Maybe I’m making too big of a deal out of this comment, but something about it rubbed me the wrong way. It happened Monday evening on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor when host Bill O’Reilly, as he’s known to do, went on tirade against liberals and the media, claiming that he believes it’s a “10 to 1” slant in favor of the left while questioning if the country really has a “free press.”
One line in particular is what set me off:
When the press aligns itself with a political movement…then it is no longer objective or free because it’s sympathizing with a political point of view.
I would like to point out that this comes from someone whose show airs before Tucker Carlson Tonight (a very extreme right-wing Republican) and Hannity (a right-wing fanatic and conspiracy theorist). Bill O’Reilly also works for a network whose former disgraced CEO Roger Ailes went to work for Trump’s campaign almost immediately after being fired following multiple accusations of sexual harassment.
The best writers on the planet couldn’t come up with that kind of irony.
Is there a “liberal-lean” to the media? I don’t think so, but I can see why conservatives would think that.
What conservatives like O’Reilly want is for the media to confirm their lies — to peddle their propaganda. They want the 1-3 percent of scientists who deny climate change to be treated equally with the 97-99 percent who understand it’s a problem made worse by humans. They want the media to deny history, facts, reality, science, and simple math to report on what conservatives want to hear. They want the media to treat the flaws of someone like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump equally — even though they’re nowhere near the same level.
The main reason why the media seems to have such a “liberal slant” is because conservatives are usually wrong.
Mainstream media doesn’t “owe it” to conservatives to fabricate the appearance of “balance” simply because most Republicans don’t want to believe in facts. Most of the media isn’t “biased” just because they don’t want to believe something that’s true.
When Trump spent years pushing the racist conspiracy that Barack Obama wasn’t an American citizen, should the media have gone out of their way to make that appear more impartial and legitimate even though it was a blatant lie only believed by morons?
Here’s a short list of things conservatives frequently tell me they think are real:
- Rampant voter fraud.
- Most illegal immigrants are criminals.
- ISIS has crossed the Southern border.
- The economy is worse now than when Obama took office.
- The Clintons have killed people.
- There was a “stand down” order given by Clinton when she was Secretary of State.
- Obama isn’t an American.
- Climate change isn’t real.
- The Affordable Care Act contains death panels.
- Guns have nothing to do with gun violence.
- Obama is a Muslim.
- There’s no vetting process for the refugees coming here.
- Transgender people are more likely to be sexual predators.
- Violent crime is at record highs.
- The low unemployment rate was faked by Obama.
- Jade Helm was a ploy by Obama to confiscate guns and/or utilize FEMA camps.
- Deficits went up during Obama’s eight years.
- Obama wasn’t deporting illegal immigrants.
While that list is only a fraction of what I get told all the time by Republicans — none of it is true. Yet millions of conservatives believe all of it. Why? Because most of what’s on that list (plus more) is what they’re fed by Fox News and the right-wing media.
Conservatives like O’Reilly often whine about the “liberal media” when the truth is, the media only seems “liberal” because most rational people actually believe in things like facts, science, math, history, and reality… while many on the right don’t.
Think about this for a moment: What amazing advancements have conservatives brought us?
Conservatism is the ideology of intolerance that’s always on the wrong side of history, looking back toward a “yesteryear,” to a reality that often doesn’t actually exist.
Forward thinking and progressive action:
- Founded this nation.
- Ended slavery.
- Gave women the right to vote.
- Created Social Security.
- Ended segregations.
- Created Medicare.
- Ended bans on interracial marriage.
- Defending the right for women to have control over their own bodies.
- Allow homosexuals to proudly, and openly, serve in the military.
- Stands for equal pay for women.
- Fought for marriage equality.
- Has pushed for more accountability among corrupt police officers.
- Made the Earth a “greener” place by promoting solar, wind, and electric forms of energy.
- Created many of the technological advances we use today.
It wasn’t conservatives who pushed for all of that — it was progressives. If we did what conservatives like to do — “stick to tradition, resist progress” — none of that happens. It took progressive ideas (based on the time they occurred) for those events to happen.
The truth is, the more absurd, dishonest, and conspiracy-driven Republicans get — the more “liberal” the media is going to seem. It’s not the media’s job to make conservatives feel better about believing in right-wing fairy tales. The fewer facts conservatives choose to believe, and the more “alternative facts” they think are real, the more legitimate media is going to seem “fake” because it’s not confirming whatever delusions they want to be real.
And I’m positive if conservatives like Bill O’Reilly took the bold step to embrace facts, science, math, history, and reality instead of racism, bigotry, and ignorance — they’d become much more “liberally biased,” too.
So, yes, Mr. O’Reilly, the United States does have a true “freedom of the press.” It’s just that most of the mainstream media is developing a spine and standing up to the biggest pathological liar and most incompetent person to ever call the White House home. The main reason why most of the mainstream media seems “liberally biased” is because, unfortunately for folks like yourself, facts and reality are almost always on our side — not yours.
Watch his comments below via Fox News: