Perhaps Bill O’Reilly is worried that al-Jazeera upstaged his own network in covering the uprising in Egypt.
As Americans flocked to the Middle East-based news network (or at least its website) in unprecedented numbers, and many praised the network for giving the Arab world a source of news not controlled by governments, the Fox News host went on a rant against the channel, arguing it’s anti-Semitic and anti-American — and therefore a hero of the American “far left.”
On his show Tuesday night, O’Reilly said the network “contributed to the rise in anger in the Arab world” and “makes a living blaming most problems in the Middle East on the USA and Israel.”
O’Reilly gave several examples to back up his claim, including the broadcasting of a live speech by a Hezbollah member and an interview with a person who claimed the US military had tried to use witchcraft on detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
That angered Fox contributor Alan Colmes, a progressive voice on the news network, who argued that the views of guests on al-Jazeera shouldn’t be confused with the views of the network itself. Colmes argued the talking point many have been making in praising al-Jazeera, saying the network has become an important source of information in Middle Eastern countries where most TV news is controlled by autocratic dictators.
“You should support a populist network, freedom of the press that gives the information to the Arabic countries that they don’t get from their own governments,” Colmes told O’Reilly.
But Fox contributor Monica Crowley rejected that argument, calling al-Jazeera a “propaganda outfit for the autocrats who sit on the sands of the Middle East.”
Colmes grew visibly angry when Crowley later suggested that the US “far left” like al-Jazeera because they share an “anti-American” view.
“Who are you calling anti-American? I’m so tired of people calling people on my side anti-American,” Colmes said.
The following video was broadcast on Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, Feb. 1, 2011, and uploaded to the web by Mediaite.