Jewish World Review Oct. 20, 2003 / 24 Tishrei, 5764

Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reiley
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My name is no longer Bill O'Reilly — it's "gasbag," "bully," "liar" and "blowhard"



http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | A recent Gallup Poll says nearly half the country believes the media are biased left, and this poll proves one thing: The people who told the pollsters that are smarter than I am.

For most of my journalistic career, I did not believe there was institutional bias on the part of the media. I felt there was an exclusionary bias. That is, certain opinions and issues simply were ignored by the major media. For example, I worked for two network news organizations, and the only time you'd hear a pro-life opinion would be if some nut blew up an abortion clinic.

But I've now learned the hard way that liberal bias is a way of life for many media organizations. Over the past few months, I have been slimed, smeared and pilloried primarily by leftists who do not approve of my commentary.

I am not whining, I'm reporting. And to put things into perspective, what actors Mel Gibson and Arnold Schwarzenegger have recently suffered at the hands of the left-wing press makes my situation look like an episode of "Happy Days." These guys have been viciously attacked, and even their own fathers have been used as bludgeons against them. Awful doesn't even begin to describe it.

In my case, the attacks are very personal but also designed to advance the far-left agenda.

Item: When my new book, "Who's Looking Out for You?" hit No. 1 on The New York Times Best-Seller List, it was described as an "attack" vehicle. In reality, the book is a primer for everyday Americans on how to achieve success and stability. In the past 10 years, only two people have had three No. 1 nonfiction bestsellers on the Times list: Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward and your humble correspondent. Yet somehow the Times has not gotten around to reviewing any of my books, while tomes by the liberal "satirists" are given major exposure.

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Item: People Magazine assigned a man who loathes me (I know, I know it's hard to believe) to review "Who's Looking Out for You?" Newsflash -- he didn't like it.

Item: A National Public Radio interviewer insisted on reading that People Magazine review on the air during her chat with me. When I strongly suggested she read the very positive review in Publisher's Weekly magazine as well, she refused.

Item: Matt Lauer on "The Today Show" sat there smirking as one of the far-left "satirists" defamed me. When my publicist called "The Today Show" asking for a chance to respond, the program turned me down.

To be fair, Barbara Walters gave me fair play on "The View" and did challenge the "satirist," so there is not a left-wing monolith in play here. But there is no question that scores of left-winger press people have now emerged from the closet and are out for blood, the same way hard right-wing ideologues were during the Clinton administration. However, the hard right did not have access to the elite media, and that's a key.

The assault from the left is directly because of the unprecedented success of Fox News Channel. Perceived by the "progressive" community to be conservative, the network drives the far left absolutely crazy. That politically correct bastion CNN has been decimated in the ratings by FNC, and traditionalists finally have a place on television to put forth their points of view. Of course, liberal voices are given the same opportunity on Fox, but it doesn't matter to the far-left ideologues. For decades, they controlled the agenda on TV news. Now that's over. All voices are heard.

So, the far-left is counter-attacking, and Heaven help you if you're in their sights. My name is no longer Bill O'Reilly, it's "gasbag," "bully," "liar" and "blowhard." Those descriptions are not confined to opinion pieces but are routinely used in hard news stories, as well. The far-left media has loaded up on sticks and stones, and is eager to hurl them.

There is some good news, though. Never again can many news organizations claim any kind of fairness or nonpartisanship. They have been flushed out of the weeds for all to see. Excuse me for a moment, something just went whizzing by my head.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of, most recently, "Who's Looking Out for You?" Comments by clicking here.

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© 2003 Creators Syndicate