide; you decide.)

But here is my take: O’Reilly went plain nuts. The right-wing pundit was on the Terry Gross-hosted program to discuss his new book, Who’s Looking Out for You?, but most of what he had to say had to do with other books and other authors.

Naturally, top on his list was leftist politicial humorist Franken. If you recall, Faux filed suit against Franken in response to his bestseller, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right; the suit charging Franken of copyright infringement for appropriating the cable news channel’s mendacious slogan (Fair and Balanced) was dismissed pretty quickly. A bitter war of words has raged between O’Reilly and Franken for months now (though O’Reilly told Gross he had nothing to do with the lawsuit — yeah, right, but he made sure to mention that he believes he has just cause to take his rival to court).


Anyway, on “Fresh Air,” O’Reilly blustered on about the New York TimesJanet Maslin and her review of Franken’s book. Here’s an excerpt of the article:

Note to Bill O’Reilly, the de facto publicist for “Lies” thanks to Fox News’s hapless efforts to block its publication: Never say “Never said it” or “‘You can’t find a transcript where I said it” when a man with 14 researchers is on your trail. In a book that baits its targets with varying degrees of success, Mr. Franken makes a bull’s-eye out of Mr. O’Reilly. First the prize: he shows how Mr. O’Reilly’s erroneous claim that he won a Peabody Award evolved into even bigger fibs once it was challenged.

Then the porn: a mortifyingly stilted erotic passage from Mr. O’Reilly’s novel “Those Who Trespass” is sent up repeatedly here. Then the political affiliation: a 1994 voter registration form is dug up, courtesy of National Public Radio, and reprinted to contradict Mr. O’Reilly’s 1996 claim that he was not enrolled in a political party. (The form counts him as a Republican.) And finally the provenance: accounts of a childhood in Levittown, N.Y., are contradicted in The Washington Post by “an inside source (O’Reilly’s mother).”

Then the ruler of the No Spin Zone took on Maslin’s review of liberal gadfly Michael Moore’s latest book, Dude, Where’s My Country. Frankly, I don’t see how O’Reilly could see Maslin’s appraisal of the work as glowing — it’s no hatchet job, but the reviewer offers plenty of criticism for the Man from Flint.

Then, O’Reilly sets his sights on his interviewer, blasting Gross for giving Al Franken an easy interview when the liberal was a “Fresh Air” guest. Gross, to her credit, copped to the accusation — she clearly took O’Reilly on for his meanness and hypocrisy (in fact, O’Reilly defended himself saying he has only told guests to “shut up” about six or seven times). Listen to both interviews. Which guest was polite? Which one was antagonistic?

Finally, O’Reilly ended the interview and walked out in a snit. I located his comment on the event at Fox:

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for “The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day.”

I had to stop an interview with NPR today because the conversation got completely out of hand. It was supposed to be about my new book Who’s Looking Out For You? I say supposed to be. …

The program is called “Fresh Air,” and I knew the people were not going to be fair but I decided to let it play out. That program gave one of the smear merchants running around the country a total pass when it interviewed him. But, in my conversation, they were much more aggressive, and I actually enjoyed telling the woman off, and I think you’ll enjoy hearing it.

If you want to know the ridiculous truth about NPR and “Fresh Air,” go to billoreilly — Bill O’Reilly — that’s my name — dot-com, billoreilly.com, or listen to The Radio Factor tomorrow. Very interesting.

You needn’t go through all that unless you want to do so: The links are above; listen to the interviews. As I said, we provide. You decide.

Personally, I think the man needs a hug, a warm blankie, and serious meds.

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29 thoughts on “Bill O’Reilly: Shut Up!

