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Saturday, October 3, 2009
MRC Promotes False Parallels Between Letterman, O'Reilly Scandals
Topic: Media Research Center

An Oct. 2 MRC Culture & Media Institute item (and NewsBusters post) by Colleen Raezler and Carolyn Plocher draws false comparisons between sex scandals involving David Letterman and Bill O'Reilly to complain that "How the networks cover media sex scandals apparently depends on the political views of those involved."

Raezler and Plocher complain that the media "largely portrayed Letterman as a victim" while they "gave the [O'Reilly] scandal nearly the same weight as they did a presidential debate." But they ignore the significant difference between the scandals:

  • Letterman was indeed the victim of an extortion attempt by someone other than a person with whom he had an affair; O'Reilly was sued by a former staffer, Andrea Mackris, alleging sexual harassment.
  • Letterman admitted his behavior on national TV; O'Reilly denied it, filed a countersuit against Mackris, then settled out of court, reportedly paying Mackris millions of dollars.
  • Letterman has not set himself up as a judge of the morals of others; O'Reilly has.

But if Raezler and Plocher admitted these differences, they wouldn't have an article.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:31 AM EDT

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