If you ever wanted to see what propaganda look like, here it is, in three easy steps:
Step 1: Republican Senator Tom Coburn dismisses Fox New charges that people who don’t buy health insurance will go to jail, saying “The intention is not to put anybody in jail. That makes for good TV news on FOX but that isn’t the intention.”
Step 2: Bill O’Reilly puts Coburn on his show and challenges Coburn to name a single person on Fox News who ever said that. O’Reilly claims “We researched to find out if anybody on Fox News had ever said you’re going to jail if you don’t buy health insurance. Nobody’s ever said it.”
Step 3: Huffington Post puts together a video of Fox News saying people will go to jail if they don’t buy health insurance — over and over and over again (including on O’Reilly’s own show):
Bonus step: The next day, O’Reilly laughs at how he put Coburn in his place, saying Coburn “didn’t really have his facts in line”.
Bottom line? O’Reilly and Fox News have completely forgotten how to tell the truth, even when it is staring them in the face. They are like a little kid, yelling they didn’t do something when everyone saw them do it. And if you dare to point out that they did do it, Fox will try to bully you in public and make fun of you, like they did to Coburn.
A comment in Time Magazine asks the obvious question. Having been caught in a bald-faced lie, “what actual consequences will Bill O’Reilly face as a result of his blatant dishonesty? I’m not being rhetorical, I really want to know what cost is involved in spreading obvious lies.” Unfortunately, the answer is probably none. No wonder our nation is so screwed up.
UPDATE: PolitiFact gave O’Reilly a well deserved “Pants on Fire” for this whopper.