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Thursday, November 8, 2007
Shocker: NewsBusters Corrects O'Reilly!
Topic: NewsBusters

Given the Media Research Center's historic defense of Fox News (and the MRC's cozy relationship with said channel), it's typically verboten for its writers to point out anything that contradicts Fox News' "fair and balanced" mantra. So it was a shock when NewsBusters posted not one but two items correctly claims made by Bill O'Reilly.

A Nov. 7 post by Kyle Drennen noted an appearance by O'Reilly on CBS' "Early Show," in which he said, "You see, I don't believe anything the press writes about Bill and Hillary Clinton at all...We tracked it yesterday, and we couldn't find any swift boat reference." Drennen responded: "Well, a Fox News article with Associated Press contributors quoted the former president: 'We saw what happened the last seven years when we made decisions in elections based on trivial matter...When that scandalous Swift Boat ad was run against Senator Kerry.'" Gasp!

In another Nov. 7 post, Lynn Davidson is offended the O'Reilly called Rev. Fred Phelps and his rabidly anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church flock "far right":

But Phelps isn't “far right.” According to Wikipedia and Kansas Voter View, he's a registered Democrat who ran in five Kansas Democratic primaries, including governor. He also reportedly campaigned for then-Sen. Al Gore in the 1988 presidential campaign (these photos seem to back this up), culminating in invitations to both Clinton-Gore inaugurations, although that support waned as Clinton-Gore promoted gay rights.

As we pointed out the last time somebody tried to claim this, Phelps' Democratic connections 20 years ago are irrelevant today; Davidson offers no evidence that any Democrat currently supports Phelps' crusade. Further, Phelps' anti-gay campaign is much closer to the conservative mainstream than his picketing at military funerals is to the liberal mainstream (or any other mainstream, for that matter). Phelps promoted a 2005 vote in Topeka, Kan., his hometown, to repeal a city ordinance prohibiting discrimination against homosexuals in city government hiring -- a thoroughly mainstream conservative position -- and Phelps' granddaughter, Jael Phelps, ran against the state's first openly homosexual officeholder for a Topeka City Council seat (and got clobbered), something the conservative Southern Baptist Convention-owned Baptist Press newswire deemed worthy of coverage.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:14 AM EST

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