Bill O’Reilly Backs Public Option While Declaring it Dead

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When I saw this item at HuffPo, declaring that Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly backs the public health insurance option, I immediately thought “There has to be a catch.”

The clip at HuffPo was only about a minute long, so I figured there must have been a walkback later in the interview.  I found the full interview at the Heritage Foundation’s website.  There’s no walkback, but the clip has some great moments.  Not only does O’Reilly nail why the public option is necessary, he also makes several comically half-assed stabs at pronouncing  long lost Janeane Garofalo twin Nina Owcharenko’s name:

While O’Reilly doesn’t back off from his support for the public option, he does preface his remark by saying it’s not going to happen.  Aside from my own reporting to the contrary, O’Reilly might take heart from this widely-circulating clip from yesterday:

While media accounts of the death of the public option may have created the impression that public support for it may have waned, perhaps repetitions of this scene, along with some actual facts, will help to turn that tide in favor of O’Reilly and “the folks.”

Keith Olbermann Hits Billo, Abused Children, Way Below the Belt

Let me say, first, that Bill O’Reilly is an enemy of women, an enemy of children, and an all-around content-thieving scumbag.  I believe in redemption, but that piece of shit has a loooong way to go.

But, Keith, WE are supposed to be better than that.  By “we,” I mean all thinking, feeling human beings.  I got into a pitched Twitter battle the other with a liberal because I dared to criticize your over-the-top response to some gentle ribbing, and this is why.  We are supposed to be better than this.

You, sir, owe an apology to every child who has ever been tortured at the hands of a cowardly parent, for, no matter how that child turns out, the abuse is no laughing matter.

I’m referring to your Bill O’Reilly “Best Persons” segment from last night, which begins with this line:

In his nightly round of self-applause last night, designed to drown out the echo of daddy hitting him…

Here’s the video:

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Update: The YouTube clip has been removed. Here’s a link to the MSNBC version.

Now, Keith, your value as an oasis of dissent during the Bush years cannot be underestimated, but hyour escalating mean streak threatens to ruin whatever good you have done.

This isn’t a new thing for you.  Almost a year ago, I reported on a Countdown episode in which you tried to shame Sarah Palin by making a donation to the Special Olympics, while also using a “short bus” graphic to mock the McCain campaign earlier in the show.  I contacted MSNBC to see if they’d stop using the graphic, and got no comment.  The “short bus” graphic remained.

Now, again, Bill O’Reilly is much, much worse, but he’s a special kind of prick.  His assertion that a kidnapped child enjoyed his years-long rape, alone, earns him that distinction.

You, however, have sunk to an unacceptable low, and you should apologize.

Bill O’Reilly Doesn’t Mention Stealing From Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher

My Mediaite colleague, Colby Hall, chronicles the current round of navel-gazing by Bill O’Reilly, Jon Stewart, Howard Kurtz, and Mediaite over at Mediaite.  He fails, however, to point out how this story is actually all about me.

The current kerfufflet has to do with O’Reilly’s accusation that Jon Stewart (whose network erroneously but jokingly accused me of stealing from him) took an O’Reilly quote out of context, and Mediaite’s correction of O’Reilly’s assertion.  Somewhere in the mix, O’Reilly gave a shout-out to Mediaite, but he didn’t bring up his prior connection with the site’s talent.

Months before this, and before I ever wrote my first Mediaite column, O’Reilly stole a story from me and aired it out of context.  (I like to think that, even then, I was “Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher,” but just didn’t know it.)

The content in question was this video that I shot of Helen Thomas, explaining her use of the term “so-called terrorists.”

O’Reilly played the clip on the Factor without crediting me, and butchered it to omit Helen’s answer to my followup question.  To be fair, O’Reilly also steals from conservatives.

Still, the takeaway for me is that, if I’m ever in a restroom with O’Reilly, I’m leaving at least a 3-stall buffer.

Spike Lee Observes Bro Code in Restroom Encounter with Billo

Everybody’s talking about the Bill O’Reilly/Spike Lee urinal story, but they’re all missing the most important part of the story.  No, I don’t mean Billo’s odd reference to their height difference, although that does make one wonder what was going through the Fox host’s imagination during the encounter.

