After taking a verbal beat down from Rick Sanchez on CNN for his completely false claim that only Anderson Cooper covered the recent murder of Army recruiter William Long, host Bill O’Reilly sort of apologized to CNN tonight for his mistake. It is a sort of apology because he called Sanchez snide, and promised to have more about CNN’s coverage on his Monday show.
Here is the video of O’Reilly correcting his mistake from Media Matters:
Earlier in the day, Sanchez completely obliterated O’Reilly’s bogus claim on CNN:
“Let’s add this up together now. We led with the story when it broke. We led with it again the next day. We analyzed the terrorism angle with experts, and called former FBI agents to take us through it, and as a network we covered the story umpteen times throughout the days, throughout all hours of the days, but Bill O’Reilly says he only saw it once, and since he only saw it once, well then, that must be the truth. It doesn’t matter what really happened. It doesn’t matter what the record shows, all that matters is what Bill thinks he saw.”
O’Reilly said, “I do want to tell you one thing also. We have a correction, a rare correction on The Factor. Earlier this week I said only Anderson Cooper covered the murder of Private Long in Arkansas. Well today a snide and surly guy on CNN pointed out that the story was covered more extensively by that network and that is true. I was wrong, my apologies to CNN. I was talking about primetime, but I did not say that, so I was wrong, as they say in third grade, my bad. Now on Monday we’ll have more on how CNN handled the Private Long and Tiller story, going to make a comparison, so don’t miss that.”
O’Reilly apologized after being confronted with video evidence that CNN did at least a dozen reports on the subject. Of course, it was a backhanded apology, because he had to insult Rick Sanchez, by calling him snide and surly. I didn’t think that Sanchez was snide or surly. I thought he and CNN were justifiably angry at O’Reilly’s obvious distortion.
O’Reilly comparison on Monday is guaranteed to be hit job on CNN. Look for O’Reilly to claim liberal bias at the network, as he compares their coverage of the Tiller and Long stories. O’Reilly will try to get his revenge against CNN for embarrassing him, but any embarrassment could have easily been avoided if somebody on his show would have bothered to fact check. Once again, FNC’s aversion to facts comes back to bite them in the backside.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association