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Posts Tagged ‘George Tiller’

Was Olbermann Ready to Quit if a Truce Was Called?

The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz fills in more of the gaps about the FNC/MSNBC agreement to tone down personal attacks on the cable networks’ hosts and their parent companies’ executives.

Kurtz provides more details on the discussions, first reported by TVNewser, between FNC founder and chairman Roger Ailes and GE chairman Jeff Immelt, which included a lunch at 30 Rock.

After using a side entrance to Immelt’s 53rd-floor dining room — their Manhattan buildings are a block apart — Ailes offered a blunt, if slightly jocular, diagnosis of the problem. He could control his nutcases, Ailes said, but Immelt couldn’t control his.

On June 1, the day after abortion doctor George Tiller was murdered, Olbermann punched at O’Reilly. The next night, O’Reilly punched up, at Immelt.

Immelt called Ailes the next morning, saying O’Reilly had gone way too far. Ailes was sympathetic and again said they should take a stand against personal and gratuitous attacks. The war, Ailes said, is over.

KeithOlbermann_8.7.jpg“But,” writes Kurtz, “the war was just beginning at MSNBC, where an opinionated culture is often at odds with NBC News.”

Kurtz reports that after Olbermann’s comments about the Tiller murder, “executives convened a large meeting and talked about Fox and the importance of striking the right on-air tone. Olbermann later expressed a willingness to make minor adjustments in his style, but he and his allies, concerned about setting a precedent, dug in for a fight. Olbermann left Zucker and executives with the impression that he might quit if the dispute wasn’t resolved to his satisfaction.”

Then, last Friday’s news of some sort of deal, which seemed to exacerbate the issue on-air this week.

“This is more of an internal issue that NBC and GE need to work through,” a Fox spokesman told Kurtz. “There was an agreement for no personal attacks,” a Fox executive said. GE and NBC did not comment for Kurtz’s story.

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It’s On: Bill O’Reilly Books Joan Walsh After Her Harsh Criticism of Him

oreilly_6-12.jpgwalsh_6-12.jpgTonight on The O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly will interview Salon.com editor, and frequent MSNBC guest, Joan Walsh. Here’s the backstory:

On Wednesday’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, Walsh was critical of O’Reilly and seemed to connect him to the murder of Dr. George Tiller. “When Bill O’Reilly goes on TV every night and calls Dr. Tiller a baby killer and a Nazi and a Mengele, and shows where he works, why do we put up with that?” she asked. “Why is that entertainment in our culture? It’s demonizing a private citizen for doing a lawful job? Why are people doing that? Why is that acceptable?” (She expanded on this in a blog post.)

Last night O’Reilly called Walsh “one of the most extreme” critics of him for “telling the truth about Dr. Tiller.”

He also invited Walsh on the FNC show — and she accepted. On Twitter, she asked for advice. “I plan on being calm, smart, kind and well-prepared,” said Walsh.

• O’Reilly also mentioned the museum shooting several times last night (it was not brought up on Hannity or On The Record), in one instance saying, “By the way, for you far left loons out there, here’s something very interesting. You know the guy who murdered the security guard at the Holocaust Museum, has me listed on his Website as a bad guy.”

> Update: The interview is taped, and Walsh tells us on Twitter: “He told me ‘you have blood on your hands.’”

Click continued to see the O’Reilly segment discussing Walsh and more last night…

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CNN Gets First Interview With Abortion Doctor Murder Suspect

cnn_6-9.jpgCNN got the first interview with Scott Roeder, the man accused of killing abortion doctor George Tiller, today in Kansas.

CNN correspondent Ted Rowlands talked to Roeder for 30-minutes in the jailhouse interview. Cameras were not allowed.

Rowlands appeared earlier this afternoon on CNN to discuss the interview, and will during prime time as well.

Click continued to see Rowlands describe the interview…

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O’Reilly Issues “A Rare Correction” To CNN

CNN’s Rick Sanchez was looking for a correction, and he got one last night from FNC’s Bill O’Reilly. O’Reilly gave the “rare correction” in response to “a snide and surly guy,” and promised more on the story of how CNN covered the George Tiller and Private Long murders on Monday:



(via Johnny Dollar)

Air America President Defends Bill O’Reilly’s Free Speech

On her New York Nonstop show, Julie Menin spoke with Mark Green, president of the progressive talk radio network Air America, about whether FNC’s Bill O’Reilly bore any responsibility for the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller. Video below. (If you’re reading this on your mobile device the clip may not show up.)