  1. Boorish pundit of the moment

    I still haven’t listened to it, but apparently documented serial liar Bill O’Goods stormed out of the interview with Terry Gross. While this doesn’t surprise me in the least coming from O’Goods–also known round here as “B.O.”–it does surprise me…

  2. Shut up shut up shut up shut up!

    Well, okay, he doesn’t say his trademark phrase, but Bill O’Reilly does storm out of this interview with host Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday. 40 minutes. RealPlayer. Priceless. (Thanks to Joe Conason for the pointer. And Steve Rhodes…

  3. Bill O’ Reilly is a breath of fresh air in an ultra liberal, wacked out soceity the world has become. It is funny how people can see 2 diffrent things by looking at the same thing. Many of us are getting tired of the left wing media take over who slant everything to their liking. Thank you Bill O’Reilly for being a voice of reason.

  4. I listened to both interviews (Terry Gross w/ Al Franken + Terry Gross w/ Bill O’Reilly).

    Don’t dismiss O’Reilly’s contention (that the 2 interviewees were not held to the same standard) until you have done the same.
    There is no doubt that Gross played softball with Franken and hardball with O’Reilly. Listen to the interviews.

    I don’t buy her rationale that she was soft on Franken because his book is ‘satire’. His book is extremely politically charged and very much promoting a specific ideology. Maybe he throws in some jokes so that he can’t be held accountable for what he writes. So be it. But he makes specific charges in the book about specific people, calling them ‘liars’ etc. That’s no joke and he shouldn’t get away with it just because he used to write for Saturday Night Live, qualifying anything he writes as satre.

    Gross displayed blatant bias. O’Reilly called her on it.

  5. Two points:

    1) Anyone who believes, likes, admires, conspires with or in any way takes Bill O’Reilly at face value is a complete fuckwit, and deserves to perish in a field of their own body wastes, irrespective of their political orientation.

    2) Maybe NPR is Liberal, but all you right wing assholes need to shut up because they are the ONLY Liberal media, the rest of it is all made up and exists in your fantasy world of fucked up semi-nazi Christian identity supply side trickle down entrepeneurs who are burdened by an estate tax because you’re a multi millionaire who never could get laid.

  6. Most ridiculous post of the day:

    “But here is my take: O’Reilly went plain nuts. The right-wing pundit was on the Terry Gross-hosted program to discuss his new book, Who’s Looking Out for You?, but most of what he had to say had to do with other books and other authors.”

    If you listen to the interview you would realize that he only talks about the other books because he is answering her questions about them.

  7. Bill David,
    Don’t know if you’re coming back to this blog, but I’ve listened to Terry Gross for years. Was she nicer to Al Franken than Bill O’Reilly? Of course! Franken has been on quite a few times and they have built a relationship. (Franken’s Gene Simmons story was particularly hilarious.) However given a chance to interview someone who has built his name and rhetoric on lies and hypocrisy she went after him for the 1st 20minutes. The second half of the interview (until the end) was a very typical interview with questions about his youth and formative events. (If you doubt O’Reilly a distorter take a look at http://www.fair.org/extra/0205/oh_really.html – you can claim this is a lefty source, but the facts are the facts.) She’s had several conservatives on, from George Will to Grover Norquist (just last week).
    To kg, tone down the rhetoric and let O’Reilly fans take a look at the facts.
    O’Reilly is just another bully, who can dish it out, but can’t take it so he ran away to edit the interview to present it for his own dittoheads.

  8. Three points. First, it’s almost impossible to separate O’Reilly from his books, and so questions regarding his upbringing, perspective, etc were natural. Second, I would have thought O’Reilly would have welcomed giving his side of the story regarding Franken’s allegations to the elite liberal audience of NPR. Finally, if you listen to the entire interview, you hear O’Reilly’s tone change completely in the last five minutes, making me think his walk-out was pre-determined, and timed to provide a tasty soundbite for his radio and TV shows. After all, it would hurt his ‘credibility’ as joe six-pack to complete a cordial interview with Terri.

  9. Remember Bill? He’s the cretin who said that “58% of single mothers are on welfare.” Funny, it’s more like 16%, although Bill pulls stuff out of his ass all the time; for example 70% of Arizonans feel “overrrun” by Mexican immigrants. Funny, I live in AZ, and haven’t noticed the problem. Oh, maybe the some 750K Mexicans spent in our little town per year. And, I wonder if Billy O’Moron understands the concept of sampling. Worse, on the same program, another statistic came to 70%. Imagine the odds; or the idea that a man who once taught school doesn’t understand critical thinking.

