Bill O'Reilly: Denying military families death benefits for those killed in action in Afghanistan

By Bill O'Reilly

Over the weekend I was down in the Ozarks, Missouri/Arkansas border, in Tennessee, in northern Florida. Everywhere I went, everywhere there was outrage over how the federal government treated the families of those KIA in Afghanistan.

As we reported, the whole denial of benefits didn't have to happen. All President Obama had to do is take his little pen, sign an executive order that paid the families $100,000 benefit. That's all he had to do. But he didn't do it. He chose not to do it and the whole deal devolved into chaos last week. A private charity, the Fisher House had to step in and cover the Feds. As the humiliation grew, and so the outrage grew, the House and Senate passed a separate spending bill. And the President finally signed it on Thursday night but again none of that had to happen.

The military benefits chaos shows just how poor, how poor our leadership is in Washington. And the folks know it.

On the press front, the coverage was decent, fair in most cases. We analyzed the "New York Times", the "Los Angeles Times", "The Washington Post". And all those papers laid out the facts in a clear way. On the network news side in the evening, ABC News pretty much downplayed the story, spending just three and a half minutes on it over two nights. CBS News spent four minutes over two nights. NBC spent a whopping 13 minutes over three nights. Far and away the most coverage and the "NBC Nightly News" was pretty much fair.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Senate ignored the new military benefits bill that would fix the problem. Why? Because Democrats say that unless House Republicans agree to reopen the whole government, Democrats will not approve one program at a time even death benefits for families of fallen soldiers.


O'REILLY: All right so that was true. And then the Democrat of course caved. Now that's good news that NBC and the newspapers were invested in telling the truth about the military families. That's good news.

Here's the bad news. MSNBC continued its business as usual policy of blaming Republicans for just about everything.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course Republicans loved to pin that one on the President as well. House Speaker John Boehner saying, frankly I think it's disgraceful they're withholding these benefits, even though Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made clear the funding wasn't there.


O'REILLY: And just for the record, Hagel completely botched the whole situation, everybody knows it, except that guy and Hagel's still hiding. Where is he?

Now here's something really interesting. Over at CNN, the military family story was pretty much ignored -- very strange because like Fox News, CNN has four hours to fill from 7:00 to 11:00 every night. And the military story was hot.

But over a two-night period, Anderson Cooper devoted just 6.5 minutes to it, Piers Morgan five minutes. Obviously CNN wanted no part of this story.

As for FNC, we had far and away the most coverage also the highest ratings as usual.

And that's "The Memo."