Talking Points

A Media War Breaks Out in America

By Bill O'Reilly

Off the Shirley Sherrod controversy this week, there is now an open media war in play, and that situation extends from the White House to your living room.

On one side is the liberal establishment media led by NBC News and The New York Times. These pro-Obama vehicles actively promote progressive policies in their hard news coverage.

On the other side is the new media that leans more traditional than the urban lefties who have dominated the press for decades. The new media, which includes Fox News and a bunch of Internet concerns, is skeptical about President Obama and liberalism in general.

The establishment media used the Shirley Sherrod story to attack Fox News, which after almost 13 years on the air has emerged as the dominant media force in America. We set the daily discussion and I don't think there's any doubt about that, certainly not in Ms. Sherrod's mind. She told CNN that she was fired because the White House feared FNC would run with her story.

And so the liberal media sensed an opening to weaken Fox News by using Ms. Sherrod's situation as a hand grenade. But the attack failed.

MSNBC and CNN on Wednesday received terrible ratings, while Fox News dominated as usual.

Also, Washington Post TV critic Howard Kurtz reported that from the beginning, Fox News executive Michael Clemente ordered his troops to be cautious in reporting the Sherrod story.

That fact made liars out of the far-left media people who told Americans Fox News had ginned up the story in order to hurt blacks. Once Mr. Kurtz's report became known, the tide turned and a number of liberal media people became more circumspect.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have in Fox News, they haven't retracted the story. Shepard Smith has said a few words. But this was a ginned up, fabricated story. And this country can't afford this kind of…

MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, "TODAY" SHOW: I was going to say Bill O'Reilly also apologized. And let's just make the point. They didn't run the tape until after the resignation. So it's not as if they forced the resignation.


Over at CNN they also tried to diminish FNC, but even the very liberal Eric Deggans, the TV writer for the St. Petersburg Times, called them on it.


ERIC DEGGANS, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES: I also want to say that I understand, you know, this is CNN and you are competing with Fox News. And I just want to note that you guys have your reasons for wanting to talk about whether Fox News is a part of this, too. And I understand that. I'm not just singling out Fox News. You know, your competitor MSNBC has its own political tilt that people are concerned about.


The sad truth is that journalism in America is on the verge of collapse. "The Factor" has documented dozens of important stories ignored by the liberal establishment press and hundreds that have been slanted, and those people accuse us of doing the same thing.

For you, the honest American, this is bad news. The folks need accurate information because we are living in dangerous times. We must elect people who can solve complicated problems and truly look out for us.

The press was given constitutional privileges by the founders to serve the folks. But right now, many in the media are abusing those privileges.

And that's "The Memo."

Pinheads & Patriots

As you may know, the House Ethics Committee is coming down hard on Congressman Charles Rangel from New York, who did some dubious stuff with money. NBC News reporter Luke Russert, son of the late Tim Russert, caught up with Mr. Rangel:

Click here to watch "Pinheads & Patriots"!


LUKE RUSSERT, NBC NEWS: You're not worried about losing your job?

REP. CHARLES RANGEL, D-N.Y.: What are you talking about? You're just trying to make copy? What job? The one I got?

RUSSERT: Yes. These are particularly serious violations.

RANGEL: How do you think I got my job? I was elected. How do you think I lose it?

RUSSERT: Well, there's two ways. You can lose it by your colleagues voted you out of here because of ethics violations or if your constituents did not...

RANGEL: What station are you from?


RANGEL: You're young. I guess you do need to make a name for yourself, but basically, you know, it's a dumb question. Allegations that are made by...

RUSSERT: Sir, you did not file -- you did not file taxes on properties in the Dominican Republic, allegedly. If that is true, is that not a problem?

RANGEL: It doesn't sound like NBC, asking these dumb questions.


You can decide if the congressman is a pinhead. I thought the questions were absolutely legitimate.