My liberal friend John Gallagher may be softening a bit. He sent me the following.
O'Reilly is actually fair and balanced. At least for this one segment:
The Daily Howler
MR. O BATTLES THE SPIN: O'Reilly did have some problems last night, especially in his "Talking Points Memo." But if you watched him in two later segments, you saw him question basic elements of RNC spin about Berger. His first guest was National Review's Byron York. When York seemed to imply that Berger was trying to steal all the copies of a "scathing report," Mr. O brought down the hammer:
O'REILLY: OK, but-hey, Mr. York, here's the deal. The original report remains in the hands of the government. All Berger had access to was copies. So him taking copies out of that room doesn't really matter because this government still has the original stuff. So he can't divert attention from it. He can't cover it up.
York, who was also basically fair, seemed to accept Bill's statement. Mr. O summarized thusly:
O'REILLY: I want to stay away from the speculation. But even so, he's not going to cover up anything because the 9/11 Commission had access to all of the original documents. They were going to see what Berger saw, whether he took these copies out or not.
Obedient little RNC hacks know not to mention this fact. And Bill's debunking wasn't done. He did bring up that shaky "socks" imagery. But just that quickly, he semi-debunked it:
O'REILLY: Now the other thing is that in the New York Daily News-and I respect that paper, they carry my column; they're good reporters, aggressive-they say unnamed archive people saw Berger stuffing it in his underwear and socks. And my question in the "Talking Points" was well, if you saw that, you wouldn't get in today. You can't do that. It's against the law. Stop doing that. So that doesn't make too much sense.
Bill had been more coherent in his "Memo," saying the sock-stuffing story didn't make sense because staffers would have stopped Berger if they'd observed such conduct. That is, of course, a speculation itself. But Factor viewers saw two big hunks of RNC spin called into question.
So I take back everything bad I ever said about O'Reilly. Naw, he's still an asshole:
BV sez: I report, you decide.