You Read It Here First: FNC's O'Reilly Cites BMI Health Care Study
You read it here first! On Wednesday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, host Bill O'Reilly cited a new study from the MRC's Business and Media Institute finding that broadcast network evening and morning news shows have slanted their coverage of President Obama's health care proposals heavily in the Democratic President's favor. O'Reilly introduced a segment with FNC analyst and former CBS News correspondent Bernard Goldberg by citing numbers reported earlier this week in an MRC Media Reality Check:
Tonight, we have a number of topics for Mr. Goldberg, beginning with a new study by the Media Research Center, a conservative group out of Virginia. They analyzed more than 200 health care stories on the big three network morning and evening news programs. The Center found 70 percent of the soundbites used in those stories favored President Obama's health care vision - 70 percent.
O'Reilly and Goldberg spent the first part of the segment discussing why there is so much public skepticism about Obama's proposals in spite of the favorable media coverage. Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Wednesday, July 29, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC:
BILL O'REILLY: Tonight, we have a number of topics for Mr. Goldberg, beginning with a new study by the Media Research Center, a conservative group out of Virginia. They analyzed more than 200 health care stories on the big three network morning and evening news programs. The Center found 70 percent of the soundbites used in those stories favored President Obama's health care vision - 70 percent.
Joining us now from Asheville, North Carolina, with reaction, Fox News analyst Bernie Goldberg, author of the book, A Slobbering Love Affair, which, you know. plays right into this, Bernie, because, you know, if it's 7-3 on all of, you know, ABC, CBS, NBC, the Today Show, Good Morning America, or the nightly newscasts. But, as I just asked [Dick] Morris, the folks, they're not buying it. It's going the other way, so I'm wondering what messenger, what messenger, media messenger, because that's how the folks get their information on this, is being most effective in this thing?
BERNARD GOLDBERG, FNC ANALYST: Well, first we should point out that just because the media has a particular bias in favor of something that Barack Obama suggests doesn't mean that people are buying it. I mean, you know, the media, the media says a lot of things and people listen to it, and they realize that the media is not being fair or balanced, but they don't necessarily buy it. The important point here, Bill, is I don't know that the media is in favor of nationalized health care. I don't know that they like it or that they don't like it. They like Barack Obama. They have a lot invested in Barack Obama, and they're going to protect their investment. In my book that you just mentioned, A Slobbering Love Affair, I explain how the media moved from the old-fashioned media bias into something new, media activism. So now you have a lot of reporters, not all of them, but a lot of reporters who aren't just covering health care and Barack Obama. They're, they're championing it, they're supporting it, and-
O'REILLY: Okay, but why isn't, why isn't it working? You would think that, look-
GOLDBERG: Because the people at home-
O'REILLY: -you have all of this monolith going that Obama's health care vision is good for you, which is basically what it is. And, in dissent, you have some people on the Fox News Channel, but, you know, we have many people here who like it, the President's plan, and you have conservative talk radio obviously lined up against it. So it's those vehicles against - and we didn't even mention CNN and MSNBC, which, of course, are for the Obama health plan. So it's maybe 5-1. But the folks are saying no, we don't like it.
GOLDBERG: Because they get enough information, either from talk radio or from Fox, and even from those places that are in favor or seem to be in favor of Obamacare when they're really in favor of Obama. They get enough information, they're smart enough, contrary to what a lot of people in the media think, they're smart enough to know that they don't like it. And as Dick Morris correctly pointed out, and you did, too, senior citizens especially. I mean, I'm telling you, senior citizens are out there saying, "Hold on, let me make sure I get this straight. You mean, when I get to be 85 or thereabouts and I might get an operation that prolongs my life five years, you're going to say take a pill?" They get it. It doesn't matter that the media is tilted in favor of the President's plan. People see through that stuff. And that's good. And that's good.
O'REILLY: Listen, I have, Bill Maher said yesterday that we're a stupid country, America is a stupid country. That was a stupid comment by Mr. Maher. We made him a pinhead for it. I've always felt that the folks have a lot of common sense and a lot of wisdom, and I think it's coming out here.
- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center