In the "how low will Bill go" segment on last night's O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly did his usual ritual courtship dance with two like-minded, rabid conservatives - Jacob Laksin, an editor and writer for David Horowitz's neo-fascist rag, FrontPage Magazine, and Todd Manzi, journalist and contributor to Human Events Online. In the process it became obvious why he targeted Macarena Hernandez last week. In the course of last night's hate-fest, he used his trumped-up claims against Hernandez and the Dallas Morning News as the justification for virulent attack on Media Matters, MoveOn.org and George Soros. Welcome to the twilight world of right-wing delusion! Watching these three jokers trying to make a story out of whole cloth was, actually, quite funny. They are grabbing at the ghosts of straws these days!
TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW, BILL O' REILLY, TODD MANZI AND JACOB LAKSIN
October 25, 2005 The O'Reilly Factor
O'REILLY: In the Factor investigation segment tonight, if you can't beat 'em, smear 'em. Far-left billionaires George Soros and Peter Lewis, who heads the Progressive Insurance Company - remember that. If you have Progressive Insurance, you may want to look elsewhere.
[COMMENT: O'Reilly neglected to mention that a Director of the Progressive Insurance Company, Donald Shackelford, donated $25,000 to the RNC and $2,000 to the Bush campaign. Progressive is one of a number of insurance companies that find themselves with a heavy exposure in Florida's hurricane belt. Bill O'Reilly asked his viewers to cancel their automotive coverage, thereby advocating - FOR VENGEANCE REASONS ONLY - that customers weaken the bottom line of a company that carries policies in a badly ravaged state. This guy's ego knows no bounds!]
O'REILLY: Those guys have poured tens of millions of dollars into political organizations designed to harm people with whom the left disagrees. For example, Soros and Lewis have each donated two and a half million dollars at least to MoveOn.org, which is a relentless liberal attack machine. Now, all of this would be of minor concern, if the major media were not involved. But, the Factor has learned that a number of newspaper columnists and TV and radio commentators take information fed to them by the far-left organizations and use it as primary source material. That is, they don't check anything, they just throw the propaganda out there in print or on the air.
Example, Macarena Hernandez. quoting a Radio Factor transcript out of context. We believe she took it off Media Matters, which tapes us every day. Example, Bill Bennett being crucified by the elite media which used smear website information. With us now, Jacob Laksin, editor and writer for FrontPage Magazine, a conservative publication and from Madison, Wisconsin, journalist Todd Manzi, who looked into the Bill Bennett matter. How did the Bennett thing go down? What did you learn?
MANZI: Well, Media Matters taped Bill - one of Bill Bennett's phone calls. A caller had it in.
[COMMENT: Manzi, knowing that he hasn't got a leg to stand on, deliberately doesn't mention that this call is the infamous one in which Bennett hypothesized that crime would be reduced if you aborted all the black babies]
MANZI: Nothin' there at all. They decided that they wanted to make an issue out of that, so they put the transcript up with an incendiary headline. And, then all of a sudden, the usual suspects from the left started issuing press releases. Harry Reid issued a press release. John Conyers. The NAACP. They all issued, issued press releases. The interesting thing for me, though, is there was no story yet. Bennett's phone call occurred on a Wednesday. Media Matters put him up on a Wednesday. On Thursday all these people issued press releases and then the AP finally filed a story Thursday night.
MANZI: So they made a story out of nothin'.
O'REILLY: So, well, that's what they always do. They tape the Radio Factor. They tape Rush Limbaugh. They tape Bill Bennett and they look to see if they can find something that - to smear us with. So, what you're saying is that they contacted Harry Reid, the Minority Senate Leader. They contacted the NAACP. Of course, these people don't listen to Bill Bennett's radio program. So, they just took it right from Media Matters, and then ran with it in an accusatory style, the AP picked it up, put it in the paper and then Bennett gets crucified. Correct?
MANZI: Yeah. It's in, it's in hundreds of newspapers, hundreds of television stations, all over and i's just because ...
O'REILLY: Now, is the AP at fault here, in your opinion?
MANZI: Yes. The AP is absolutely at fault. Yes. The AP is running and considering this news. The AP has misinformed millions of people that now have the wrong impression about what happened.
