This Week in Liberal and Progressive Media
Fox News has been angered by comments made at a recent town-hall meeting by Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, who criticized Fox and urged citizens to watch more than one news outlet in order to inform themselves. When asked about jail time for not buying health insurance, Coburn told one woman, “The intention is not to put anyone in jail. That makes for good TV on Fox, but that isn't the intention.”
Daily Kos TV has a clip of Bill O'Reilly interviewing Senator Coburn about his remarks, which were also the subject of a NEWSWEEK story this week. In it, O'Reilly claims that Fox has never said anyone would go to jail. But just watch the Daily Kos clip for a few examples of how O'Reilly isn’t telling the truth.
The Huffington Post is also outraged by O'Reilly’s effort to badger the senator, and has created its own video reel of examples of Fox reports on jail time for failing to pay insurance. The piece is called "Bill O'Reilly Defends Lie by Lying Some More." Writer Ben Craw explains:
"Last night O'Reilly responded to all the criticism he'd received for his apparent falsehood. He acknowledged his mistake and sincerely apologized for misleading his viewers. PSYCH! No, of course not. What he actually did was dig in and continue to defend the lie."
Craw runs yet another video of O'Reilly backpedaling. "O'Reilly's excuse? 'Last fall, when jail time was on the table, Fox News reported it, as we should have . . . Now, as we all know, the prison option was taken off the table when the final Obamacare bill was being debated and that's what we were talking to Senator Coburn about, the final bill debate, not all that stuff,' " said O'Reilly. " 'So what I said is absolutely true. Nobody at Fox News reported inaccurately about the Obamacare prison situation. Nobody!'
"Ohhh, I get it! Very clever, Bill," writes Craw. "I guess you win. Except for just a few things:
"1) In the original exchange on Tuesday night with Senator Coburn (the full, unedited version of which you can watch here), O'Reilly didn't say 'We researched to find out if anybody on Fox News had ever said you're going to jail if you don't buy health insurance . . . during the time that the final Obamacare bill was being debated. Nobody's ever said it . . . during the time that the final Obamacare bill was being debated.' No, what O'Reilly said was: 'We researched to find out if anybody on Fox News had ever said you're going to jail if you don't buy health insurance. Nobody's ever said it.
"2) While most of the clips in our highlight reel were indeed from the fall of 2009, two of them—Rush Limbaugh speaking on 'Fox & Friends' and Bill Hemmer on 'America's Newsroom'—were from February and March of 2010, the time referred to by O'Reilly as 'the final bill debate.' So even if we ignore point 1, O'Reilly's still wrong.”
Who is the real winner in this tit-for-tat? Senator Coburn, who comes off as intelligent, willing to speak his mind, and, for what it's worth—correct.