Don’t Quote Me: O’Reilly’s Fear Factor

“In Tennessee, authorities say a lesbian gang called GTO, Gays Taking Over, are involved in raping young girls. And in Philadelphia, a lesbian gang called DTO, Dykes Taking Over, are allegedly terrorizing people, as well…”

— Bill O’Reilly, introducing a segment of the June 21, 2007 broadcast of The O’Reilly Factor called “Violent Lesbian Gangs a Growing Problem.”

The sky is falling.

Really, it is. Bill O’Reilly says so almost every night on The O’Reilly Factor, so it must be true.

Young or old, according to Bill, we’re all on a fast track to doom. If Islamic terrorists don’t blow us up, we’ll be brainwashed by evil secular progressives or, worse, as Bill recently reported with the help of Fox News analyst Rod Wheeler, our children will be raped by lesbian gangs carrying pink Glocks.

The sky is falling; close your legs.

Bill O’Reilly is Fox News’ No. 1 trumpeter of disaster. Not since Chicken Little have we seen a character so focused on generating hysteria without cause — and so successful at it.

Approximately 3 million people tune into The O’Reilly Factor each night for the day’s news and, more importantly, their daily dose of terror.

Bwaa-a-a-ahhhh!

One night, when I have nothing better to do, I’ll tune into his show, not just to witness Bill overstepping the bounds of reason, truth and journalistic ethics, but also to count the times he says “terror,” “terrorize,” “terrorists,” “evil,” “harmful,” “harm’s way,” “chilling,” “un-American,” “they want to kill us” and “they hate us.” I’ll also take a toll of the number of times Bill says “I’ll go after them!” and “We’ll put a stop to [fill in the blank].” My pen won’t leave the paper, no doubt.

But while it’s clear to some (like myself) that O’Reilly’s methods of seduction are obviously calculated to reach viewers at a core, subconscious level, Bill’s fans don’t see that they’re being manipulated. And therein lies the not-so-secret secret of O’Reilly’s popularity.

There’s something hypnotic about Bill’s language and speech patterns — his pacing, repetition, inflection, sense of urgency and confidence in impending disaster are mesmerizing. When he says, “you know what I’m talking about,” “decent Americans know I’m right,” or “clear thinking people understand,” it’s as if he’s swinging a pocket watch in the lens of camera and saying, “When I count to three, you will cluck like a chicken!” To the tune of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” of course.

But Bill’s best skill just might be convincing people that not only does evil lurk around every corner, but also that he’s the patron saint of media — the only journalist smart enough, experienced enough and trustworthy enough to be “looking out for you.” And that self-sanctification is key to his act.

O’Reilly can’t tell viewers that they’re going to hell in Hillary Clinton’s handbasket or at the end of an angry lesbian’s pink pistol without also throwing them beads of hope — assurances that he can make it all better if you just believe in him. If he didn’t offer them freedom from the harm that he claims is everywhere, Fox’s slogan would be, “We Report; You Die.” And who’d tune in for that?

So in his aggressive efforts to appear “fair and balanced,” Bill also has to be right — even after it’s been proved that he’s wrong.

O’Reilly’s interview with Rod Wheeler in the now infamous recent O’Reilly Factor segment called “Violent Lesbian Gangs a Growing Problem” would have earned him a failing grade at any respectable journalism school in the country. We know this because Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report wasted no time in detailing all that was unethical and flat-out wrong with the segment.

Here’s a synopsis of the Report‘s findings:

• Bill began his report saying: “29-year-old Wayne Buckle was attacked by a lesbian gang here in New York City last August. Four of the women received prison sentences.” The truth is, there is no evidence that the women are members of a criminal gang, and O’Reilly failed to report that the attack was prompted by Buckle spitting, cursing and flicking a cigarette at the women after one of them rebuffed his sidewalk sexual advances.

• Wheeler asserted that in the Washington, D.C., area alone there are more than 150 lesbian gangs. But Detective Patrick Word, president of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Gang Investigators Network, an intelligence-sharing organization of 400 criminal justice professionals in the D.C. area, told the SPLC, “Our membership reports only one lesbian gang.”

• O’Reilly’s assertion in the introduction to Wheeler’s interview that a lesbian gang in Philadelphia called Dykes Taking Over is “terrorizing people” was based on only one source: WCAU-TV, an NBC affiliate in that city. The station reported back in 2004 that a small group of eighth-grade girls at a local middle school were allegedly “bullying, groping and harassing” other girls in gym class with “gay remarks.” The report made no mention of the eighth-graders using pink pistols or other weapons.

• O’Reilly’s assertion that a Tennessee lesbian gang called Gays Taking Over is “involved in raping young girls” was based solely on a Feb. 28 (sweeps-week) television report called “Violent Femmes” from WPTY-TV, an ABC affiliate in Memphis. The report featured dramatic re-enactments (shot in grainy black-and-white footage) of high school bathroom rape scenes. Under pressure from local gay and lesbian activists, the station manager admitted that reporters had neither independently verified the claims nor obtained any documentary evidence to substantiate them.

• Wheeler asserted that some of the lesbian gangs “carry pink pistols” and call themselves “the pink pistol-packing group.” But there have been no media reports at all of lesbian gangs committing violence while armed with pink-painted 9 mm pistols.

Both O’Reilly’s and Wheeler’s statements were so highly and widely criticized (and laughed at), that Bill had to admit that he blew it.

Scratch that. He had to admit that someone blew it.

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