O'REILLY (overtalks last 6 words): Well, how did - how did they misinform, though? I mean, the controversy over Bennett's remarks has been over and over and over and we - as we pointed out, I don't think there was any malicious intent in the remark. It was an analogy. But you don't generalize about race in this country. But, why did the AP misinform? How did they do that?
MANZI: Well, it gets to the matter of what is news. News is the who, what, why, where, right? I mean the news and the matter - if you distill it down to its, its fundamental point - is that Bill Bennett argued that abortion should be, be debated on moral issues rather than economic issues. That's not news. The news that the AP went with is that Harry Reid was offended. That's not news either. Harry Reid's offended at almost everything. That's what they put out there. What people took away from that was a position that they attributed to Bennett. They were misinformed about what actually happened ...
MANZI: ... what the intent was.
MANZI: Anyone who listened to the call ...
O'REILLY: Right. If you listen to the call - and we urge people to do that - you can make up your own mind on the matter. Now, the bigger picture here. You've got two primary billionaires. You've got Soros, who has his money in Curacao, by the way, ladies and gentlemen. Curacao. That's where he's got his money. And Lewis. And they are pumpin' money into these organizations - primarily MoveOn.org, which it then recycles the money into Media Matters and other places, to destroy, I mean, literally, destroy people. Is that what's goin' on here?
LAKSIN: Well, it's very crafty what they've done, Bill. They've created sort of, [an] underground network which funnels donations from wealthy donors like Lewis and Soros to these 527 groups - which 527's they're called because they operate under a certain section of the tax code, and that allows them to collect an unlimited number of contributions and then funnel them to a variety of political causes. And that's perfect for Soros, because, of course, he has his own far left agenda and he moves it very expediently through these 527's and, of course, Media Matters benefits, because they - it receives, like you said, funding from a number of these 527 groups.
O'REILLY: I mean, it gets millions of dollars - more than $3 million last year into this little website - coming primarily from these people and other people like Susie Tompkins Buell, the co-founder of the fashion giant, Esprit. But all of these people are far left fringe players. But they know their money's goin' to smear merchants. They know it's goin' into character assassins, correct?
LAKSIN: It's actually interesting, because that's exactly what it's meant for. In fact, one of the bigger contributors to Media Matters is the Center for American Progress. That's a think - liberal think tank.
O'REILLY: That's Podesta's group, right?
LAKSIN: Exactly. And they operate out of Washington, DC, and basically what it is, it's a - it's a partisan group that's - what they do is rapid response anything that they - that offends them as far a Republican or conservative agenda's concerned, which is just about everything. And, so, Media Matters operates in exactly the same way, except where the media in concerned. So, it's perfect.
O'REILLY: Right. It is a very well-oiled, effective character assassination machine. There's nothing that exists on the right that I know of that can compare. Do you know of anything?
LAKSIN: No. And one reason is because the right-wing publications have been very effective at getting out their message. They don't need to smear. They can just present the facts as they are.
O'REILLY (overtalks last 5 words): Well, there was some smearing going on in the Clinton years, to be fair. Now, Todd, one more thing. Here's a name of, of - here are some names of mainstream journalists who take stuff directly from the left-wing smear sites: Paul Krugman, New York times columnist; Jack Mathews, New York Daily News columnist; the afore-mentioned Miss [Macarena] Hernandez; Alan Dershowitz, the left-wing lawyer at Harvard; Maureen Dowd, another New York Times columnist; Frank Rich, another New York Times columnist. Um - it just goes on and on that these people are fed this kind of stuff and then it gets in, as you said, into the mainstream media and blows up everywhere. Are these people doing anything morally wrong in your opinion?
MANZI: Yeah. The issue is whether we should be talkin' about this at all. They're - they're running with that for the sole purpose of smearing Bennett. It's not about the issue. It's not about moving forward the ideas. You know, like was just said by your other guest, the conservatives, when we write, we write about issues and ideas. We don't write just to smear people.
O'REILLY: Well, we're gonna have a conservative website guy on tomorrow and we're gonna ask him the same questions and see if that's the case. But, this is a very, very insidious, well-organized, damaging to America deal and everybody should know about it. Thank you, gentlemen. We appreciate it very much.
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