Bashir vs. O’Reilly (vs. Mitchell)
Mediaite’s Noah Rothman writes about Martin Bashir going after Bill O’Reilly for criticizing Andrea Mitchell as biased…
On Thursday, Martin Bashir defended his colleague Andrea Mitchell from Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly who accused Mitchell of liberal bias on his program. Bashir took O’Reilly to task for a flimsy attempt to tar Mitchell and he landed a punch when he responded to a challenge by O’Reilly to point out a Fox News political reporter who had ever crossed the line and exhibited bias. Bashir proved he was up to the challenge.
Forget what Bashir said since he and it are irrelevant because this falls into “consider the source” territory given his POV track record. More importantly, there’s a far more damning argument that can be used to rebut Bill O’Reilly: the words of Bill O’Reilly…
Five years ago Mitchell was a guest on O’Reilly’s show and O’Reilly repeatedly stated how fair and not at all biased she was. ICN was the only blog to record this moment for posterity…
O’Reilly: Now I want everybody to know that you’ve been a correspondent over there for thirty years at NBC and we checked you out thoroughly…we couldn’t find any bias in your reporting. None. Okay? So, I don’t have a problem with you. I do have a problem with NBC News. Tell me where I’m going wrong.
O’Reilly: …like, I have it in for NBC. I’ll admit it. I don’t like you guys. I like you. I like the Today Show. But I think your management made a conscious decision to go to the left…
O’Reilly: I’m giving you way too much of a hard time. I am. And I apologize. It’s not your fault.
Mitchell: I don’t think it’s fair to describe journalists as liberals or conservatives.
O’Reilly: I do. Because I think that it’s filtered through a prism. But I want to apologize to you. I’m giving you way too hard a time. It’s not your fault. And your book is excellent. And I have to tell people to buy your book because you are fair. You are balanced. You are accurate. And you have had a window on history for the last thirty years that none of us have had. And you can learn a lot from reading your book. But I am distressed…and I am…about what’s happening over where you work. And I’m sorry that I had to take it out on you.
So excuse me if I take with a bit of skepticism…oh…what the hell…a whole lot of skepticism…anything negative Bill O’Reilly now says about Mitchell given how he bent over backwards for her so far he would wind up being able to see his own belt buckle.