Other TV writers continue to weigh-in on the issue. In a WaPo column Tuesday morning Howard Kurtz writes, “I’m not going to join the attack. It is perfectly fair to hold the Fox News host accountable for his words and to question whether he has gone too far in personally assailing Tiller time and time again. But is it his fault if some abortion-hating fanatic decides to kill another human being?”

The AP’s David Bauder also filed a story last night: “Liberal commentators have questioned whether O’Reilly’s words, including calling the doctor ‘Tiller the baby killer,’ were too incendiary.”

And Variety’s Brian Lowry writes about the latest salvo. “On Tuesday, O’Reilly was back at it, urging an email campaign to GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt. Seriously, does anybody at Fox think this childish finger-pointing benefits anyone?”

Bill O’Reilly Responds to George Tiller Murder

FNC_6.1.jpgFox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly began his show tonight with a Talking Points Commentary on the George Tiller murder, specifically those who’ve blamed him for the crime. “Clear-thinking Americans should condemn the murder of late-term abortionist Tiller,” O’Reilly began. “Eventhough the man terminated thousands of pregnancies, what he did was within Kansas law.” Then O’Reilly turned his commentary on his critics.

When I heard about Tiller’s murder, I knew pro-abortion zealots and Fox News haters would attempt to blame us for the crime. That is exactly what has happened.

He singled out the Daily Kos, the Kansas City Star and former 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes who wrote about the Tiller murder on Huffington Post. To Mapes he said, “Unlike you, I report honesty. Every single thing we said about Tiller was true and my analysis was based on those facts.”

On MSNBC, Keith Olbermann spent eight minutes at the end of his show on the issue talking about the “power of words.” “Fox News Channel will never restrain itself from incitement to murder and terrorism,” said Olbermann. “Not until its profits begin to decline, when its growth stops.”

Olbermann called for viewers to “quarantine” Fox News, then said he was retiring his O’Reilly impersonation. “One of my pleasures is constantly criticizing him in that Ted Baxter voice. But this is no time for laughter… So as of this show’s end, I will retire the name, the photograph, and the caricature.”

Earlier: Abortion Doctor Who Was Focus of O’Reilly Segments For Years is Shot Dead

Abortion Doctor Who Was Focus of O’Reilly Segments For Years is Shot Dead

Tiller_5.31.bmpA 51-year-old man is in custody accused in the shooting death of Dr. George Tiller, a Kansas doctor who performed late-term abortions and who found himself the focus of commentary by FNC’s Bill O’Reilly for the last several years.

Tiller was shot inside his church in Wichita at 10am this morning.

As recently as May 12, O’Reilly discussed Tiller and his support of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. “She supported Tiller the baby killer out there,” he said to a guest, adopting a name critics had been using for years. (During her confirmation hearing last month, Sebelius said that between 1994 and 2001 she’d received more than $12,000 in campaign contributions from Dr. Tiller, a fact reported on several other Fox News programs as well, but not on CNN or MSNBC.)

But O’Reilly’s stories on Dr. Tiller go back to at least 2006. The show first began looking into whether Tiller performed illegal abortions and covered up child rape cases. In November, 2006 O’Reilly reported Tiller had performed late-term abortions to alleviate the pregnant woman’s “temporary depression.” A few weeks later O’Reilly Factor producer Jesse Watters traveled to Wichita and confronted Tiller’s attorney Pedro Irigonegary. Waters would write later, “He happened to be outside just as our van pulled in… and we sprang out with the cameras rolling.”

During the confrontation Irigonegary told Waters, “What’s important in this issue is not whether Mr. O’Reilly thinks that he is an expert on depression or not. What’s important is what medical people and a woman going through a difficult process decided what’s her best interest. I don’t care what Mr. O’Reilly thinks.”

TVNewser has learned O’Reilly will give his first public comment on Dr. Tiller’s murder tomorrow night on his show.