Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly rips ABC News and CNN for inadequate coverage of military

October 15, 2013
Bill O'Reilly (Frank Micelotta/Invsion/Associated Press)
Bill O’Reilly (Frank Micelotta/Invsion/Associated Press)

During their ritual bashing of the “liberal media,” Fox News star Bill O’Reilly and contributor Bernard Goldberg expressed dismay with the actions of CNN and ABC News, each of which devoted too little coverage of last week’s ruckus over military death benefits. O’Reilly and his staff wisely chose to do what so few commentators do before alleging bias by the “media”: They actually went into databases and figured out how various outlets had handled the story.

Pretty well, for the most part, they concluded. To hear O’Reilly tell the tale: “We analyzed the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post. And all those papers laid out the facts in a clear way. On the network news side in the evening, ABC News pretty much downplayed the story, spending just three and a half minutes on it over two nights. CBS News spent four minutes over two nights. NBC spent a whopping 13 minutes over three nights. Far and away the most coverage and the NBC Nightly News was pretty much fair.”

The segment hammered CNN for having dedicated 11.5 minutes to the story over two nights — five by Piers Morgan and six and a half by Anderson Cooper. Given that CNN has all day and all night to broadcast news, that wasn’t good enough for O’Reilly: “CNN is the starkest example because they are a hard news organization still. I mean they still pride themselves on a developing story. And to spend the paltry amount of time they did on it is means that they in their executive chamber said., you know what, we’re going to have Fox News handle this, they’re going to be all over it as we were. We’re going to counter program and we’re going to do something else in the hopes that people who don’t like the story will come to us.” Goldberg correctly called that chatter a “theory.”

The segment had the feel of a victory lap, as O’Reilly noted, “As for FNC, we had far and away the most coverage also the highest ratings as usual.” “As usual” is right: When it comes to wall-to-wall coverage of military issues, no news channel matches Fox News.

Watch the video here.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.
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Erik Wemple | October 14, 2013