- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 26, 2014

Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly took several minutes out of a broadcast to address snubs from CNN commentator Brian Stelter, calling him a “committed left-wing zealot.”

On Thursday, Mr. Stelter made comments during a CNN broadcast on Rancher Cliven Bundy. He accused Fox News of giving the story too much one-sided coverage.

“I can’t think of any parallel to this case,” Mr. Stelter said. “I can’t think of MSNBC taking an equivalent story on the left and spending weeks covering it the way Fox News has, and Sean Hannity chief among them.”

Mr. O’Reilly took to his show, The O’Reilly Factor, to respond.


“So, Mr. Stelter did you miss the months, the months of coverage about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on MSNBC? Did you miss that?” Mr. O’Reilly asked. “Are you that dense, that uninformed that you make an outrageous assertion that MSNBC would not overdo a story for ideological reasons?”

Mr. O’Reilly continued to blast MSNBC’s liberal news coverage saying the news station had “Convicted Gov. Christie of crimes over and over and over again in the ‘Bridgegate’ story, and the network did that for two reasons, It amped up its liberal base for rating, and it targeted a politician who might be a threat to Hillary Clinton.”

Then he ripped Mr. Stelter saying, “if Stelter doesn’t know that, he’s not qualified to do any reporting, anywhere, at any time.  If he does know it, he lied on national TV. And that’s far worse than some Fox News commentators sympathizing with an ill-informed rancher in Nevada against a big government overreach.”

Mr. O’Reilly went on to say that CNN has ratings problems and naturally will take shots at FOX news. He cited an instance when an anchor interviewing Mr. Bundy asked how he felt to be “abandoned by your friends on Fox.”

Mr. O’Reilly said that Mr. Bundy was being baited and was foolish to even engage in the discussion.

He said that the lesson viewers must learn from this is that ideological commentators are too eager to gin up controversies without knowing all the facts.

He acknowledged that conservatives fell into a trap when they were so eager to support Mr. Bundy, but noted that liberals did the same when they eagerly touted the Occupy Wallstreet Movement.

Mr. Stelter responded to Mr. O’Reilly via twitter, saying that the statement he made about Fox News was taken out of context.

“Bill – thanks for the shout-out – but that video clip was preposterously out of context!”

In a follow up tweet he said, “Maybe you didn’t watch the whole segment? I was answering a very specific Q: Here it is in context…” and included a link to the original broadcast in which he was asked if there is a double standard on partisan issues.

Mr. Stelter said that Fox News and Sean Hannity could have avoided this situation if they had done more research on Mr. Bundy before reporting on him so extensively. 

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