I’ll be honest, I really haven’t paid a great deal of attention to the entire controversy surrounding Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, because it’s really not much of a story. Is it really “shocking” to some that a Fox News personality would be caught lying about something? Isn’t that what they do?
To expose someone on Fox News blatantly lying about something, you don’t need to dig through archives from decades ago to find something – just turn on the network on any given day. This is a “news channel” that bases most of its existence on lying.
And does anyone really think conservatives care? The truth is, they couldn’t care less about honesty. All conservatives care about is finding someone who will tell them what they want to hear, which is exactly what O’Reilly and Fox News do.
The reason why Brian Williams was suspended was because:
- He admitted to his lies (which O’Reilly will never do).
- People who don’t work for Fox News are held to a higher standard of integrity than those who work for American’s most watched conservative entertainment network.
Well, during last night’s Real Time on HBO, Bill Maher went after O’Reilly – and the media as a whole – for basically giving this whole situation a shrug of the shoulders.
“Let me read to you Bill O’Reilly’s words and you tell me if he is not just a blatant, bald-assed liar,” Maher said. He then went on to read several quotes from O’Reilly, followed by the factual accounts that debunk the Fox News host’s own words.
“These are out-and-out lies,” Maher said of the statements. “Now, I understand why Fox News backs him, because they’re not really a news service. They’re like, ‘You expect the truth? That’s not what we do here.’ But why isn’t the mainstream media going after him with the same ferocity, the supposedly ‘liberal media,’ as they did to Brian Williams?”
“I suspect it’s because they know what you just said,” guest David Axelrod answered. “Which is, Fox News isn’t a real news organization. And Bill O’Reilly isn’t a real journalist.”
By all accounts this would be a bigger story – if O’Reilly didn’t work for the one network where truth and integrity aren’t really high priorities. Conservatives tuning into O’Reilly don’t care if he’s trustworthy or not, just as long as he’s telling them what they want to hear. When someone on Fox News says something derogatory about liberals, Democrats or President Obama, the last thing conservatives are concerned with is whether or not the information was factual.
So while I love that Maher went right after O’Reilly, Fox News and the media, I get why so many, including myself, have more or less “passed” on this story.
The truth is, Republicans don’t want to know facts, because most facts don’t support their side. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve presented indisputable facts to a conservative which debunk an asinine claim, only for them to get hostile and defensive the moment their delusions were exposed.
That’s why nothing of substance is going to happen to O’Reilly. Instead of conservatives starting to question him after seeing the growing piles of evidence proving that he’s lied numerous times, they’re actually just rallying around him, seeing this as nothing more than some trumped-up liberal attack against someone who simply tries to “tell the truth.”
There’s already plenty of evidence proving that O’Reilly has a long history of fabricating stories, and the only thing that’s happened is that his ratings have gone up. It’s just like Mr. Axelrod said, Fox News isn’t a real news organization, and O’Reilly isn’t a real journalist.
Watch the segment below via HBO:
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