Bill O'Reilly And Glenn Beck Are Confused By Jimmy Carter's Claims That Fox Distorts The News: Who, Us?

Bill O'Reilly really hates it when people call out Fox News for being the compulsively mendacious and congenitally vicious propaganda organ it's become. The other day on his Fox show, he and Glenn Beck puzzled over why Jimmy Carter would go on

Bill O'Reilly really hates it when people call out Fox News for being the compulsively mendacious and congenitally vicious propaganda organ it's become. The other day on his Fox show, he and Glenn Beck puzzled over why Jimmy Carter would go on CNN and say this:

The talk shows with Glenn Beck and others on Fox News, I think, have deliberately distorted the news and it's become highly competitive. And I have, my Republican friends say that MSNBC might be just as biased on the other side in supporting the Democratic Party, the liberal element.

This had O'Reilly and Beck rubbing their double chins:

O'REILLY: Right. But it's not the first time that he's done this, all right, that intentionally distort the news. What is he talking about? Do you know?

BECK: No, I have no idea what he's talking about. I mean, look, Bill, have you ever made mistakes on the air?

O'REILLY: Yes.

BECK: You correct them?

O'REILLY: Shirley Sherrod.

BECK: Yes.

O'REILLY: I made a mistake. In fact, it's interesting. I mentioned this earlier.

O'REILLY: No, I made the mistake. I didn't check it out.

BECK: I know that. But so did the White House.

(CROSSTALK)

O'REILLY: Don't point to other bad behavior to excuse your own. I didn't use the Mrs. Bush sound bite on Sarah Palin tonight…

BECK: Yes.

O'REILLY: …because I don't know what context that's in. I learned my lesson on Shirley Sherrod. You made a couple of mistakes. Van Jones, you said he was a convicted felon. But you corrected it?

BECK: As soon as we found out, I corrected it.

O'REILLY: Right.

BECK: He's not -- he went to jail but he wasn't a convicted felon.

Where to start? OK, first things first: Beck still has this wrong. Jones was mistakenly arrested and immediately released -- he didn't "go to jail" other than a brief stint in a holding cell.

Indeed, his whole narrative about Jones taking part in the Rodney King riots was an utter fabrication, as Eva Patterson explained at the time in the HuffPo:

This is what really happened. On May 8, 1992, the week AFTER the Rodney King disturbances, I sent a staff attorney and Van out to be legal monitors at a peaceful march in San Francisco. The local police, perhaps understandably nervous, stopped the march and arrested hundreds of people -- including all the legal monitors.

The matter was quickly sorted out; Van and my staff attorney were released within a few hours. All charges against them were dropped. Van was part of a successful class action lawsuit later; the City of San Francisco ultimately compensated him financially for his unjust arrest (a rare outcome).

So the unwarranted arrest at a peaceful march -- for which the charges were dropped and for which Van was financially compensated -- is the sole basis for the smear that he is some kind of dangerous criminal.

Note that this was pointed out to Beck in August 2009. Media Matters pointed it out too, and did so repeatedly. We pointed it out in October.

Yet it was actually four whole months after he first said it that he finally corrected it. Four months was "as soon as" Beck knew about it? Only if his "crack" staff refuses to read its most high-profile public critics -- which, truth be told, is conceivable, but unlikely. Not to mention absurdly incompetent.

Sometimes I think Beck is so mentally disturbed he genuinely believes the lies he tells. But this performance was something special: Lying about his lies, lying about the corrections to his lies, and lying even in the act of making a correction. That's what you call the liar's trifecta.

At the time, we pointed out just a few of the corrections Beck could run:

-- That nefarious Diego Rivera painting in the Rockefeller Center? It was removed on Rockefeller's orders. (Heck, just watch Cradle Will Rock sometime; the painting figures prominently in the plot.)

-- Those 1.7 million protesters who showed up for the 9-12 event? Um, dude, it was closer to 60,000. Little bitta difference there.

-- Just like Van Jones, Peter Orszag isn't a "czar." He passed congressional approval.

-- UAW workers do not make $154 an hour.

-- Unions do not, as you've claimed, need only 30 percent approval from employees in order to be established. It's still the usual 51 percent.

-- Those "doors replaced with stimulus funds? They were hangar doors. And they didn't cost "$1.4 million." More like $256,100. Again, bitta difference.

-- Contrary to your claim that "only 3 percent" of the stimulus plan would be spent in its first year, the actual plan calls for closer to 21 percent of the plan spent in the first seven-and-a-half months alone.

-- Just because we can breathe it doesn't disqualify carbon dioxide from consideration as a pollutant -- particularly at high levels. You breathe carbon monoxide in nontoxic quantities all the time, too.

-- Contrary to your sneering claim, Paul Krugman not only didn't miss the housing bubble, he was one of the few to be warning about it long in advance.

That was in October 2009, covering just his first nine months at Fox. Since then, he's expanded the list exponentially.

About David Neiwert

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