Bill O’Reilly Lies About Health Care

Last week a Republican did the unthinkable – he criticized Faux News.

Senator Tom Coburn was promptly called on the carpet by Bill O’Reilly – where O’Reilly used his favorite technique…

Climing his “researchers” searched the archives of Faux News for the statement in question…

And couldn’t find it. This typically puts the interviewee on the defensive, as few people can call off the top of their head exactly when and where they saw a simgle comment on TV.

O’Reilly lied – in what has become a pattern for him -

Jail Time for Insurance Evaders? Yes, Said Fox News

…Then, last night Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly raked Coburn over the coals for his comment about the network. O’Reilly said no one had ever appeared on Fox News and told viewers they would go to jail if they didn’t buy health insurance. “We researched on Fox News if anybody had ever said you’re going to jail if you don’t buy health insurance. Nobody’s ever said it.”

Like Coburn, I was pretty sure I’d heard exactly this assertion numerous times on Fox News, so I did a quick search of their transcripts. Here’s what I found (emphasis mine):

YOUR WORLD WITH NEIL CAVUTO, November 13, 2009

REP. DAVE REICHERT (R), WASHINGTON: Well, you know, what I`m worried about is that we continue on with this — this whole idea that we’re going to pay for this bill by taxing people. So, now we’re going to tax their health insurance plans. On the House side, we have already passed a bill that taxes families, taxes small businesses, taxes medical devices for seniors and our special-needs community. And then we are also going to fine people and send them to jail. So, the bill just keeps getting worse and worse and worse. Every day that goes by…

CAVUTO: I understand, Congressman. Continue reading

Seeing the Handwriting – Republican Blasts Faux News

This isn’t about Faux versus the Democrats…

It’s about who actually controls the Republican Party.

Nancy Pelosi

Tom Coburn Knocks Fox News, Says Nancy Pelosi is a “Nice Person”

Sen. Tom Coburn, a staunch conservative from Oklahoma, is doing what seems almost unthinkable in this polarized political climate: Defending his Democratic colleagues from critics at Fox News.

At a town hall meeting, Coburn suggested that a woman who said “they can put us in prison” for not obtaining health insurance under the health care reform bill is misinformed.

“The intention is not to put anybody in jail,” he said. “That makes for good TV news on Fox but that isn’t the intention.”

He also defended House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the architect of the House version of the health care legislation that he fiercely opposed.

“I’m 180 degrees in opposition to the speaker — she’s a nice lady,” he said. The crowd could be heard responding unfavorably to his characterization.

“Come on now, she is a nice — how many of you all have met her?” continued Coburn. “She’s a nice person. She’s a nice person.”

“Just because somebody disagrees with you doesn’t mean they’re not a good person,” he added. He then discussed his own experience of being vilified before asking the crowd not to  “catch yourself being biased by Fox News that somebody’s no good.”

“The people in Washington are good,” he said. “They just don’t know what they don’t know.”

Coburn’s comments were recorded by radio station KGOU and reported by Capitol News Connection, where audio clips are posted.

The senator urged his audience to “stay informed on the issues” and not “just watch Fox News or CNN — watch ‘em both.” He said he reads the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal every day to “get a perspective” and “know what other people’s thoughts are — not just what I hear through a pipe channel.”

“I do a lot of reading every day, and I’m disturbed that we get things like what this lady said and what others have said on other issues, that are so disconnected to what I know to be the facts,” he said. “And that comes from somebody that has an agenda that’s other than the best interests of our country.”

It’s rare (and perhaps something of a risk) for a Republican lawmaker to criticize Fox News, whose hosts are generally supportive of the GOP agenda and can be a powerful force with grassroots Republicans. Coburn’s comments cut against the suggestion by some Democrats that Republican lawmakers have been inflaming sentiment against them — and could be putting them at risk of violence.

Coburn has been in the news recently for blocking a stopgap bill to provide jobless benefits because it is not paid for; he also participated in the flood of amendments to the health care reconciliation bill designed to slow passage by offering an amendment mandating no Viagra for sex offenders.

But Coburn, a doctor, was also an active participant at the bipartisan health care summit, where he addressed cost containment and made what President Obama called “some powerful points.”

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