What you are about to read may sound like a defense of Bill O'Reilly and, in part, it is. But make no mistake, the real point is the nearly complete and total bankruptcy of the three Cable News Networks. From a journalistic viewpoint, MSNBC, CNN and Fox News are horrific jokes.... and the joke is on us, the viewers.
Today's cable soap opera parading as news is the non-story about Bill O'Reilly's comments on his radio talk show. It seems that the liberal leaning Media Matters editorialized that Bill O'Reilly had engaged in a racist diatribe on his talk fest. CNN picked up the story and reported it as fact and even tried to create controversy about their rival by engaging various talking heads to make comments about a show they never heard.
I want to be perfectly clear that the Media Matters story is complete and utter bullshit. Taking widely dispersed quotes completely out of context and then adding inappropriate editorial comments and misleading focus they took a rare O'Reilly moment calling for racial tolerance and understanding and turned it completely on it's head.
Listen to the actual Internet re-broadcast of Bill O'Reilly radio show and decide for yourself.
CNN, seeing a chance to skewer it's larger rival, ran with the story and MSNBC, especially Keith Olbermann, jumped squarely on board.
But this isn't news. It's all about ratings. O'Reilly just trounces the hell out of the competition every night. If CNN could somehow tarnish his image, it could only help their ratings. And Olbermann.... well he needs to actually get into a recovery program. His addiction to O'Reilly is the biggest joke in all of cable television.
Ratings is all that matters. There is no news here.
And, as an added bonus, lying about O'Reilly is cheap. No need to send real reporters (as if they actually employed any) to Sudan, Darfur, or Myanmar. People are dying there. A reporter might actually do some work. A reporter might actually do some good.
MEMO to CNN: Bill O'Reilly is not newsworthy.
And Keith, please get help. We need an intervention here.