To watch "The Talking Points Memo" in the Screening Room click here.
Hi. I'm Bill O'Reilly reporting tonight from Boston. Thank you for watching us.
The pirates are on the mainland. That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.
While the war in Iraq is winding down, the war in the media continues to rage. The head of the BBC, the British Broadcasting Corporation, which was severely criticized for its anti-coalition reporting, has lashed out against some of the American media, including the FOX News Channel.
Greg Dyke says he was shocked by the quote, gung-ho coverage of the Iraq war. Mr. Dyke, of course, is entitled to his opinion, but it's worth pointing out that some of his own correspondents on the BBC were shocked when their reports were distorted by BBC management.
A memo written by BBC reporter Paul Adams actually scolded his superiors. He said, "I was gobsmacked to hear, in a set of headlines today, that the coalition was suffering significant casualties. This is simply not true. Who dreamed up the line that the coalition are achieving small victories at a very high price? The truth is exactly the opposite."
Also, the British warship, HMS Ark Royal, actually pulled the plug on the BBC because they deemed it so biased.
So what's going on here is that Mr. Dyke is covering his butt because the BBC's coverage was dubious, to say the least.
Back here in the USA, our pal, Ted Turner, is saying it doesn't matter that the Fox News Channel overwhelmed CNN during the war because CNN is better, and ratings don't count for much. Well, Mr. Turner, again, is entitled to his opinion, but that is simply nonsense. Ratings matter a lot, and millions of Americans now prefer FOX [News] over CNN.
And that's the crux of the matter. If we were not so successful here, the elite media would not care at all about our point of view. They would ignore it. Truth is FOX News Channel is emerging as one of the most powerful voices in America, and the elites can't stand it. That's because we reflect the point of view they find offensive, traditional values, a skepticism of politically correct thought, and a willingness to hear all points of view.
If you look at the major newspapers in this country, you will find the overwhelming majority of opinion writers are committed liberals. For example, The Los Angeles Times has only two staff columnists on its op-ed page. One of them is a progressive who lives in the pacific northwest, not even in L.A. And the other is Robert Scheer, a fanatical left winger. Scheer actually wrote a book favorable to Fidel Castro. The guy is off the chart left.
The New York Times has only one conservative columnist. The Boston Globe and The Washington Post employ very few right-wing voices.
So what's the beef? The elite media has plenty of liberal thought. The three networks are, above all, politically correct, and CNN is CNN.
Talking Points believes the crescendo of criticism directed at FOX News is flat out jealousy and fear. No longer does the elite media the set the tempo for the public discourse in America. The pirates, us, are now on the mainland.
And that's The Memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...
No "Most Ridiculous Item" on April 25, 2003.