Bill O'Reilly and media matters, what is actually going on

Since this is politics & not art I’m putting it here and not in Cafe Society.
Media matters is a progressive/liberal website that was started in may 2004 and keeps tabs on what they see as distortions, cruelty and myths put out by conservatives (there are conservative sites that do the same things like the media research center if you are interested). Bill O’Reilly seems afraid of the organization media matters as he got very defensive about the subject.

When Bill O’Reilly had discovered, on-air, that Krugman had obtained a questionable O’Reilly quote from Media Matters For America (located at, a “Web-based, not-for-profit progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media”, he became agitated.

O’Reilly has referred to them as vile, despicible people, compared them to Castro and the KKK, written them off as left wing nuts, etc. Media matters claims to have collected 75 myths, distortions and questionable quotes by O’Reilly in 2004 alone, making him misinformer of the year. However they only list 10, so I am not sure if/what those other 65 are.

Just recently they wrote about several myths he’d written including that he never makes personal attacks, has never attacked Cindy Sheehan and that Ann Coulter doesn’t lie.

Supposedly the CEO of Media Matters, David Brock, has offered 4 times to appear on the O’Reilly factor to defend Media matters and never recieved a reply from O’Reilly.

Is this story as blatantly obvious as it seems? I admit to being a liberal and even though I try not to, I am somewhat biased against O’Reilly but even this seems over the top. It seems to me that media matters is an organization that is idealogically biased, but is pretty level headed and fact based that is keeping tabs on manipulations by O’Reilly and O’Reilly is not only reacting like a psychopath to legitimate criticism (comparing media matters to Goebbels, the KKK, Castro, Mao Zedong) but isn’t willing to allow the CEO on to defend himself or publicize his views, even though he routinely calls people cowards for not facing him.

There has to be another side to this story. Is there, or is O’Reilly really this over the top? If so, why don’t more people seem to know it? O’Reilly always presents himself as the most trustworthy guy on TV. What bothers me is that it seems like O’Reilly is unwilling to allow Brock on to defend MM, but he still goes on the radio and claims that nobody from MM will respond to him.

Media matters has been in trouble for manipulations over their relationship with Soros\SpecialReports\archive\200503\SPE20050303a.html

For people who listen to O’Reilly, what is his reason for avoiding David Brock? Does he not even mention the topic or does he write MM and Brock off as unwilling to come on his show or what?

What is the other side to this story? Is there another side? Does media matters have problems and manipulations of its own? From what I can tell if this is true then this issue makes O’Reilly more radical than Michael Savage.

It seems to me that O’Reilly is an organization that is idealogically biased. Yes, he is that over the top.

O’Reilly isn’t THAT hardcore “Conservative” compared to a lot other media-Righties, but I long ago decided he was too much the self-absorbed thin-skinned crank for my tastes.

The problem is O’Reilly always gives an impression that he is trustworthy, but MM claims he was the most untrustworthy right winger in 2004. And people don’t seem to know it.

Does anyone know more about O’Reilly’s public statements about Brock or media matters? The impression I’m getting is that O’Reilly smears media matters by comparing them to the KKK, Mao, Castro, the Nazis, etc, then claims they won’t come on his show, then he ignores Brock’s attempts to get on the O’Reilly factor. This makes Bill look like one of the biggest, most insecure psychopaths on TV as well as a very shrewd manipulator if this is true. So is there another side to this story?

I selected one claim from the “Top ten” at random to investigate it.

Media Matters characterizes the claim I investigated this way:

Clicking through on thier website to get the details of that claim reveal the following:

They then analyze these claims. The first paragraph of O’Reilly’s claim is responded to as follows:

Frankly, this does not - to me - qualify as a “phony stat”. They acknowledge that what O’Reilly said is correct. They argue that a better, more complete picture may be seen by including all federal tax - including the employer’s portion of Medicare and Social Security taxes as ‘paid’ by the taxpayer. I think the employers that actually have to pay those taxes might disagree with that calculation. In any event, it’s at best a different opinion of what figures best represent the claim being made – it’s not remotely a “phony stat.” O’Reilly said “federal income tax,” and his claim was absolutely correct.

The next paragraph of analysis says:

It’s unclear to me where Media Matters got their figures. Here is the instruction set for Form 1040. (Warning: PDF file) On page 77, the tax computation for earning in excess of $100,000 per year are as follows: if your taxable income is over $150,150 but not over $326,450, then multiply your taxable income by 33% (.33) to determine your tax.

New York State Tax (PDF file) fdor that income appears to be 6.85% (page 53).

New York City tax appears to be an additional $8907 + $3071, for a total of $11978 – an additional 5%.

So – 33% federal, 6.85 state, 5% city… 44.85, call it 45%. Not quite O’Reilly’s 48%, but not the Media Matters 40% either. And if we’re measuring the two, O’Reilly appears to be closer.

I’m frankly too busy to look up Boston and Los Angeles. And I welcome correction on the figures I posted; I did these back-of-an-envelope calcs very quickly. But if this is the standard Media Matters is applying to their analyses… then yes, I’d say there’s probably another side to the story.

Not in my opinion.

Actually, it says to multiply your taxable income by 33% and then subtract $13,001 from that amount to determine your tax. That brings the federal down to about 28%.

So assuming your state and local figures are correct, that makes 27% federal, 6.85% state, and 5% city… 39.85%, but let’s call it 40%, which is what Media Matters said it was.

Sorry, 28% federal… for a total of about 41%. Media Matters is still closer than O’Reilly.