No one on FOX News is in reality a ‘news person.’ Bill O’Reilly claimed to be, but we now know that he was just faking it. However, FOX needs him and therefore he is bulletproof. He has his fans as a cable channel celebrity and his show sells advertising. Unlike Brian Williams, a real newsman, O’Reilly can lack credibility because FOX viewers don’t want to hear the truth; they want to hear what they already believe.
The world knows that he wasn’t involved in combat zones in the Falklands; he did not witness the rape and murder of nuns in El Salvador; and he wasn’t present when a potential witness who may have been involved in the assassination of JFK committed suicide. Another lie has been exposed other than the usual which occur daily on FOX. O’Reilly claimed to have been present in Argentina when protests turned into a combat zone. He reported that police killed some of the protestors and some reporters were injured as well. Video of the incident disproves all of O’Reilly’s statements. Police used similar tactics to those in the United States, most significantly tear gas.
Even Bill Maher became involved in FOX’s hypocrisy. During his Friday night show, ‘Real Time With Bill Maher,’ he lambasted FOX for its persistent bashing of Hillary Clinton for using personal e-mail instead of a State Department account, and yet it failed to mention the many lies of Bill O’Reilly. He said it is laughable that FOX News calls itself “fair and balanced.”
O’Reilly is famous for protecting Christianity, supporting every Republican in Washington, and criticizing police protests. In what is obviously an effort to regain a measure of credibility, he attacked the Ferguson Police Department for disproportionately targeting the black community to generate income. He was unable to deny the damaging report by the Department of Justice clearly exposing racial bias and fraud within Ferguson’s law enforcement community. O’Reilly went on to defend his position when a former police chief suggested that the DOJ may have skewed its findings. O’Reilly said that only six percent of white people received fines in Ferguson for instances of jay walking, etc., while the black population consistently received citations.
This is a first for the man who claims to be in the ‘no spin zone,’ but has in fact distorted more factual accounts of criminality by authorities than any other celebrity on television.
FOX continues to sidestep questions regarding the lies told by their number one celebrity. It continues to praise O’Reilly for his high ratings. Attempts by real newspersons to obtain a substantive statement have failed. Both FOX and O’Reilly have claimed that the entire incident was a plan to discredit O’Reilly and therefore the network.
O’Reilly’s ratings will remain high, of that there is no doubt. The caliber of viewers who choose to watch FOX has little respectability. They are told to believe what they already decided was the truth, not based on fact, but comprised of hatred, racism, and denial of all reality.
FOX is a primary reason for the extreme divisiveness in our nation. It continues to follow the methods of George W. Bush. It is the prime reason why during the Bush Administration divorces and family estrangement occurred so frequently as they debated our government’s credibility.
Does anyone else remember Bush’s first lie? During his campaign he said: “I am a uniter, not a divider.”
Commentary by James Turnage