O’Reilly: Media is becoming partisan
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By jank - Last updated: Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - Save & Share - One Comment

I’m having a hard time believing anyone could actually be so brazen. Someone could teach an entire course on dishonest rhetoric using just this column.

Now, this powwow might have been just an innocent “get to know you” soiree, but …

The “third go-round”? That sounds like coaching to me, but I could be wrong.

But let’s face it, with the rise of entertainers like Rush Limbaugh and other radio talk-show people who openly root for the Republicans …

So, you as a news consumer should know American journalism is becoming increasingly partisan, and ideologues on both the right and the left have infiltrated the news business at very high levels.

He’s now on my wedgie list for sure.

(this came to me, BTW, via the Salon piece on Fox News, which mentioned that UPI is also owned by the Moonies, which I don’t think I knew. Although I don’t remember the last time I saw a UPI story anywhere.)

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One Response to “O’Reilly: Media is becoming partisan”

Comment from Jank
Time March 30, 2004 at 1:07 pm

Salon’s not quite exempt from “dishonest rhetoric”:

But it was not plutonium, as he claimed, or anything nearly as lethal as plutonium. It was a compound called Americium 241, wholly unsuitable for the creation of the imaginary “atomic device” O’Reilly referred to. The compound is commonly used for industrial purposes, as opposed to plutonium, which is used primarily for weapons and nuclear reactors.

That’s somewhat true on its face; however, it completely ignores that Americium, or any other fairly long-lived radioactive element could be used for a Dirty Bomb, or a “Weapon of Mass Disruption”.

This is pretty disingenious, too: Before the war began, Fox tried to minimize the inevitable human cost. Hannity echoed the administration line, claiming in January of 2003 that “Iraqis are not going to be bombed by the United States. The United States will use pinpoint accuracy, like we always do.” Within the first few days of the invasion, the New York Times noted that aid groups estimated “thousands of civilian casualties, many more than in the recent conflict in Afghanistan or the Persian Gulf War of 1991.” Even the Guardian, hardly a pro-US mouthpiece, acknowledged that the coalition dropped about 90% precision ordnance. Much of the civilian casualties came from the Iraqi Army’s insistience on using hospitals, schools, and mosques for military bases.

The concluding paragraph in Salon makes me ask a question, though: After a review of the record, however, it is clear that Fox was an enthusiastic participant in the White House’s campaign of disinformation leading the country into war. And it was not under the radar — it happened in our living rooms every night.

It’s pretty clear that during WWII and Korea, and most other wars in our history, that US media in general was “an enthusiastic participant” in spreading US propoganda, and uniting behind the “war effort”. Do we as citizens of this great land, and the media in particular as recipients of a handout of free airwaves, have any responsibility to support our democratically elected leaders in spreading propoganda that may aid our war efforts?

I’d argue that yes, the US media does owe some propoganda services to the government. The line about “the American People deserve to know” is somewhat BS to me, since we operate as a representative, rather than a direct, democracy. The folks that we have collectively sent to Washington are the ones who should be “well-informed”, and this is what we should consider, rather than special-interest pandering, when we go to the ballot box.

As far as O’Reilly – he, unlike the folks at the “soiree” (CNN’s Jeff Greenfield, Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter, NY Daily News’ Richard Cohen,, and Frank Rich and Jim Kelly of the New York Times were mentioned), does not continue to hollowly claim “objectivity”.

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