Bill O'Reilly | FOX News | Martin Luther King, Jr. | Video

O'Reilly Admits He Was Wrong About No GOP Speakers Being Invited To MLK Celebration: VIDEO


As the news station that is #1 in misinformation, Fox News being wrong about something is de riguer. What is less expected is when they admit to it. The other night, Bill O'Reilly claimed on his show in a discussion with James Carville that no GOP speakers had been invited to the celebration earlier this week of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. However, prominent members of the Republican party had been invited to speak and attend, including John McCain, Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and former president George W. Bush, who all decllined, though Bush was admittedly still recovering from heart surgery. Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele even slammed his own party for providing no speakers for the event. 

Normally, Fox News just doubles down on any claims that they make, dismissing any and all evidence to the contrary. O'Reilly broke from this MO with a mea culpa on his show late Thursday, saying,

I said there were no Republican speakers invited. Wrong. It was wrong. Some Republicans were asked to speak, they declined, and that was a mistake. [...] Now, the mistake? Entirely on me. I simply assumed since all the speakers were Democrats, Republicans were excluded.

O'Reilly is the most reasonable voice on Fox News in the way that, as Jon Stewart once quipped, "Is like being the thinnest kid at fat camp." Still, an explicit admission of fault is something to be respected in and of itself, particularly from a station and personality that prefer to pretend that they are flawless.

You can watch O'Reilly's admission AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Good for him. I hope (but don't expect) that it starts a long-overdue trend.

    Posted by: Lymis | Aug 31, 2013 8:06:34 AM

  2. Good for him, I agree! By no means do I agree with everything (or most of what) he says, but -- especially after observing John Stewart's close friendship with him, and the respect they obviously have for each other -- my respect for him has increased, as well.

    Posted by: Jack | Aug 31, 2013 8:37:55 AM

  3. Now, if only we can get hosts on MSNBC, CNN, NPR, etc., to admit when they are wrong or made a mistake.

    'Progressives' loath and fixate on Fox News because even though their social ideology rules at other media outlets, and was all powerful and completely dominate throughout the 70s, 80s, 90s, until the internet revolution, cable tv's 500 channels, and the demise or lessening of influence of tradition media outlets like newspapers an magazines, they can't effectively compete, especially ratings-wise, with one cable station: Fox news. Extrapolate from that to the fact the vast majority of Americans don't self identify as 'liberal' or 'progressive', and that tells you the complete 'progressive' narrative doesn't resonate too well with the vast majority of Americans. The 'progressive' brand is badly tarnished in the eyes of most people because of it's association with a handful of fringe mostly social policies.

    O'Reilly's show is not a nightly news program. It's an opinion show, his opinion. He admitted he made a mistake. Good for him.


    Fox like every other big mainstream media outlet is $ driven. So-called conservative angles seem to bring in far more audience vs 'progressive', which translate into $. Neither so-called conservative nor 'progressive' mainstream media sources on TV/cable really tell you the full story on many stories because they are heavily influenced [controlled] by big special interests groups [private and public], especially big corporate and government interests. They do this through creating and oligarchy industry and through advertising $.

    These industry and corporate interests also of course control politicians. Who was most responsible for financing Obama's campaigns? Big pharmaceuticals like Baxter, etc., Their reward is ObamaCare and the HEAVY push from various government agencies for the use of 'medications' [drugs] and even vaccinations such as the yearly flu.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 31, 2013 8:40:03 AM

  4. Rachel Madddow regularly corrects her mistakes, anything even close to a misrepresentation.

    Posted by: melvin | Aug 31, 2013 8:57:13 AM

  5. I'm glad to hear that,Melvin. I wouldn't know because I stopped watching ALL of these shows a while ago.

    Never-the-less, why are her ratings p*ss poor vs O'Reilly or even that used car salesman, Hannity?

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 31, 2013 9:03:12 AM

  6. My thoughts on TV ratings. I think most open-minded liberal-thinking people are not watching TV all day and on their days off. They are off enjoying life doing their things. The straight, white, Neanderthal GOPers like to be couch potatoes and poke fun at smart people while watching idiots like O'Reilly. Just my thoughts.

    Posted by: Peter | Aug 31, 2013 9:15:25 AM

  7. I think O'Reilly should apologize to the organizers of the MLK celebration for presuming that they would be so motivated by partisan politics so as not to want any Republicans speaking.

    Posted by: MichaelJ | Aug 31, 2013 9:26:46 AM

  8. Good for him? Are you guys NUTS..?

    He said "Some republicans were invited..."

    Here are those 'Some'

    John McCain, Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor.


    That's not 'Some'. That's THE GUYS in the republican party.

    Those of you who wrote "Good for Him", You are intellectually dishonet, and still are shilling trolls for LCR and the mindless GOP you bow down to.

    How about askng for 'Some' real honesty from your party? Think you can focus on THAT for a change?


