Olbermann dares O’Reilly to sue NBC over Law & Order jab

By David Edwards and Daniel Tencer
Tuesday, December 15, 2009 11:38 EDT
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Ever since an episode of Law & Order: SVU stepped into partisan politics last week with a character’s declaration that right-wing news hosts like Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck “spread ignorance and hate,” the right-wing blogosphere and talk radio-sphere have been up in arms about the politicization of a prime-time staple.

“Limbaugh, Beck, O’Reilly — they are like a cancer spreading ignorance and hate,” says a character on the show, played by TV veteran John Larroquette. “And they’ve convinced folks that immigrants are the problem, not corporations that fail to pay a living wage, or a broken health care system.”

In his reaction, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly pulled no punches.

“That is simply defamatory, and [Law & Order producer] Dick Wolf is a coward for putting it out there,” O’Reilly said on his show. “He’s also a liar.”

On Countdown Monday night, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann ignored O’Reilly’s evident assertion that everything any character says on a TV show is a reflection of the producer’s personal beliefs, and instead dared the Fox News host to sue NBC.

“Well, sue,” Olbermann said. “Come on, tough guy. That’s defamatory and outrageous? Sue. … Or are you afraid you can’t prove that you don’t spread ignorance and hate?”

Olbermann then played a series of clips in which O’Reilly repeatedly referred to assassinated abortion doctor George Tiller as “Tiller the baby killer.”

“So if that isn’t Bill O’Reilly cancer-spreading ignorance and hate, and if you aren’t a coward, sue,” Olbermann quipped.

The news host ended the segment with a bit that echoed the famous preamble to Law & Order.

“In the right wing dominated media system, the people are represented by two separate but equally important groups: the right wing media who instigate crime, and the right wing media who prosecute the imaginary liberal media,” Olbermann quipped.

This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast Dec. 14, 2009.

Download video via RawReplay.com

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