Posted by: danfusco | July 23, 2009

Rick Perlstein is Feeling the Wrath of Bill O’Reilly’s Army

Rick Perlstein, an American liberal journalist, has recently received a lot of flak from Bill O’Reilly for a piece he published in Newsweek. Perlstein tells the story best, but the gist of it is that O’Reilly misrepresented Perlstein and, in turn, gave viewers of Fox someone to hate. Perlstein admits he has a liberal bias and anyone who reads his writing will agree, but O’Reilly comes off quite angry.

In a later written article, O’Reilly writes, “Newsweek magazine is in dire financial trouble and is seeking to survive by cultivating a liberal, urban audience. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as the editors are up-front about it. But this sneaky media stuff is harming America, and it must be unmasked.” I thought this O’Reilly attack was relevant to the Jeremy Glick clip. This seems over the top considering Newsweek is known to have a liberal bias, which was confirmed in the Groseclose study, and Sarah Palin should be old news by now. This is just classic O’Reilly and no matter how much I disagree with his tactics and opinions, I can’t seem to look away.

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Responses

  1. This is an interesting story. First you have the strange situation of Bill O’Reilly complaining about an organization surreptitiously mixing news with opinion – and likens it to techniques used by the Nazis. Even though the reality is that the piece was in the ‘features’ section which is defined as opinions, not hard news.

    On the other side you have a liberal attempting to write a piece on Palin and conservatives without showing his inherent bias. Was he successful? As Perlstein himself notes:

    “O’Reilly’s main point was that since I’m a liberal writer, and even and unabashedly a liberal activist, I couldn’t analyze any of this in a fair or useful way. Again, I trust the reader to make that judgment themselves.”

    An interesting piece.


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