Menu

FOX News Emerges as Campaign Issue

If you sample NBC News and other major networks, you will see commentators and even some reporters already doing victory dances for Barack Obama, this despite the fact that the Gallup Daily tracking poll Tuesday shows the race getting tighter.

But the pro-Obama media bias should come as no surprise. A new Pew Research study shows about 70 percent of Americans feel the press favors Obama.

But here at FOX News some commentators remain skeptical of Senator Obama's ability to solve difficult problems. His left-wing history disturbs many conservatives, just as John McCain's history on immigration and campaign finance disturbs the right.

But being skeptical of Obama has brought wrath from some journalists like David Bauder, the TV writer for the Associated Press. Bauder is a committed leftist who has written 52 negative articles about FOX News. Yet the AP allows him to keep on truckin'.

If you believe what Bauder and others write, "The Factor" and most other FOX News programs simply present pro-McCain material. That, of course, is a lie. On this program we have just as many liberal voices as conservative.

Even Alessandra Stanley, the TV writer for The New York Times, understands that spirited debate is what we do at FNC. In a column Tuesday she pointed to this discussion:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST, "HANNITY & COLMES": To sit in the church of a guy that says after 9/11 — you lost friends, I lost friends on 9/11 — to say America's chickens have come home to roost…

GERALDO RIVERA, HOST, "GERALDO AT LARGE": He's not running.

HANNITY: But wait a minute. It's…

RIVERA: Bill Ayers, what the hell, I used to be friends with Yasser Arafat.

HANNITY: You were friends with him?

RIVERA: Friendly, I was friendly.

HANNITY: You were friendly with him?

RIVERA: Does that make me a terrorist?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

The truth is that FOX News remains the highest-rated cable news network because both sides are presented. The ratings for October are in, and once again FOX News dominated. As usual, "The Factor" was No. 1, beating both CNN and MSNBC combined at 8 p.m., and winning every key demographic category by a wide margin.

Obama-mania has certainly helped the left-wing programs, but not nearly enough to compete with us. That makes many FOX-haters angry, so you see guys like Bauder lashing out. Even CNN's Campbell Brown, usually a sane person, portrayed me as a far-right guy Monday night on Jon Stewart.

But the most disturbing criticism is coming from the Obama campaign itself. They are furious that FNC reports on Ayers, ACORN and the new audiotape where Obama once again endorsed income redistribution as economic justice.

For the record, those are socialistic terms. There's no question about it. So my question to the Obama campaign is this: Are we not supposed to report that stuff? Come on.

"Talking Points" believes both Obama and McCain are patriots. We also believe they both have flaws. And finally, we believe our responsibility is to challenge both candidates. We do that, and some folks don't like it.

And that's "The Memo."

Pinheads & Patriots

Monday night I visited David Letterman for the third time, promoting "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity." The last couple of times, Dave and I had some issues, as they say in California. This time you can decide who was the pinhead:

Click here to watch highlights of Bill on Letterman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": I love the title of the book, "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity," and I — the origin of it is why I love it. Tell folks what the origin of that is.

BILL O'REILLY: Well, when I was in third grade, I was misbehaving in the back of the room. And the nun ran down, Sister Mary Lurana, grabbed my hand: "William, you bold, fresh piece of humanity." Whacked me on the back of the hand, destroying my self-esteem. She's responsible for the way I am today.

LETTERMAN: No.

O'REILLY: Yes.

LETTERMAN: I saw the clip. We had it on the show, you screaming at...

O'REILLY: Barney Frank.

LETTERMAN: Barney Frank. What was that all about?

O'REILLY: You know, I probably was too tough on Barney.

LETTERMAN: But he was talking about people should put their money in the Freddie Mae and the Bernie Mac...

O'REILLY: Two months before it collapsed.

LETTERMAN: Yes.

O'REILLY: Two months before it collapsed, old Barn, the head of the House Finance Committee, was telling everybody, "Hey, there's no problem out there." So millions of Americans did invest in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

LETTERMAN: Right.

O'REILLY: And they lost everything they had.

LETTERMAN: By the way, are you all right? Are you?

O'REILLY: I'm all right.

LETTERMAN: Oh good.

O'REILLY: And if I have to, I'll go back to painting houses, Dave. You know what I mean?

LETTERMAN: You chatted with Barack Obama and had a different opinion of the guy, right?

O'REILLY: I thought he did very well with me. All we ask is they come in and answer the questions, and he did that. He's — I think McCain...

LETTERMAN: What if they don't answer the questions? You beat them up?

O'REILLY: Yes, I hit them.

LETTERMAN: From time to time we'll have candidates on the show.

O'REILLY: And sometimes they don't show up.

LETTERMAN: Yes. Exactly. Very true. And the hardest thing to do is to keep them from campaigning once they hit the chair.

O'REILLY: Yes, you just tell them knock it off. That's all. That's what I do. You know, Obama and McCain, I had them both on. Neither one of them gave me talking points, so they can give me — because they know I'm going to rudely interrupt them, and that's what I do.

LETTERMAN: Well, you're a hothead, right?

O'REILLY: I am. I should be in prison.

LETTERMAN: You should be in prison.

O'REILLY: When I go back to Levittown neighborhood, the neighbors say, "Why aren't you in prison?"

LETTERMAN: Should be in prison. How did you break your nose?

O'REILLY: Playing hockey.

LETTERMAN: Really?

O'REILLY: How about you?

LETTERMAN: I got punched.

O'REILLY: Yes.

LETTERMAN: Yes. That's why I'm a little sensitive on that topic.

O'REILLY: I'm not going to hit you in the nose. I'll hit you right there.

LETTERMAN: Right in the solar plexus? Well, you know, I've had that heart surgery, so be careful.

O'REILLY: Can't do that. I'm not going to hit you, Dave. You know, I feel sorry for you. I'm not going to hit you.

LETTERMAN: You feel sorry for me?

O'REILLY: It's a joke, Dave. It's a comedy show.

LETTERMAN: What about that Sarah Palin?

O'REILLY: I actually admire her.

LETTERMAN: For what reason?

O'REILLY: Because I think — I think that she's a self-made woman. I think she's a self-made woman, no rich uncle, didn't do anything that we can find that was bad to become the governor, reformed the state, went after her own party, put those people in jail, got the oil companies to give the folks some of these obscene profits they make. I actually admire her record in Alaska. I think the media is beating the hell out of the woman unfairly, and I don't like it. You don't like her, don't vote for her. But knock it off, or you'll have to deal with me.

LETTERMAN: Could I be on "The Factor"?

O'REILLY: I don't know. What do you think? Should we put Dave on "The Factor"? The people want it, man.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

I actually had a good time there last night.

You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.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. Click here for more information on Bill O'Reilly