Poor old BillO. It must feel awful to have to be mopping up after his cohort Hannity's mess. O'Reilly did his best this Friday evening to downplay his network's coverage of wingnut, racist rancher Cliven Bundy, but that doesn't change the fact that he and his cohorts on their prime time coverage over at Faux "news" gave the story a whole hell of a lot of air time, led of course by Hannity.
Media Matters did some tracking on the coverage of Bundy at Fox here: Fox News Carnival Barkers Gin Up A Range War:
Led by Sean Hannity, Fox News has devoted 4 hours and 40 minutes of its prime-time programming to cheerleading for a Nevada range war.
Media Matters examined Fox News' weekday programming from 4 p.m. through 11 p.m. ET since it first started covering the story.
Fox News began agitating for a range war on April 9, sympathetically portraying Cliven Bundy as a folk hero based on the Nevada rancher's refusal for two decades to pay the required fees for grazing his cattle on public land. While Nevada reporters have made clear that Bundy is "clearly wrong" and "breaking the law," Fox has waged a PR campaign romanticizing Bundy and the armed militia groups that fled to his ranch and forced a standoff with federal agents who were executing a court order that allowed them to impound his cattle.
Or they were until Bundy decided to show himself for who he really is. Now they're running away from him as fast as humanly possible.
You know O'Reilly is grasping at straws when, to defend his network's coverage, he attacks CNN's Brian Stelter as a "left-wing zealot" when he's only a tad bit better than his predecessor Howie Kurtz, who now works for Fox. Stelter's criticism of Fox has been mild as best, and O'Reilly wouldn't know an actual "left-wing zealot" looks like if they hit him in the ass.