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Bill O'Reilly's Videogate

June 8, 2005

Over the years, Fox's Bill O'Reilly has accumulated an impressive record of distortions, lies, and even falafel lust. Now, it would seem, he's finally committed what should be a firing offense, even for Fox.
Less than a year after savaging Dan Rather over his use of dubious documents in the Bush National Guard case, The O'Reilly Factor massively - and without disclosure - doctored video to distort comments by Senator Joe Biden.
As reported on The Al Franken Show, O'Reilly butchered tape of an appearance on June 5th by Biden on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolous. In that interview, Biden discussed legislation he had proposed to calling for an independent investigation of Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and the entire U.S. network of detention camps. Biden continued that while he personally believed the U.S. ultimately should close Gitmo, he felt that the President needed an independent investigation to drive a consensus conclusion.
That exchange is not what O'Reilly's viewers saw on June 7th in a segment called "The Truth About Guantanamo Bay." The Factor spliced Biden's comments, leaving out all mention of the legislation and his call for independent investigation. O'Reilly then not only savaged Biden for joining "the abuse chorus." He went on to claim as his own the very idea that "the Bush administration should set up an independent commission to investigate American detainee policy across the board."

It's about time that Bill O'Reilly was a non-factor.
UPDATE. To watch the actual Biden video clip spliced by The O'Reilly Factor:

  • Click here.
  • Click the "Video" tab next to the O'Reilly "Photos" link.
  • Click "Watch the Memo."

57 comments on “Bill O'Reilly's Videogate”

  1. Wonkette's snippet of this story doesn't really get at the most important part.
    It's bad enough that O'Reilly attacked Biden and then stole his ideas. The worst offense is that O'Reilly deliberately doctored the ABC video to distort Biden's words into the exact opposite of what he actually said.

  2. now if we had this vast left wing news org. why does o'reily gettting away with this and not brought to account all over this so called left media.

  3. Great idea, jake Montero! O'Reilly should go back to Levitown and take a job roofing some of those $200,000 houses and stop filling the glass-teat radition waves with his noxious and self-serving lies! Good point!

  4. I saw this last night on the Al Franken show (on the Sundance Channel) and my jaw hit the ground. Yeah we all knew that O'Reilly did this kind of twisting and distorting but this is 100% proof of that. I recorded the show last night and sent a copy to the folks at so they could publish this outrage. Hopefully they will have it up soon so that the people can see it for themselves.
    I think we need a push on to have O'Reilly and Fox issue a retract to this story and an appology to Senator Biden. After all Newsweek had to because of a story that the source changed his opinion on. This is a story delibertaly twisted by a news source.

  5. Apparently he was given enough rope, and sure enough he went and hung himself. His arrogant, condescending, smarter than thou demeanor, has fooled himself into believing that he is. This "event" is outrageous. He sure doesn't speak for this Barry Goldwater Conservative!
    P. Bruno
    Davidson, NC

  6. Hey, Montero, how's the inside of your colon? Dark in there? Need a flashlight?

  7. Anyone with half a brain knows that o'reilly twists things. He and Bush should get together and take lessons from each other about twisting and lying about things.

  8. Anyone with half a brain knows that o'reilly twists things. He and Bush should get together and take lessons from each other about twisting and lying about things.

  9. can this be brought to the FCC's attention? Is this not lying and decitful?
    This has got to stop!

  10. ok maybe I'm stupid but I don't get it.
    Yes O'Lie-ly cut out the business about wanting an independent commission. That's dishonest of him/them.
    But Biden is clearly in favor of shutting down Gitmo, keeping those who should be kept and letting go of the innocent. The Fox splice clearly reflects that position, yes?
    And would it really matter to a wingnut watching the Falafel King if they knew Biden also wanted the commission? Of course not. Wingnut philosophy is to clap loudly everytime the naked chimperor so much as farts, and if you don't you hate America and support the terrorists.

  11. Does anyone remember where I put my little white dildo? Oh! Right! Its in my ass. My bad.

  12. careful Bill, it's egg-shaped... if it gets lodged in there, you can't call Andrea Mackris to pull it out for you!