    Run this idiot off the air.

    PS Standing up for privacy, civil liberities, freedoms, etc. doesn’t make one a liberal. All the reactionary idiots on the right-wing media have pushed the dialogue so far into Nazism that we’re made to think that speaking for children, fairness, and the Constitution is liberal? Funny, I used to be called a conservative.

  10. Terry Gross is a breath of fresh air in an ultra conservative, wacked out society the world has become. (Full of religious extremists who want to run their nation’s governments… in the West, and the Middle East.)
    Many of us are getting tired of big mega corporation media that has the conservative agenda on its list of motives.

    heh-heh.

    It’s not funny how people can see 2 different things when looking at the same thing. It’s called perspective.
    It’s ALL about perspective.
    Everything is biased… because everything is made by humans – who are filled with opinions, prejudices, and motives.
    When you agree with an attitude, you think it’s unbiased. When an attitude is portrayed that you don’t like, you notice the bias.

    Any time someone accuses ‘the media’, with sweeping generalizations, of being biased in one way or another, exclusively, they wind up sounding like a paranoid person out of touch with reality.

  11. I listen to both of their shows, though I’ve listened to Terry Gross for much longer than I have Bill O’Reilly and I’m disappointed in the blatant bias Terry displayed on Fresh Air. The interview was supposed to be about Bill’s book, yet it was more about Bill’s show and reactions than anything. Bill kept giving hints to Terry, feeding her any way to save the interview such as his discussion of reviews of him versus reviews of his book, but all to no avail. No surprise the NPR Ombudsman comes out on Bill’s side here. I think I’ll be listening to more of Bill these days and less of Fresh Air.

  12. you cannot be serious with this post? i love how people want to label bill a conservative as opposed to the independent he clearly is. people only label him conservative, because theyre clearly far left liberal.

    the man supports the legalization of marijuana and he’s opposed to the death penalty…doesn’t sound very conservative to me. morally, he believes that not only christians go to heaven, and he supports gay rights as long as it stays in the bedroom where all sex should stay…tho, he is opposed to same sex marriage. sounds like he doesn’t follow a straight ideaology, and you could either admit that or admit that you refuse to say so because you’re blinded by your own ideaology.

    gross, herself, admitted that the interview with franken was completely softball, and she spent the first 15-20 mins with bill attacking him on every issue she could think. ive listened to both interviews, and bill had a very valid point. gross kept trying to attack this and attack that…bill would answer, and she would follow up with more stuff aimed to try to make him slip up and say something she could use to humiliate him with.

    i love bill, i don’t always agree with him…but, when i disagree with him, i don’t write tripe like this that totally throws facts and objective thinking out the window. it is a breath of fresh air to see that there are still people so blinded by their own ideaology that they can attack people like o’reilly for no reason. it makes for great comedy.

  13. If you read this site often, you would know that I have noted O’Reilly’s independence from party-line GOP thinking on some issues. And good for him for coming up with his own positions. Most of the time, he is with the right wing, though. But, whatever his positions on issues, he does come across as an ass at times, and he certainly did on the Terry Gross show. That is the point of the posting.

  14. >> Posted by: kg at October 13, 2003 03:45 AM
    >>
    >> Two points:
    >>
    >> 1) Anyone who believes, likes, admires, conspires with or in any way >> >> takes Bill O’Reilly at face value is a complete fuckwit, and deserves to >> perish in a field of their own body wastes, irrespective of their
    >> political orientation.

    Wow! What an objective comment. Let me guess some of your other brilliant comments. “Nanny Nanny Boo-Boo, Stick your head in doo-doo?”

