The point is accountability.

Bill O’Reilly is still popping a ‘rhoid over Al Franken:

The main point here is that trying to hurt a business or a person because you disagree with what they say is simply unacceptable in America. And that message has been sent by FOX. There’s a principle in play. Vigorous debate is embraced by us, but smear campaigns will be confronted. It is simply a joke for The New York Times to editorialize that fabricated personal attacks are acceptable under the banner of satire.

I wonder if The Times thought that Donald Sagretti (sic) was funny when he manufactured dirt to hurt Richard Nixon’s political opponents. I guess The Times editorial board would be yucking it up if their pictures appeared on a book cover accompanied by the word “liar.” Satire, my butt.

There’s no question that many of the attacks launched against FOX personnel are designed to injury(sic) and demean. It’s unfortunate, but in this country, if you’re successful or famous, many courts will allow defamation, slander and liable(sic) to go unpunished. (my emphasis)

I think that we can all agree that once someone tells a lie, that person can rightfully be called a liar. And that someone who tells a lie about their lying would qualify as a “lying liar who lies”. Here’s our man Bill:

In February, O’Reilly gave a speech seemingly taking credit for winning a coveted Peabody award while an anchor at the tabloid TV show Inside Edition. After comedian Al Franken pointed out that the show never won a Peabody, O’Reilly retorted, in Mamet-esque syntax (O’Reilly Factor, 3/13/01): “Guy says about me, couple of weeks ago, ‘O’Reilly said he won a Peabody Award.’ Never said it. You can’t find a transcript where I said it.”

But on his May 19, 2000 broadcast, he repeatedly told a guest who brought up his tabloid past: “We won Peabody Awards. . . . We won Peabody awards. . . . A program that wins a Peabody Award, the highest award in journalism, and you’re going to denigrate it?” (Inside Edition won a Polk Award, not the better-known Peabody, for reporting that was done after O’Reilly left the show–Washington Post, 3/1/01.)

But such gaffes don’t stop O’Reilly from critiquing other journalists. In a profile in MediaWeek (2/8/01), O’Reilly declared that the Los Angeles Times was an abysmal paper, in part because “they never mentioned Juanita Broaddrick’s name, ever. This whole [Los Angeles] area out here has no idea what’s going on, unless you watch my show.” (Broaddrick accused Bill Clinton of raping her in 1978.)

When former L.A. Times editor Melissa Payton pointed out that the Times archive contains 21 citations of Broaddrick’s name, Catherine Seipp, who wrote the MediaWeek profile, summed up O’Reilly better than most: She chalked up her failure to check the claim to having been “mesmerized by O’Reilly’s sheer O’Reillyness.”

I want to be fair and balanced about this whole issue. There is documented proof that O’Reilly lied about receiving a Peabody award (in fact, it was a different award and it came after O’Reilly had left the show), and then lied about saying it. Any fair and balanced person would have to admit that this would categorize Bill as a “liar”. You judge for yourself.

After all, I report, you decide.

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