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Thursday, January 23, 2003


Mr. No Spin Spins Wildly

I was listening to Bill O’Reilly’s radio program and he was railing against New Jersey's poet laureate, Amiri Baraka for his conspiracy theory that Israel knew about the 9/11 attacks before they occurred. I have no disagreement on this matter; Baraka is a loon and a hatemonger. However, I found it hypocritical that O’Reilly has given credibility to people whose hateful and vile conspiracy theories rival those of Baraka; in fact they are worse because O’Reilly’s conspiracy theorist colleagues, unlike Baraka, have not been marginalized. Their hateful views have been disseminated to tens of millions of Americans. No price has been paid for their hatemongering.

Who am I referring to? To those of you familiar with this blog, you probably know: O’Reilly receives paychecks from two of the leading figures of the Vince-Foster-was-murdered-by-the-Clintons school of conspiracy-mongering: alleged humans Roger Ailes and Joseph Farah--more on the noxious activities of these two later.

So I called the show and told the screener I thought it was hypocritical that O’Reilly was criticizing Baraka when he needed to clean up his own backyard. Surprisingly, the screener put me on hold and told me to wait to be on the show. However, when I got on the show and began to confront O’Reilly about the conspiracy theories in his closet, he muted me and slandered me without giving me a chance to complete my point. In essence, O’Reilly sealed off meaningful discussion before it even began. Mr. No-Spin was spinning like a top. Here’s the transcript:

O’REILLY: Let’s go to LA, Jesse [I used a pseudonym] is on the line. Jesse, you’re in the zone, go.

SCOOBIE: Hello, Mr. O’Reilly. I think it’s really gratuitous and hypocritical for you to be getting on Mr. Baraka’s case because, I mean, one thing about it is that you’ve been doing the criticism about his lunatic conspiracy theories. That’s hypocritical especially considering how you’ve received paychecks from two of the leading people who were behind the protracted smear campaign claiming that Vince Foster was murdered by the Clintons.

O’REILLY: See you, Jesse.

[O’Reilly mutes Scoobie]

SCOOBIE [MUTED TO THE RADIO AUDIENCE]: Excuse me, sir. I can back what I’m saying.

O’REILLY: But again, ladies and gentleman, there’s a reason we put these people on the air, like Jesse. Number one, we want to hear from all points of view. But all they have to combat my point of view and my analysis—which is based on fact and reason, I believe. All they have is that kind of insane stuff. Vince Foster. How did Vince Foster get into this at all? That’s it. That’s all they have. Now the encouraging part is it seems that The Radio Factor is now being received in crack dens all the country.

O’REILLY’S FEMALE CO-HOST: Oh, that’s it, okay [chuckling]

O’REILLY: We’re expanding our audience [crosstalk] We’re kind of getting into the people that don’t usually listen to talk radio pass the pipe [sic]. All right, we’ll take a quick break...

REALITY: Let’s look at the truth. I am actually someone who listens to talk radio (but who knows better than to take it seriously). For the past ten years of listening to talk radio, I have heard vicious rumors, conspiracy theories, and disinformation that defy belief; Amiri Baraka is a piker compared to Limbaugh or Michael Savage. I have also listened to commercials geared to people who take talk radio seriously--ads for baldness cures, shaky commodities investments, herbal impotence cures, Hooked on Phonics, and diet supplements later banned by the FDA. These advertisers of shaky products are not stupid; they know where to find gullible people.

O’Reilly asks: “How did Vince Foster get into this at all?” I suppose this is a rhetorical question because I was on mute, but here’s my answer: perhaps O’Reilly should ask Farah and Ailes. Those are the two men who had O’Reilly in their hire (Ailes is O’Reilly’s boss at Fox News and O’Reilly wrote a column for Farah’s WorldNetDaily). Foster’s family was in the process of mourning when moral lepers like Ailes, Farah, Ted Olson, and Limbaugh began spreading the reckless allegations that the Clintons murdered Foster. Richard Scaife funded Farah’s front group the Western Journalism Center to give credibility to the laughably erroneous “journalism” by Chris Ruddy (click here and here for articles on Farah and .WJC).

As executive producer of Limbaugh TV show, Ailes supported Limbaugh’s allegations that Foster was a victim of foul play by the Clintons. According to Ailes, "The guy who's been doing an excellent job for the New York Post [Chris Ruddy]...for the first time on the Rush Limbaugh show said that...he did not believe it was suicide.... Now, I don't have any evidence.... These people are very good at hiding or destroying evidence." Ailes also engaged in the following innuendo according to Howard Kurtz: referring to the lawyers that Hillary Rodham Clinton brought to Washington, including Vince Foster, Ailes said that one was under investigation, "one was forced to resign . . . and one's dead. I wouldn't stand too close to her."

The poisonous rhetoric and conspracies put forth by Farah and Ailes about Foster are a paranoiac’s wet dream (ironically, O'Reilly called Hillary Clinton "a liar" for pointing out that there was a concerted effort to smear her and her husband). I simply wanted to address how O’Reilly’s bosses had gotten away with engaging in the same type of conspiracy-mongering he was rightfully attacking Baraka for. For this, I am accused of using crack? Could someone explain this to me?

Here’s What I’m Asking people to do: Make Friday January 24, 2003 Jam-The-Phone-Lines-On-The-O’Reilly-Factor-Radio-Show. The show is from noon to 2:00 EST. The phone number is 1-877-966-7746. If you can, listen to the topics O’Reilly is discussing and try to get on the air. Not too many people call the show and it’s not hard to get through to the screener. If you get on the show with O’Reilly, confront him in whatever way you feel is appropriate. If just a few dozen people are able to get through to the show, his lines will be jammed. That’s all I’m asking.


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