MSNBC host Rachel Maddow struggled to keep her composure on Wednesday when recounting her show’s attempt to get a comment from Fox News regarding some of the questions surrounding Factor host Bill O’Reilly’s reporting.
“We asked them for comment on the substance of the allegations,” Maddow explained. “What they sent us was a lot of information about how great Bill O’Reilly’s ratings are.”
Upon saying that, she doubled over in laughter, before congratulating O’Reilly’s show for its performance.
“I’ve seen your rating shoot my ratings right in the head — well, I’ve seen pictures of that, I should say,” she quipped, drawing off-camera laughs from her crew, as well.
But regardless of how well O’Reilly is doing in the ratings, she argued, his network has a problem with the increasing number of documented discrepancies in his public statements.
Maddow’s show reached out to Fox on Wednesday regarding O’Reilly’s claim that he was about to interview a Florida man, George de Mohrenschildt, regarding his connection to Lee Harvey Oswald when de Mohrenschildt shot and killed himself.
However, O’Reilly’s account — which he stated on-air and recounted in his book Killing Kennedy — has been not only questioned by former colleagues, but seemingly debunked by a CNN report that included audio of O’Reilly making plans to go to Florida after hearing about de Mohrenschildt’s death from someone else.
“Mr. O’Reilly does not seem to have been standing on the porch listening to the gunshot ring out as the guy killed himself,” Maddow said. “Not unless the guy’s porch was long enough to extend from that house in Florida all the way into Texas, where Bill O’Reilly was working as a Dallas reporter.”
After aggressively defending himself by slamming Mother Jones’ David Corn for reporting on inconsistencies regarding his Falklands War reporting, Maddow noted, there has been a “pregnant pause” from both O’Reilly and Fox regarding the more recent allegations against him.
“The network has also not apologized or retracted any of Mr. O’Reilly’s overt threats to other reporters who have just covered this story about the real credibility that they have got with him right now.”