  13. careful Bill, it's egg-shaped... if it slips past your rectum and gets lost in there, you can't call Andrea Mackris to pull it out for you!

  14. get fired from Fox??? This is the kind of thing that would earn him a bonus. What would make anyone think that Fox is the slightest bit concerned with truth or accuracy?
    Now, if O'Lielly rating's go down enough, and advertisers start bailing on him, that might get some folks at Fox to take a look. Or something else that may affect the bottom line. But journalism is not part of the equation, at all.

  15. I can't find a hook on the FCC site for reporting this kind of abuse. How do you do that?

  16. I agree somewhat with Renato in that I don't see the big offense here. Sure, O'Reilly shouldn't have spliced the video. And maybe with the "abuse chorus" line, he was giving bad context to the clip. But I don't see necessarily how Biden's lines were so distorted, or that he was made to be saying the opposite of what he was really saying.
    In fact, from what O'Reilly says at the end, it's almost like he's just agreeing with Biden; and isn't trying to make him look bad. But maybe if I saw the clip, the negative context would be more apparent.
    Not that I'm saying we should let Bill off for this. He's gotta know that you can't slice video together without warning people. I doubt this will bring him down, but he really needs to learn that you can't distort things like that.

  17. I agree...with ...O'Reilly. ... the "abuse chorus" line...was...the clip. ...Biden's lines were... distorted, ...he was ...saying the opposite ....
    In fact,...O'Reilly says... that.

  18. Funny thing about the undoctord video being from ABC News. Isn't this the same kind of hatchet job ABC News pulled on Hillary Clinton with the Rose Law Firm billing flap?

  19. I need more context of O'Reilly's statement before I make a judgment. Also, was is a stealth splice, or was there a fade or some other visual equivalent of "..." separating the spliced content? He seems to be supporting Biden's position in the comments you quote above.

  20. I'm with Jason. It was cheesy to edit Biden's idea out and "steal" it, but how do you figure this edit drastically changed what Biden's meaning was?

  21. I hate O'Reilly and all but isn't it typical Biden mealy mouthed bullshit either way?
    Independent commission? Oh,like the Red f'ing Cross????

  22. Ken, it alters the message by altering the messenger. That's the cynicism of it--it's strawman creation at its purest, dishonest form. If the meaning doesn't change by O'Reilly snatching it for himself, why does O'Reilly bother? Because it's a chance to smear Biden. Then through dishonesty or bush-league negligence, O'Reilly appropriates precisely the things his 'opponent' Biden says. It's a double-dose pudding of sliminess, which is what this is all about.

  23. You guys who don't see the problem did not see the tape.
    Biden filed legislation for an independent commission to study whether Gitmo should be closed. O'Reilly accused Biden of ONLY wanting Gitmo to be closed and spliced the tape to make it appear that way. THEN O'Reilly stole Biden's idea of calling for an independent commission on whether Gitmo should be closed.
    So it looks like Biden wants Gitmo closed and only O'Reilly wants the commission. He's lying. Biden is the one who actually filed for the commission. O'Reilly is lying through omission... omitting Biden's very words to make his position to appear differently.

  24. Beware! Reading between the lines like this, one might end up losing sleep:
    President Bush on June 9, 2005:
    My message to Congress is clear: The terrorist threats against us will not expire at the end of the year, and neither should the protections of the Patriot Act. . . Remember that the next time you hear someone make an unfair criticism of this important good law. The Patriot Act has not diminished American liberties. The Patriot Act has helped defend American liberties.
    O'Reilly style redaction (following Garth):
    My . . . terrorist threats against . . . you . . . helped defend American liberties.

  25. seems to me a copyright infringement suit could be filed against O'Reilly
    - it isn't a Fair Use exception to copyright protection to take video and then misrepresent the original - he didn't do a parody (well, not in the sense it was intended as a parody) and he didn't present the video as "news"

  26. I went to the FCC site but wasn't sure where to register a complaint around content/accuracy. Everything seemed to be obsenity related. Granted, I think O'Reilly is one obsene asshole.

