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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 11:20 AM ET, 06/05/2012

Bill O’Reilly, Fox News renegade

Just how completely does Bill O’Reilly rule the corridors of Fox News? We found out this morning on the set of Fox & Friends, which welcomed the “O’Reilly Factor” host to discuss New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s soft drink-regulation initiative, among other items. Here’s some transcript from this morning’s edition:

O’REILLY: I understand the overarch that we have a serious problem in this country with obesity. And you know ... I’m a big personal freedom guy. If you want to look a certain way or you want to consume a beverage or eat a food, you should be able to. However, we have to pay — all the taxpayers — have to pay for an enormous amount of medical procedures in this country, most of which are driven by bad diet. I actually changed my diet. I’m not going to, you know, get into this.

Then he proceeds to get into this:

O’REILLY: But I actually knocked out all the wheat in my diet. All right? And I’m telling you, the difference is amazing. I was never chubby, but a lot like allergies stopped. Stomach — except when I have to come on here — stomachaches stopped. All of that — because I just knocked out the wheat. But if you look in your cabinet, everything is wheat. Everything.

At this point, “Fox & Friends” co-anchor Steve Doocy interrupts O’Reilly to inject the “Fox & Friends” platform on anti-obesity activism:

DOOCY: So, you took personal responsibility.
O’REILLY: Yes, yes, yes. But what Bloomberg — the message is. It’s OK to have a good time and comfort food. But if you overdo it, everyone’s going to have to pay for it. It’s like smoking, everyone’s going to have to pay.

And with that, the “Fox & Friends” team essentially shrugged. Gretchen Carlson did mount a bit of a challenge, asking, “Where does it stop?” Had just about any other guest issued such an endorsement of the nanny state, Fox’s early-morning trio would have put him in their Fryolator.

Sounds as if my friends at “Fox & Friends” need a pep talk, so here goes: Where are your founding principles, “Fox & Friends”? Where are your core values? Have you no recollection of your heritage, your history of slamming fast-food outlets for making their offerings more healthy? Of decrying excessive government regulation every time it rears its anti-American head? Get it together, “Friends.” Anyone who comes on your show claiming that any governmental entity can play any role whatsoever against obesity — shove it down his or her throat. Tomorrow morning, sit back down on that butterscotch-ish half-moon couch and get back to what’s made you great.

By  |  11:20 AM ET, 06/05/2012

 
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