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Washington Post Blogger Slams O'Reilly for Calling Protesters 'Far-Left Loons' and 'Anarchists'

On Sunday's Reliable Sources, CNN host Howard Kurtz and the Washington Post's Erik Wemple took exception to FNC's Bill O'Reilly calling some of the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters "far-left loons" and "anarchists."

Wemple noted that odd complaints of some of the Wall Street protestors might lend the movement to criticism, pouting that it's "low-hanging fruit for people like O'Reilly to start making fun of them. I think that's really disgraceful."

He continued: "I think it's disgraceful because, you know, you can always find someone in a crowd of 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000 people to mutiliate - I mean you can - and to mock. And so that's really low-hanging fruit and I think it's crazy."

CNN's media critic Howard Kurtz, meanwhile, pointed out the disparity in coverage of the protests between MSNBC and Fox News. "Keith Olbermann at Current TV and also Ed Schultz at MSNBC playing up these protests, criticizing the coverage or lack thereof. A marked contrast to the way Fox News is treating them," Kurtz analyzed.

He also seemed to take exception to Bill O'Reilly's treatment of the protestors. "Bill O'Reilly the other night saying that these are 'far-left loons' and 'anarchists.' Well, some of them may be anarchists, but still."

Kurtz also hit Fox News for its apparent double-standard in its coverage of the Tea Parties and "Occupy Wall Street," although he added that the liberal media also focused on a few "intemperate" protestors during the health care debate rather than the majority of those opposed to ObamaCare.

"And it's striking to me that Fox News was so much more sympathetic a couple of years ago to the Tea Party movement - just two years, ago I should say - and then it was the liberal media that was accused of picking out a few intemperate protesters who had crazy signs or were yelling at Congressmen at those townhall meetings."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the segment, which aired on October 9 at 11:30 a.m. EDT:

HOWARD KURTZ: But as you mention, Erik, Keith Olbermann at Current TV and also Ed Schultz at MSNBC playing up these protests, criticizing the coverage or lack thereof. A marked contrast to the way Fox News is treating them. Bill O'Reilly the other night saying that these are "far-left loons" and "anarchists." Well, some of them may be anarchists, but still.

ERIK WEMPLE, opinion blogger, The Washington Post: Right, I think that the, look, whenever you have, I believe this is pretty much characteristic of left-wing protests. You see the protesters and they have all the signs - one justice for movie goers - and you know, everyone has their own-

KURTZ: Save the whales, world peace.

WEMPLE: - so it's easy, it's low-hanging fruit for people like O'Reilly to start making fun of them. I think that's really disgraceful. I think that, you know, there is something that prompted this, it's very real-

KURTZ: Why disgraceful?

WEMPLE: I think it's disgraceful because, you know, you can always find someone in a crowd of 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000 people to mutiliate - I mean you can - and to mock. And so that's really low-hanging fruit and I think it's crazy.

SHARON WAXMAN, TheWrap.com: I find it, I actually find it kind of interesting that Fox has taken the position it has because they - it could just as easily co-opt these protesters as a symbol of how Obama is failing. I don't agree that this is a left-wing issue.

These are people that are hurting in an economic - a long swing of the economic pendulum that has, that has really hurt the middle class that, you know, we've been reporting about for many, many years. So the right could just as easily adopt these people and embrace them as their own, but instead they sort of look at them as anarchists - anarchists is such a weird word that I keep hearing.

KURTZ: And it's striking to me that Fox News was so much more sympathetic a couple of years ago to the Tea Party movement - just two years, ago I should say - and then it was the liberal media that was accused of picking out a few intemperate protesters who had crazy signs or were yelling at Congressmen at those townhall meetings.

- Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center