Shut Up and Steal

The producer of the Outfoxed video thinks he's nailed the master of the No-Spin Zone. But it's not exactly an open and shut case.

The geniuses behind Outfoxed have caught Bill O'Reilly. In a lie, of course (it can never be a mistake to these people). O'Reilly said on Tim Russert's show that their video took a statement he made ("I'm asking you to shut up about sex") and misleadingly edited it in a montage designed to show him repeatedly telling people to "shut up". In fact, if the transcript to Outfoxed can be believed, they didn't cut the words "about sex" as O'Reilly claimed, but included the entire sentence. (Reportedly the trailer, which will be seen by gazillions more people than the video itself, is edited as O'Reilly described.)

Point to the Outfoxed mafia. But just one point. O'Reilly's major thesis--that the sequence was dishonest--doesn't rise or fall on those two words. The Outfoxed video sets up the segment with this exchange:

PAULA EVAN: Bill, if you are so concerned about public figures being bad role models for children please stop rudely interrupting your guest and telling them to shut up!
O’REILLY: Well the “shut up” line has happened only once in six years, Miss Evans...

Then the crafty editors move in for the "kill":

DEREK HENKLE: I think that asking a student to stay in the closet in order to go to school...
O’REILLY: I’m asking you to shut up about sex.

O’REILLY: Shut up. Shut up.
JEREMY GLICK: You want to know what I was doing. Please don’t tell me to shut up.
O’REILLY: As respect. As respect...

O’REILLY: Why did you have to tell them you were an atheist if you didn’t have any trouble reading, why didn’t you just shut up?

O’REILLY: What Jimmy Carter should do is privately give Mr. Bush his opinion and shut up publicly. That would be best for the country.

O’REILLY: And it is our duty as loyal Americans to shut up once the fighting begins.

O’REILLY: Once the war against Saddam begins we expect every American to support our military and if they can’t do that--to shut up.

Buried in that lightning-edited melange is the one incident O'Reilly admits to--the Jeremy Glick exchange. But what of the others--in how many of them is he telling a guest to shut up? Answer: zero. Either it was used in a commentary, or as part of a question designed to elicit a response (successfully). Mr O'Reilly was incorrect on where the Henkle statement was edited, but his larger point is reinforced. This is clear when you read a little bit more around the Henkle interview than was included in the video:

O'REILLY: You knew--you knew that once you pronounced yourself gay that it wasn't going to go down, you were going to get a lot of flak. Why was the point? Why did you do it?
HENKLE: Well, you know, I think that asking a student to stay in a closet in order to go to school is a lot like...
O'REILLY: I'm asking you to shut up about sex....Let me show you where you're wrong. If there's a girl in your high school who says, "I'm a heterosexual, and I sleep around," she's a slut, she's going to get it, and you know it. All American kids should not do what you did, I am telling you. Now that doesn't justify what they did to you. I'm glad you won the money, and I'm glad you did what you did. But I'm telling you...
HENKLE: But the issue of...
O'REILLY: If kids are watching today, do not talk about your sex life because you don't want to go through that.

It's clear Mr Bill was not telling his guest to shut up. So what exactly did that hilarious video montage prove? That O'Reilly can use "shut up" in a sentence? That he was correct when he said he only told a guest to "shut up" once in six years? Or are they saying that the phrase "shut up" is in and of itself evil, even when not used in an imperative form? If that's the case, then we have a whole caboodle of new material for the Outfoxed syndicate, every entry just as relevant and probative as the examples they cited from Mr O'Reilly. All they need to do is steal a little more footage:

MSNBC - KEITH OLBERMANN: And when some of them did, she yelled, shut the hell up.

MSNBC - OLBERMANN: The final irony of this ironic year of war, last year, we couldn‘t get the guy to shut up

MSNBC - JOE SCARBOROUGH: But shut up, right? 

MSNBC - PAT BUCHANAN: ...let‘s off some of these guys and people say shut up?

MSNBC - HARRY THOMASON: The right wing should shut up...

WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: One senior Japanese official said in response that they should just shut up...

MSNBC - CHRIS MATTHEWS: Maybe he should have shut up about it...

MSNBC - DON IMUS: You're fine, shut up, you know...

NBC - ALEC BALDWIN: We would stone him to death! Wait!... Shut up! No, shut up!

posted: Mon - August 9, 2004 at 12:35 AM       j$p  send 
Joseph Grabko
So, which part of the lie don't you get? He constantly attacks people, tells them to shut up, cuts their mike, or just plain insults them. Using samples of other newscasters is irrelevant. First, you used single instances for each one. Two, O'Reilly is KNOWN for constantly telling his guests to shut up or cutting their mike. Not to mention you didn't address all of his other lies the documentary addresses. Better check your facts again.
May 29, 2007, 9:35:56 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
The lie I don't get is he "constantly" tells people to shut up and "cuts their mike". Really? When was the last time he did that? It had to be TODAY if he does it "constantly". I agree, let's check the facts. When was the last time he did either of those things? In your own words, please.
May 29, 2007, 9:43:47 PM EDT – Like – Reply