I’m referring to Spike’s admirable observance of the Bro Code’s “Buffer Urinal” provision.  This is news dudes can use, as anyone who has ever had a buffer-less conversation with an unaware bro can attest.

Of course, the Code frowns on any discussion while both participants are de-watering (one or more at the sink is ideal), but I’ll give Spike a pass for getting a good shot in, and for using a 2-stall buffer.

Is Keith Olbermann Finished?

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Ordinarily, a story at Redstate with the title “How Does Keith Olbermann Have A Job?” would be about as noteworthy as a Megan Fox story at Asylum.  There’s a little twist to this one, though, as conservative gadabout Caleb Howe had an unexpected tag-team partner on this one.  Perhaps this is a sign of the Apocalypse, but the Redstate mainstay sourced HuffPo’s Jason Linkins, and the two teamed up for a convincing trouncing of Olbermann.

The host of Countdown has had a very bad week.  Caleb and Jason lay out the case against Olbermann with lots of tasty sauces and seasonings which I recommend you sample, but it boils down to this: Olbermann got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and now he’s trying to put the cookies back in the jar.  The problem is, they’re all chewed-up and spit-covered.  GE and Rupert Murdoch made a deal to silence the feud between Olbermann and O’Reilly, said deal to commence on June 1.  Now that the deal has become public, Olbermann is trying to erase the cowardly way in which he complied with the deal.

On June 1, Olbermann delivered an emotionally impassioned speech about how he was going to retire his Billo feud, impressions and all, in order to make the world safe from O’Reilly’s murderous talk show.  At the time, it struck me as the oddest, most overwrought thing I had seen Olbermann do.

The fact that he allowed his corporate masters to rape whatever journalistic integrity he had was bad enough, but to cover it up with an announcement from atop such an altitudinous mare turns walking this back into a journalistic Bridge to Nowhere.

That’s not the least of Olbermann’s problems, though.  His whole “I’m shocked, shocked to find that there are lobbyists hosing my show!” act when banishing Richard Wolffe from the show holds about as much water as a paper shot glass.  Again with the mushy, partially digested cookies.

While Caleb wonders how Olbermann still has a job, Linkins thinks he will pull through this episode.  I agree with Linkins that this incident won’t end Countdown, but it hurts, and there are other not-so-good signs.  Rachel Maddow bested her Countdown lead-in for the first time this week, perhaps a signal that the angry liberal niche is being overtaken by the chilled-out one.

I hope that Olbermann does adapt and survive.  Despite his flaws, I remain a fan.  I’ll take Howard Beale over Ted Baxter any day.

Going forward, he ought to stick to what he does best, which is everything but delivering  journalism lectures (how stoked do you think Dana Milbank is about this?).  When you’re serving up (admittedly tasty) Hot Pockets, you shouldn’t act like you’re Jaques Pepin.

To the liberals who are skipping Keith to watch cool-kid Rachel Maddow at 9, I suggest making room for both.  Sure, everything looks great now, but if the GOP makes a comeback in 2010, we’re going to need Keith around to spit a little fire.

Victoria Jackson and Sen. Jim DeMint Raise Nazi Spectre

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Strange bedfellows, indeed.

Senator Jim Demint, in a talk at the National Press Club, compared Obama’s America to Nazi Germany:

Part of what we’re trying to do in “Saving Freedom” is just show that where we are, we’re about where Germany was before World War II where they became a social democracy.

Whoah, there, Jim, wasn’t Germany’s bigger problem a guy named Hitler?  We don’t have anyone like that, do we?  Actually, DeMint has some pretty credible support on this.  Here’s noted political scientist and SNL alum Victoria Jackson talking about health care reform, and finishing his thought:

Hitler did this. He killed the weak, the sick, the old, and babies and races/religions he didn’t like. Hitler also controlled the media. (Where’s the public debate between scientists on “Climate Change/Global Warming?”) Hitler had the VW bug invented as the state car. What will O’s nationalized car be?

Wingnut comparisons of Barack Obama to Hitler are nothing new.  What I love here is the synchronicity, the juxtaposition.  DeMint tries the time-worn cliche of making superficial, clinical comparisons to the Nazis, and has Victoria Jackson there to (coincidentally) extend the metaphor for him.