    Posted by: Holder | Aug 31, 2013 9:58:47 AM

  9. RatBastard, I have heard more apologies (including Ed Shultz's dead serious one for going too far for mocking Laura Ingraham, where he apologized to both her and the viewers) and corrections (Rachel Maddow's range from cute and funny when she mispronounces something terribly, to self-effacing or draws a false conclusion, to downright penitent when she gets a major fact wrong...if an aspersion was cast against a specific person, she apologizes to them direftly on air). Its a personal big deal with her when she gets something wrong for whatever reason and while its not as prevalent, I can remember apologies or corrections (often on matters other networks would have let slide) from Kornacki, Hayes, Ball, Roberts, Mitchell, and Scarborough just off the top of my head over the past few years. I legitimately credit O'Reilly here but that does not take away from the fact that MSNBC makes corrections a part of their culture so that when a journalist or commentator apologizes it isn't seen as a newsworthy event.

    Posted by: BreckRoy | Aug 31, 2013 10:52:36 AM

  10. His apology is at the same time an casual admission of bias and fabrication in his "reporting.". Someone who reports his personal assumptions as facts ("I simply assumed since all the speakers were Democrats, Republicans were excluded") poses a real danger to this country, and certainly this is not the first time O'Reilly has done so, as this casual admission seems more like a description of his personal character.

    Posted by: Patrick | Aug 31, 2013 11:33:13 AM

  11. @ BRECKROY,

    I stand corrected. I don't watch any of these shows on a regular basis. I'm glad everyone is apologizing.

    How come O'Reilly's competitors all do so poorly with their ratings? How come Ed Schultz and Rachel can't cut it when up against Fox? How come so few watch PBS? DISCLAIMER: I'm not saying their programming all s*cks, not at all. But very few people relatively speaking buy into much of the 'progressive' narrative. I can't think of a single 'progressive' TV or radio host that really is capable of competing with so-called conservative hosts. They all fall flat on their face, and garner fairly dismal ratings.The only thing true believer and shill 'progressives' do as well as if not better than faux so-called conservatives is online trolling, baiting, and sock-puppetry.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 31, 2013 11:39:19 AM

  12. Sorry to be this guy but it's 'de rigueur' from the French expression.

    Posted by: oakpope | Aug 31, 2013 11:56:29 AM

  13. I'm with Peter... i podcast Rachel, have been since she was on Air America... I'm too busy to watch television, but I know a lot of my relatives who are conservatives and tea-partiers are too scared to leave their homes because they buy into the fear-mongering put over by the Fox News commentators... They sit in all day and feed their fear and that particular world-view.

    Posted by: jcloud | Aug 31, 2013 12:22:37 PM

  14. @RATBASTARD, Fox News didn't exist in the 70s. The Fox network didn't even exist until the early 80s.

    Posted by: Palmer | Aug 31, 2013 1:10:11 PM

  15. While mere mouthpieces, Megan Kelly and Shepard Smith would I think correct misstatements on the air, and probably be more upfront than BO.

    The main problem occurs not when factually incorrect, the main problem is when they reach the wrong conclusions or miss the point entirely. Another fallacy is ignoring/evading a key point or issue. However, these fallacies are common in journalism all over.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 31, 2013 1:32:20 PM

  16. you show me a fox news viewer/defender and i'll show you a complete idiot who'd do the world a big favour by getting kicked between the legs so they cannot breed.

    it's a non-news network for non-cognitive bigots and only a complete ignoramus would say otherwise.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Aug 31, 2013 2:08:08 PM

  17. FOX viewers skew old, so they're plentiful yet not that valuable to advertisers. Old, angry right wingers are much more apt to be watching TV and getting their news from a show that slants their way than left wingers, who are more apt to get it from multiple sources on the Internet.

    Plus, FOX hosts like O'Reilly deliberately try to provoke and inflame no matter how stupid the content. Often they create content specifically for the ratings. Ratings and salary are basically Bill's only interest. MSNBC hosts like Maddow and Hayes are too smart and policy-wonk-y to just go after provocation. They're political junkies and pure politics is boring to a lot of people, even progressives. So the difference in ratings isn't surprising. Lowest common denominator wins. Doesn't necessarily translate to votes, though, as the last election showed (and people like Hannity's ratings sucked during the election).

    As for O'Reilly, he'll be spouting fact-less blather again in five seconds. His apologies are as shallow as everything else he does. Maddow apologizes whenever she makes a mistake because, unlike Mr. Falafel, she cares about being smart and factual, even if her interpretation of those facts is debatable to those who don't share her politics.

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 31, 2013 4:26:52 PM

  18. I'm unclear as to what the root motivation here is. Is FOX trying to tone things down, however minutely? Does O'Reilly have a conscience in there somewhere?

    Posted by: Jerry | Aug 31, 2013 8:47:03 PM

  19. Love that Fox "News" doesn't seem to have the budget for any fact checking.

    Posted by: David R. | Sep 1, 2013 12:14:38 AM

  20. Why does anyone pay any attention to ANYTHING O'Reilly says or thinks?

    Posted by: Jerry6 | Sep 1, 2013 10:23:14 PM

  21. Ah, yes. One of the first rules of journalism, Billy...if your mother says she loves you, check it out. Oh, and this gem...what happens when you assume? You make an "ass" out of "u" and "me". Well, only you are the ass. Time and time again. At least you do not disappoint, as I can always rely on the fact that you ignore inconvenient facts.

    Posted by: millerbeach | Sep 2, 2013 5:17:59 AM

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