Ted Turner takes on FOX News: that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
On the Senate floor today, John McCain said that some Americans are still furious that President Bush won re-election and are lashing out at anyone perceived to be an ally of the president. That's why Condoleezza Rice was batted around by a few Democratic senators. We'll have more on that later.
Now that anger extends to to the media, where CNN founder Senator Ted Turner is aghast at the policies of President Bush and by the ascendance of FOX News, which is destroying CNN in the ratings.
To be fair, CNN is still a strong source for hard news. Its tsunami coverage was very good. And the network has some great reporters. But it is failing because its politically correct liberalism, demonstrated mostly by its commentators, is obsolete. That is just killing Mr. Turner, who has become increasingly strident in his comments about FNC. Yesterday, he spoke to some television people at a convention in Las Vegas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Turner, for those of us who have been following the FOX News-CNN tussle over recent years, it's a disturbing trend that FOX actually has surpassed CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC in total ratings. Do you have any thoughts about that, what it says about the American viewing public? And what would you do to bolster CNN at the present time?
BERNIE SHAW, FORMER CNN ANCHOR: FOX has outdistanced CNN in the ratings.
TURNER: You know, that's not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, it's not — I'm not happy about it. But Adolf Hitler was more popular in Germany in the early '30s than his people who were running against him. So just because you're bigger, doesn't mean you're right.
SHAW: Next question?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now Turner's contention at FOX News is in bed with the Bush administration is, of course, nonsense. We are the network that broke the Bush drunk driving story a few days before the 2000 election. Turner's network, you may remember, made a deal with Saddam Hussein (search), access for soft reporting. So you tell me, who's providing the better news coverage? FOX News or CNN?
So what we have here is bitterness over losing. CNN and other cable news operations are down millions of dollars because FOX has gained so many viewers. And the left wing press in general is furious that a more traditional news outfit has challenged their monopoly.
FOX News is fair to President Bush, as we try to be fair to everyone. We use just as many liberal voices here as conservatives. Ted Turner can make his Third Reich (search) comparisons all day long. They just diminish him and remind everybody why they watch FOX News instead of CNN.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Last night on "“The Factor”," a left-wing columnist for the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Sylvester Brown, demonstrated his anti-FOX News bias to the nation right here.
While Mr. Brown is generally misguided, in my opinion, he did challenge at me at one point, saying that I had called Senator Barbara Boxer a "nut." Now I denied doing that, and I didn't on television. But on the radio — uh oh — I forgot that I indeed did apply that word to Senator Boxer, while analyzing her strategy, or lack thereof, to fight terrorism.
So Brown was right and I was wrong, which makes me the "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." I hate that.
I—You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel. Send your comments to: email@example.com
Bill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 13 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York.