Don’t these folks see how simultaneously comical and trivializing these comparisons are?  It’s like saying that mosquitoes are a Holocaust on your arms and legs.

Still, it’s nice that DeMint got Victoria Jackson to stand next to him on this.  Maybe the GOP can get Carrot Top as their next communications director.

I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but maybe these folks are watching too much Star Trek.

Update: Below the Beltway makes a good point, outside my thesis, about a somewhat gentler Nazi reference by Al Gore.

Attempted Pwnage of Griff Jenkins Descends Into Chaotic Fun

My old pal, Griff Jenkins, became a target of opportunity for Adam Green of OpenLeft recently, as Jenkins had set up outside ACORN Headquarters to nab interviews with what I imagine he calls “henchmen.”  The biggest obstacle to successful pwnage here is Jenkins himself.  Dressed in a tuxedo and standing by a red commercial-grade doormat, Griff had already kinda pwned himself.

I’ve gotta give Griff some credit here, though.  While desperate in his avoidance of Green’s questions, Jenkins does seize on a decent point about the event staff allowing Green into a closed press event.

More to the point, though, as HuffPo’s Jason Linkins points out, Fox News personalities are quick to ambush other members of the media, but when the tables are turned, “I’m trying to work” becomes the mantra.  Aren’t we all, Griff?

Hot Air and Redstate Denounce Bill O’Reilly

Hot Air and Redstate Denounce Bill O’Reilly

Maybe bipartisanship isn’t completely dead, but only mostly dead.

Yesterday, I reported that Fox News television personality Bill O’Reilly had stolen my reporting on Helen Thomas’ explanation of her “so-called terrorists” remark, and aired an uncredited, butchered version of my video clip.

Since then, O’Reilly’s actions have been denounced by both Redstate and Hot Air, two of the most influential conservative sites in the blogosphere. I appeared on Ed Morrisey’s web TV show yesterday, where Ed described O’Reilly’s actions as “small” and “unprofessional.”

To illustrate just how egregious O’Reilly’s thievery was, even Redstate, avowed non-fans of yours truly, had the sense of fairness to call O’Reilly out. From Leon Wolf at Redstate:

Memo to Bill O’Reilly: show a little journalistic integrity and credit your sources. Or at the very least, have the common courtesy not to actively obscure a source who did some original journalism. Bloggers do not rip off stories from the mainstream media and claim them as their own; in fact, not only do we credit our sources, but the commonly accepted practice is to link to the original source material so our readers can evaluate for themselves whether we are characterizing it fairly. I suppose it might be too much to hold you up to blogging standards, but the proper thing to do here would have been to either credit Christopher or at least leave his graphic in place.

If O’Reilly’s thievery results in some healing between the left and the right, I suppose it’s a small price to pay.

Bill O’Reilly: Thieving Fucking Scumbag

Hey, remember this, from Friday?

Well, lying fucking dickbag thief Bill O’Reilly stole my reporting, didn’t credit me, and cut the video out of context.  More to come on this later, as this individual has done this several times before.

Here’s the AOL version of the story: Bill O’Reilly Steals From Real Journalists

OK, I took out some stuff here, because I was kinda being an asshole.  More to come.

Oops, I meant to take that out too.  Dammit.

There’s a little bit of a history between Fox News and me.

Conservative Reaction to Helen Thomas’ ‘So-Called Terrorists’ PredictableConservative Reaction to Helen Thomas’ ‘So-Called Terrorists’ Predictable

Conservative Reaction to Helen Thomas’ ‘So-Called Terrorists’ Predictable

I posted a story Friday in which Helen Thomas responded to Bill O’Reilly’s cowardly attack on her, and explained her use of the term “so-called terrorists.” Since then, the video has made the rounds of conservative blogs, with predictable results.

Both Caleb Howe at Redstate and Ed Morrissey at Hot Air took the familiar “Oh, so we’re the terrorists” tack. They’re both friends of mine, very smart guys, and I assure you, their outrage is genuine. They’re not deliberately misunderstanding her, they just are misunderstanding her. I think Helen’s explanation stands on its own, so I would suggest a repeat viewing.

What I did find amusing was the fact that Ed, to his credit and his readers’ discredit, felt it necessary to post this update: Continue reading