  27. Recently one of the most INANE things to come out of our court system was a ruling that talking heads or news shows or even newspapers DO NOT have to tell the TRUTH....FUCKIN AMAZING!

  28. Mr. Bill O'Reilly:
    You KNOW who I am Mr. O'Reilly, Mario G. Nitrini 111. I was Personally Involved in The OJ Simpson Case, Remember???? I Faxed You and The Fox Network over a Whole bunch of My paperwork Years ago about My Involvement in The OJ Simpson Case, and in the end, You SNUBBED Me, just like Shepard Smith did. WHY?????
    You had Joseph Bosco and Bert Luper on Your Show back in the year 2000 talking about Bill Wasz and His Connection to The OJ Simpson Case. You had an Opportunity to get Media attention for Mr. Wasz and His Story. You Didn't. WHY????? I tried again to contact You and Shepard Smith on March 7th, of this Year, 2005, and have You Read the Discussion Board, "Smartfellows Press" (IAGO) and "The Peking Duck," both talking about The OJ Simpson Case, and give You and Shepard Smith an Update on VERY IMPORTANT Legal Happenings in The OJ Simpson Case concerning Bill Wasz and More. You Ignored Me again, WHY?????
    Well Mr. O'Reilly, Bill Wasz was found DEAD in His apartment in Mid-March of this Year, 2005, MURDERED. He was Murdered because of His involvement and what He Knows about The OJ Simpson Case and More. Bill Wasz also has a Book already Printed and ready for Distribution Titled, "We Only Kill Our Friends." Bill Wasz E-mailed Me on March 6th at 12:01 AM wanting to have Lunch with Me, and asking Me to "ease up on Him," and I believe He wanted to Finally Come Clean in His REAL INVOLVEMENT in The OJ Simpson Case. You see Mr. O'Reilly, Bill Wasz had His own Website, and on His Website, He tried to Sucker Me into contacting Anthony Pellicano who was/and still is in Federal Prison. He DIDN'T Sucker Me.
    Regardless of Bill Wasz's and My head-to-head Legal Confrontation, You and Shepard Smith could have stepped in, and SAVED Bill Wasz's Life. You and Shepard Smith Didn't step in at all, and Bill Wasz is Now Dead. What can I say!!!!!!!!
    Mr O'Reilly, remember when You had a Chance back in 1995 to talk with Me about Rocky Bateman and The Limousine Company Conspiracy in The OJ Simpson Case???? You Ignored me then. WHY???????
    Mr O'Reilly, You and Several other Fox News Employees KNOW My Telephone Number, and My Addrress. Contact Me if You have The LEGAL GUTS. I live Right here in Reseda California, and I am Hiding form NO ONE.
    Mario G. Nitrini 111

  29. It's one thing to quote someone out of context to "shape" the appearance of their message.
    But it's another thing entirely to then claim ownership to the very idea that you edited out from the other guys mouth. That's a misrepresentation of the highest degree. Bill O'Reilly was obviously hoping that if his viewers saw Biden's "idea" afterwords, they'd all think Biden got the idea from O'Reilly! Stick a fork in 'em.

  30. Who cares about Bill O'reilly and his videos, I want to hear more from this Mario Mitrini guy. What the heck is he talking about?

