Bill O'Reilly has been studying Orwell, I see. Up is down, right is wrong, Breitbart is God, Media Matters is Satan. Lawrence O'Donnell's claims that the media never uses the word "lie" notwithstanding, Billo seems to have no problem using it, at least when it applies to Media Matters. Unfortunately he should try looking in the mirror.
The conflict centers around this Media Matters post about gas prices from March 5th, which contrasts a Billo clip from the summer of 2008 with one from this year:
Following GOP strategy, Fox News is again blaming the Obama administration for rising gasoline prices -- a claim that has been repeatedly debunked by energy analysts. But back in the summer of 2008, when the average U.S. gasoline price hit a record high of $4.11, Fox said that "no President has the power to increase or to lower gas prices."
I shouldn't have to actually say this, but I will since it's the center of the Billo lie: Republican George W. Bush was President in the summer of 2008. Keep that thought while I lay out his very weird, Orwellian up-is-down argument, where he invokes the ghost of Breitbart as proof of evil intent. More from Media Matters:
In 2008, Fox's coverage occasionally even mirrored the facts: expanding domestic oil drilling will not significantly lower prices, and the only way to reduce our vulnerability to gas price spikes is to use less oil. Perhaps there was more room for reality-based coverage at Fox when there wasn't an incumbent president to defeat?
Here is O'Reilly's insane argument:
O'REILLY: Before he died, Andrew Breitbart spoke to The Hollywood Reporter. That was the last interview he ever did. Mr. Breitbart was upset because he believed the left-wing media was trying to destroy him. He pointed to Media Matters as the primary offender.
Breitbart went on to accuse the far-left website of receiving orders from the DNC and passing those orders on to MSNBC. Breitbart called it a rigged operation and was furious that a news agency as powerful as NBC would engage in dishonest practices.
O'Reilly starts babbling about George Soros and corruption of the editorial process right after that.
So, Billo, That's some classic right-wing projection there. Accuse your enemy of what you are doing. I've written this so often it's probably etched on this site in stone, but let me adjust the tense: Breitbart lied. He lied, and he spoke lies easily because lies were his native tongue. So please excuse me if I scoff at Breitbart's paranoia for a moment.
There. Much better. If only his lying sites could have been destroyed with the truth, but alas. As long as there is an appetite for lies, those sites will soldier on, with or without Andrew Breitbart, and definitely in partnership with Fox News.
Billo now steps up with his claim that he, the Great and Powerful O'Reilly, has been Media Matters' victim, too!
O'REILLY: As you know, I've been very critical of the oil companies jacking up gas prices when there is plenty of supply available in the USA. I've criticized President Obama for doing nothing about it when he could call the oil chieftains and get behind legislation to limit oil speculation.
Those would be the same oil chieftains that spoke to the President through their puppet, Petroleum Institute Jack Gerard, telling him to "approve Keystone XL pipeline or else?" Those guys?
And now we get to it:
O'REILLY: Enter Media Matters, who calls me a hypocrite because they say I didn't hammer President Bush when gas prices rose during his tenure. Here's what Media Matters ran on its website.
O'REILLY: When you hear a politician say he or she will bring down oil prices, understand it's complete BS. If Americans want lower gas prices, cut back.
O'REILLY: Now Media Matters posted that clip nine days ago, but they dishonestly edited it. Here's the full clip:
O'REILLY: The Republican Party pretty much lets big oil do whatever it wants and refuses to rein in corrupt speculators who drive up the price of oil. So the next time you hear a politician say he or she will bring down oil prices, understand it's complete BS. If Americans want lower gas prices, cut back. (end clip)
So, how was that dishonestly edited? Well, here's what Billo says:
I believe President Bush is a Republican, is he not?
So Media Matters lied as it always does. It takes video clips out of context every single day.
If I understand this correctly, and I'm fairly sure I do, Bill O'Reilly is claiming that the omission of his claim that the Republican party lets big oil do whatever it wants and refuses to rein in corrupt speculators is the equivalent of the criticism Fox News levels at President Obama:
Fox falsely suggested that Obama's energy policies are to blame for the increase in prices, without explaining that prices were low in January 2009 because the recession slashed demand. [The O'Reilly Factor, 2/9/12][CNSNews.com, 2/14/12] [Drudge Report, 2/14/12][Senate Republican Conference, 2/15/12][Fox & Friends, 2/15/12][Your World with Neil Cavuto, 2/15/12][The Five, 2/15/12][Special Report, 2/15/12][Fox & Friends, 2/16/12]
Let me try to put that in Orwellian terms: Media Matters uses verbatim clip from Bill O'Reilly to illustrate his claim that politicians (without regard to party) have very little control over gas prices, but supply and speculation are much larger factors. Bill O'Reilly agrees that he said that about politicians during a Republican administration. Media Matters contrasts that clip with today's coverage, where it is entirely Obama's fault that gas prices have risen sharply in 2012 (not speculators and supply, but only Obama).
Therefore, Media Matters is lying? No, Media Matters didn't lie. O'Reilly lied to his audience when he led them to believe the comparison was between O'Reilly saying Obama should call an oil powwow and O'Reilly saying politicians' influence over oil prices is BS. So really, this is what it is: O'Reilly lied, therefore Media Matters lied. Orwellian, much?
No wonder he had to invoke Breitbart's ghost. That logic is so audacious he needed cover from someone, somewhere.
Sarcasm aside, this assault on Media Matters is ramping up to a pathological level across the right-wing spectrum of liars and shills. The echo chamber is alive with the screams of wingers everywhere who simply hate the fact that the truth has a liberal bias. That must mean they're hitting a nerve.