    >> 2) Maybe NPR is Liberal, but all you right wing assholes need to shut up >> because they are the ONLY Liberal media, the rest of it is all made up >> and exists in your fantasy world of fucked up semi-nazi Christian
    >> identity supply side trickle down entrepeneurs who are burdened by an
    >> estate tax because you’re a multi millionaire who never could get laid.

    Let me guess. You’re unemployed, an atheist, your parents beat you as a child, and you have several illegitimate children. You write as if you love the sound of your own voice. If you want to listen to a bunch of hot air and flapping lips, let me fart in your face.

  15. I’ve listened to Fresh Air for quite a while and have always found Terry Gross to be one of the best and researched interviewers ever. She was never unpolite towards Bill. She never yelled at him or told him to Shut Up. She never bullied him. She never interrupted him. Even after he stormed off the air she pimped his book.
    He on the other hand was quite rude to her and made more than one implication that she was less than bright. whether you agree with his views or not he was an Ass. He is a typical school yard bully who can dish out the torment but can’t take even the slightest critique. Terry may have been asking him some tough pointed questions but let’s face it this was a softball interview, she’s hardly a Morton Downey folks.
    Bill should be ashamed of his behaviour and he has once again been exposed for the mental midget he truly is. He has more in common with Hulk Hogan than Walter Cronkite. Can’t say I ever remember Walter telling a guest to Shut Up….
    Peace

  16. NPR balanced? Sure, everytime I turn it on you have some “non-profit” spouting their socialist dribble. Diversity? Yeah sure again, as long as it falls along the “victim” segmentation ideology. How about some religious diversity, I rarely hear any Italian-Americans or Catholics either as hosts or being interviewed. Seems if your a liberal Jew its pretty easy to get a gig on NPR, but a Catholic….or even worse a conservative Catholic Italian-American….never have heard one on NPR. Sure doesn’t represent me. Actually NPR can continue to fill the airwaves with its constant public sector propaganda, I just have a problem paying for it with my tax dollars. NPR should be market driven, I’m sure all the “academics”, “non-profits” and “advocates” all living off the tax rolls can fund it.

  17. I’m a fan of NPR, but I would never describe it as “balanced.”

    You don’t like spending your tax dollars on NPR. I don’t like spending mine on war and corporate welfare. It seems we both don’t like how our tax dollars are being spent. Common ground. Imagine that.

  18. What a whiny little punk that O’Reilly is. He walks off like a little
    wuss rather than stand up for himself on NPR.

    Al Franken made him look like a fool on CSPAN a few months back. He’s
    a bully and can dish it but not take it.

    But he is entitled to his opinion like all of us.

  19. Hey Natalie: maybe he takes no spin.

    You call someone a liar — they’re going to come back at you with vigor. That’s got nothing to do with being thick or thin skinned. O’Reilly misspoke on the Peabody versus a Polk. But so what?

    Are you telling me he’s now a “lying liar” for a simple mistake? Are you telling me with Al Franken’s 14 Harvard researchers that’s the best he could come up with? Are you telling me that he lied on purpose so it would cause all this silly ruckus about his integrity? Surely if you view the transcripts non-ideologically and non-emotionally you’ll come to the same conclusion.

    Another thing — you can’t justify bad behavior by pointing to more bad behavior. That’s spin and doesn’t cut it. An good example of this hypocrisy is excusing her slanted interview by saying “he asked for it!” Another example: “She deserved to be raped because she dressed sexy!”

    But that’s ok, continue on the charade of: “his opinions don’t matter cause I think he’s an idiot. There couldn’t possibly be any logic involved because he’s so rude!” Ad hominem arguments if I ever saw them.

  20. Oh and another thing:

    “Then the porn: a mortifyingly stilted erotic passage from Mr. O’Reilly’s novel “Those Who Trespass” is sent up repeatedly here. Then the political affiliation: a 1994 voter registration form is dug up, courtesy of National Public Radio, and reprinted to contradict Mr. O’Reilly’s 1996 claim that he was not enrolled in a political party. (The form counts him as a Republican.) And finally the provenance: accounts of a childhood in Levittown, N.Y., are contradicted in The Washington Post by “an inside source (O’Reilly’s mother).”