  31. Hawk,
    I was Personally involved in The OJ Simpson Case. I had an Article written about Me in The L.A. Times on June 23rd, 1995 by Bill Boyarsky about some of My Involvement in the Case. I was also on David Bresnahan's National Radio show in Mid-March, 2001 talking about some of My involvement in The Case.
    I had an Incredible amount of contact with Media personell, and OH what a Group they are. They cover-up like You can't believe and other "Things."
    There are Legal Happenings going on with Several People who were Involved or had People connections in The OJ Simpson Case. I will give You a few Names.........Bill Pavelic an OJ Simpson Investigator, Anthony Pellicano Gumshoe to the Stars and what a SNAKE He is, Bill Wasz who was Murdered in Mid-March of this Year, 2005, Andrew Luster "The Max Factor Kid" who Bill Wasz claimed that He (Wasz) was a Body Gaurd in a California Prison, Look for an OJ Simpson Case People connection with Tupac-Notorious B. I. G-Larry Longo-and Suge Knight, Detective Ronald Y. Ito a Lead Chaser in The OJ Simpson Case and Lead Detective in The Robert Blake Case who committed Perjury in Robert Blake's Preliminary Hearing and Criminal Trial and Illegally and Criminally Suppressed Information that I gave Him that Potentially could Implicate OJ Simpson of Double Murder, and Possibly Exonerate OJ Simpson of Double Murder, and There's More.
    Hawk, I am 50/50 on OJ Simpson's Guilt/Innocence for MANY REASONS.
    I Investigated this Case MYSELF on the Premise at the Start, on OJ Simpson's Innocence, and????????
    I met with The F.B.I. in 1997 with "Things" they wanted to talk with Me about in The OJ Simpson case, and other situations.
    I've been in ALL the camps per se, Civil and Criminal Trials, and Bill Wasz, Rocky Bateman, and Myself are the MOST Covered-up People in The OJ Simpson Case for "REASONS."
    If You want to Know More, just ask away.
    Thanks Hawk for responding to Me. I'm Going to Bed, and Hope to talk with You Tomorrow,
    Thanks Again,
    Mario G. Nitrini 111

  32. I wouldn't believe Biden any farther than I could toss his plagiaristic butt. I don't care if it was a college paper that he cheated on, or that it was a long time ago. It's obvious his character isn't much. He's a great one for the truth, yeah, sure, wanna buy some swamp land? He knows how to copy other people's work, etc. You gotta admire him, right? He's almost as good as Slick Willie. If the truth were marked with a T and stamped with capital letters, I don't think he'd recognize it. His glass house can't stand up to much scrutiny and yet he dares accuse. I don't think so.

  33. EC, what does Biden's history have to do with O'Reilly doctoring tape and stealing Biden's idea as his own? You know I lied once (well more than once), does that mean that my ideas are now open for theft? Of course this is just a smear campaign isn't it...
    The tyranny of the new power elite, the neo-con/"christian" right axis, will not stand.

  34. All of you shut up, now! Just SHUT UP!
    Don't make me send the head of Fox News over to your house!

  35. Would it matter to anyone if Biden stole the idea from Oreilly? Maybe you all should take 2 minutes out of your busy lives to go read the Talking Points from June 1 instead of being Al Franken lemmings.

  36. Wadeaux,
    THE issue is that O'Reilly doctored video footage of Biden to distort and completely misrepresent what he said.
    It doesn't matter what O'Reilly said on June 1 (especially since Biden's commission legislation was introduced in January). The real concern here isn't the theft by O'Reilly of Biden's idea, but his obvious intention to distort what Biden said on ABC.

  37. EC
    He's not accusing, it is statement of fact on video.
    Are you brain damaged or morally defective?

  38. I watched the video--it's so easy to see that Fox doctored it-they will get away with if for sure-Fox News--"Fair and Balanced-we report-you decide" I call it--Fox news--unfair and unbalanced--we report we decide--I am always bothered when Bill says this person or that person will not come on my show to debate with me--my thought is --who are you Bill? do you think people need to be abused by you and Fox News?-is there anybody alive that does not see that Fox has an agenda--(republican stooges)what arragance--what gall--I have a suggestion for Bill--why not invite Bozo the Clown--sounds like an equal match to me--oh-and-Bozo would win

  39. NOT the first time he's been caught doing this.
    Here's another example of the same thing
    Georgetown Law School professor David Cole describes how Bill O'Reilly deliberately cut out a recorded statement from the head of the 9/11 Commission to mislead his audience about links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.
    The cult of conservatism knows he lies to them but since they are trained to believe they are personally handling all of God's business here on earth - they can get away with it.

