Last night on Scarborough Country, Joe Scarborough responded to Bill O’Reilly’s criticism of NBC News’ decision to label the Iraq situation a “civil war”. Segment transcript follows…
SCARBOROUGH: And you know, Matthew Felling, though, when we‘re talking about bias, I got to—let‘s bring in Fox News anchor Bill O‘Reilly because he actually went after NBC News for the decision to use the term “civil war” to describe the situation in Iraq. Take a look at Bill O‘Reilly‘s attack on NBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O‘REILLY, “THE O‘REILLY FACTOR”: NBC News has declared that there is indeed a civil war in Iraq. Now, that‘s not shocking because NBC is the most aggressive anti-Bush network these days, as they have made a calculated effort to woo left-wing viewers. The question is, Is NBC wrong about Iraq? The answer is, Yes. Of course, the American media is not helping anyone by oversimplifying the situation and rooting for the USA to lose in Iraq, and that is what some media people are doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: I think that‘s insane, that he‘s suggesting there that NBC is rooting for America to lose in Iraq. Bill O‘Reilly has had questions about this war from the very beginning. Bill O‘Reilly knows we‘re engaged in a civil war over there. I‘m stunned. What is going on at Fox News? Why is Bill O‘Reilly claiming that my network, NBC News, is rooting for terrorists? That‘s truly insulting to me.
MATTHEW FELLING: Yes, well, apparently, we now know of two programs that don‘t have a breathalyzer and require you to be sober when you go on the air. It‘s “The View” and “The O‘Reilly Factor.” This “No spin zone, the alcohol must be…
SCARBOROUGH: And let me tell you this, Matthew. Hold on. I have defended Bill O‘Reilly time and time again because I know liberals hate Bill because he speaks his mind, and he wins. But I think in this case, it‘s over the top and it‘s very disturbing to me.
FELLING: Well, it‘s not—it‘s not just over the top. And Bill O‘Reilly has quoted some of the data from my group, the Center for Media and Public Affairs, as recently as three weeks ago, when we talked about how the media was covering the congressional 2006 election. And what we found out in the data was, actually, NBC was being the nicest to the GOP and to the Bush administration of the three different networks.
And I Just have to wonder—I mean, Bill O‘Reilly—if you want to call anybody who considers it a civil war rooting for America to lose, you now have to count Colin Powell on that list. And Newt Gingrich has called this involvement in Iraq a failure. So these aren‘t really the “cut and run” Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi people we‘re talking about.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, and you‘ve got that—you‘ve got the neocons that are saying the same thing. And again, this isn‘t about me defending NBC News. I go after my own network, as well as other networks. I‘m just—
I‘m very surprised at it. And again, I don‘t understand what‘s behind that.
FELLING: No. And I—I don‘t understand this culture warrior mentality. He makes a lot of good points, but he has to go over—steps over the bounds, where—I mean, he said, Are they looking to lose the war? And I‘m just—I‘m just asking him, Is he—where is he getting his information? Everything is just in the mind, in between the ears of Bill O‘Reilly, and he just spits it out.
And I mean, I don‘t know who made a bigger—a bigger mistake, what Danny DeVito did or Bill O‘Reilly, because it‘s just misinformation that‘s patently wrong. It‘s provable based on our data.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, I really think it is. I know there aren‘t a hell of a lot of networks out there other than Fox News that have conservatives like me on. Finally, Tom O‘Neil, we got to go, but let‘s bounce back to Rosie, when you want to talk about somebody who really is biased. Do you think Rosie‘s going to survive “The View” much longer?