    Then the PORN? ONE erotic paragraph in a book has what to do with what? And it’s “Mortifyingly stilted” none the less! Since when is “porn” not mortifyingly stilted — it’s about having sex. That’s what porn is. If it’s not about sex, it ain’t porn.

    “I didn’t even know I was registered as a Republican. I mean, I thought I was registered as an Independent… I was as surprised as anybody. It was my mistake, an oversight, and I corrected it.” When asked how this could have happened, O’Reilly replies: “I don’t know. I mean, it might’ve been just a rush job. It might’ve been, uh, a myriad of things, but um… if people want to think that I tried to deceive them, then you go ahead and think that, but I just told you the truth.”

    Of course then again yet more spin about the inside source — O’Reilly’s mother said he was from Westbury. I guess that’s a contridiction. UNLESS they expect you not to look at a map to see Westbury is part of Levittown. They must really think people are stupid.

    But why I am even having the urge to defend O’Reilly when he clearly doesn’t need any help in that regard? If you’re going to make accusations this serious you better be damn sure they’re true. If anyone would just take a look at the facts in the first place this garbage wouldn’t have been printed or taken seriously. Hence the accusation of O’Reilly calling Al Franken a smear merchant.

    I enlighten, you decide.

  21. Enlighten? OK. You haven’t seen me going on about Franken’s content at all beyond saying the book was, IMO, hilarious. Do people look to Al Franken for serious treatment of issues? He’s a humorist!

    What *I* said about O’Reilly — and it’s merely my opinion — is that he needs a warm blankie, a hug, and serious meds. And that is what I believe. His stands on various issues are not the point, in terms of my focus at the time this was posted — the point was his demeanor, his thin skin, his bullying nature, his arrogance, things that afflict plenty of people on all sides of the political divide.

  22. There you go again, set up that strawman — “I think O’Reilly is an idiot, therefore everything and anything said about him must be true.”

    Since he’s a humorist, he needn’t be accurate? That’s like satire but forgetting what you’re making fun of. Like cracking fat jokes about a skinny person — might be funny, but a totally pointless endeavor.

    But be careful about “Fair and Balanced” look at the Right, as Al Franken helps fundraise for the Democratic party. “Fair and Balanced” look at the Left by Rush Limbaugh comes next?

    As always, we’ll let the readers decide.

  23. Re: strawman — where did I say that everything Franken says is true? If you can criticize his accuracy, do it, I say. If he’s wrong about things, he deserves to be called on it. I like the book because IMO it’s funny. If you find it pointless, fine. Vive le difference.

    As to the Democratic Party, I am not a member or supporter of that party. And even if I were, truth is most important. If Rush wants to spend his time — behind bars or not — writing about the Dems, more power to him. And I pray it will be accurate; people need to learn the truth about the Democrats.

  24. Indeed. But people need to be informed of the truth about Al Franken. The truth has no party and spin is not welcome to people seeking it.

  25. NPR – National Pinhead Radio. Hey, if I want to hear assholes, all
    I have to do is fart.

    BTW, Al Franken is a whining jerkoff who isn’t even worthy enough
    to wipe Bill O’Reilly’s ass.

    So O’Reilly lost it, eh? How about Franken’s latest escapade as a
    self-appointed crowd-cop for Howard Dean, slinking through the crowd
    and tackling hecklers up in New Hampshire.

    Jesus H. Christ, the lying little sawed-off Nazi son of bitch is
    losing it….

  26. Wow. Thanks for posting the link so we could make our own opinions. I have to disagree with you: it wasn’t Bill who was going on and on about other things, it was Terry who was bringing them up. And at the very end, when Bill was confronting Terry, being obviously upset about how the interview was going, Terry would have been a much better HOST to say something like “I’m sorry” and try to turn the interview around. I mean, don’t get me wrong: Bill doesn’t make himself look like a nice guy, but despite what he may do on his own show, he was the GUEST on this show.

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