  40. The really sad thing is stuff like this goes on ALL the time. I'm the producer of an environmental news program on a public radio station. When I edit stories, I can change what a person says DRAMATICLY with the careful omission of words.
    O'Reilly is an idiot as far as I'm concerned, but he's not the only one doing this.

  41. Isn't it sad that people like Franken spend a large part of their lives just sitting and criticizing one man? He couldnt do anything a little more constructive with his life? And good job following him lemmings, carry on.

  42. Isn't it sad that people like Muyoso feel the need to criticize Al Franken for doing his part to rid the mainstream media of the hypocritical cowardice that is Bill O'Reilly? Muyoso couldn't do anything a little more constructive with his life, like stick his thumb up his ass? And good job with that lemming label. If people are lemmings because they all agree that the media lying to the public should be documented, criticized, and dealt with harshly, then I guess we are lemmings. And you are a right-wing pawn loser, carry on.

  43. O'lielly (and the entire lot of right-wing talk-show-hosts) do this (lie & cheat, etc.) knowingly and with reason: ratings. That is all it is about. THEY (obviously) DO NOT CARE ABOUT TRUTH.
    Hate speech, denegrating speech, controversial speech, shouting, pissing and moaning get RATINGS.
    They will not stop.
    Unless, perhaps, the Media themselves end up going through some high profile FRAUD cases that shakes the TOP TIER of the industry. But that won't happen.
    So, they will never stop.

  44. pretty weak. i'm no big fan of o'reily, but this is a stretch. seems to me he was just paraphrasing what biden said. the meaning is the same. let it go.

  45. O'Reilly was accurate stating that Biden wanted to see Gitmo shut down. Using the tape though, editing out Biden's support for an independent commission and then passing off that idea as his own, is outright and deliberate deception. So no, he was not "just paraphrasing what Biden said". He's a conniving manipulative egomaniac.

  46. So I watched the clip & it still doesn't seem as bad to me as it does to some of you. The only problem I have with the Fox clip is that O'Reilly is clearly trying to take credit for Biden's idea.
    I still think Fox is, in a sense, paraphrasing what Biden had to say. Biden admits that he wants the commission so others will in essence agree with him that Gitmo should be closed. So what that tells me is that regardless of there being an independent investigation Biden wants Gitmo closed. So in that sense Fox did not lie. Biden clearly states that he wants the independent investigation so there will be other voices calling for Gitmo to be closed in addition to his own.
    So I don't think O'Reilly lied about Biden, he actually lied about himself. He was essentially taking Biden's idea & passing it off as his own. Biden admitted he wants Gitmo closed & O'reilly played that clip. By "stealing" Biden's idea it doesn't change the fact that Biden wants Gitmo closed. Biden isn't basing his opinion on the independent investigation. He wants the independent investigation to back up his already made up mind & opinion. He wants it closed regardless...or at least that's how I interpret the complete clip from ABC.
    So after watching the clip, my official opinion is that O'Reilly did not lie about Biden. O'Reilly simply stole from Biden & tried to pass the idea off as his own. O'Reilly is simply a thief. So if that's what everybody is getting worked up about then I think you are right in your anger. O"reilly is essentially a plagarist (sp?) of opinions. Yet if you are getting upset about O'Reilly misrepresenting Biden I think you are mistaken...IMHO of course. He said Biden wants to close Gitmo & in his own words Biden does & I think it is regardless of what an independent commission would find. I think Biden's mind is already made up about Gitmo.
    Just my personal opinion anyway.

  47. Just to throw in one more bit the problem I have with Biden is that when asked if he thinks Gitmo should be shut down he doesn't say "Yes I do if the Independent investigation findings show it should be shut down." He says (paraphrasing) "That I want the independent investigation so it shows others espouse my feelings." That shows me that Biden is being biased & has made up his mind already regardless of what an independent investigation would find.
    I find that narrowmindedness troubling...especially from a US Senator. I sincerely hope other senators do not think this way. I hope they want an independent investigation as well & would hold off making up their minds until we had the findings of that investigation.
    Have a good day everyone.


Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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