By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Bill O’Reilly and “shut up”

In a letter to the Phoenix, Rich Goggin of Peabody says I was wrong to claim, as I did in the recent Muzzle Awards, that Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly “loves nothing more than to tell his guests to ‘shut up.'” Goggin instructs me thusly: “Except O’Reilly only did that once, seven years ago.”

Really. Now, I’m going to make an assumption, but I’m pretty sure the source of Goggin’s misinformation is O’Reilly himself. O’Reilly’s claim was included in Robert Greenwald’s documentary “OutFoxed.” It is followed by a hilarious stream of O’Reilly telling both guests and non-guests alike, over and over, to “shut up.” Here is the clip:

As Ronald Reagan once said, facts are stupid things. And if that’s not enough for you, Mr. Goggin, Jack Shafer of Slate wrote way back in 2003, “Bill O’Reilly says ‘shut up’ the way other people say ‘um.'” He follows that with one, two, three … OK, make that 30 examples.

I posted a comment to Goggin’s letter, but it doesn’t seem to have taken yet. I don’t know if he’s a Media Nation reader, but perhaps someone will send him this way. Meanwhile, my advice for him is to shut up.

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  1. Anonymous

    If you really want to shut someone up, ask a member of our “progressive” congressional delegation if they now take responsibility for the “90% federal funding” for the Big Dig that turned into 27%. (Cue crickets). So much for “clout”.

  2. Anonymous

    OK…let’s nbe fair here….How many times did he say to a guest on his show “Shut Up”.Many of these were not on the show..and many of these were in commentary/memos…not telling a guest to shut up.You liberals are looking for anything you can try to make into a mountain.

  3. mike_b1

    Hey anon 4:15, under the George Bush Administration, the average American household’s net worth has dropped 28%. It’s the first negative showing since Hoover (another Republican).Is that mountain enough for you?

  4. Anonymous

    Reagan actually said, “Facts are stubborn things.” It was the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans.

  5. Rick

    I see one example of him telling a guest on his show to “shut up” Big deal.

  6. Dan Kennedy

    Anon 5:35: No. You’re wrong. Look it up.

  7. Bill Toscano

    You are better than “Shut up,” Dan.There’s a reason I read you and do not listen to O’Reilly.

  8. O-FISH-L

    Dan, what’s with the obsession with Fox News lately? You’d think Roger Ailes was trying to build a casino in Middleboro or something.

  9. Anonymous

    Bill O’reilly is a dissenting opinion,It should not be tolerated.

  10. fancy pants liberal elitist

    I regularly watch O’Reilly because it’s about the best entertainment posing as facts on Fox and I’m generally left shaking my head that some actually believe what he says, his facts checking aside. But his ‘shut up’ comments being denied?? Maybe if you listen to him long enough, you simply don’t hear it.

  11. Bellicose Bumpkin

    Come on Dan – O’Reilly would never say shut up or other uncouth things

  12. Anonymous

    Who writes a letter to the Pheonnix unless they’re hiring an escort?

  13. Marc Larocque

    Anon 4:15, that Jeremy Glick interview was the most disturbing piece of so-called journalism I have EVER seen. O’Reilly denigrates and belittles the son of a 9/11 victim.

  14. Stewart/Colbert for President

    I don’t get why people watch O’Reilly. If you want lies and half-truths slathered with bluster and obnoxiousness, why not watch The Colbert Report and get a good laugh out of it in the process, ya know?

  15. Larz

    The best “shut up” all of us could do would be about him. Every mention of him builds his cache.— Larz

  16. Anonymous

    Dan–Anon 5:35 here again.Here is a link to a transcript of Reagan’s 1988 speech to the Republican National Convention in New Orleans: also saw the “stupid things” reference you made. He botched his own quote of a John Adams quote, but that was in 1992 in Houston.

  17. Anonymous

    Whoops, Dan.I stand corrected. You were right.It was 1988 and the transcript has both stupid and stubborn in the same place.Anon 5:35.

  18. Anonymous

    I think it was NU’s Robert Cord who explained that ignorant speech surves a societal purpose by quickly moving discussion in the opposite direction. That makes O’Reilly an American Hero.

  19. io saturnalia!

    More disappointing than O’Reilly, however (since he’s been losing it for years, really), is “Countdown,” which, in this election year, has transformed from a refreshing left-leaning show that still focuses on news to an all-out, bending-over-backwards, pro-Obama vehicle. Obama caved on FISA? Oh, it must be because he plans to prosecute the telecoms once he’s sworn in.The New Yorker’s satirical cover? Don’t they know it’s a cartoonist’s responsibility to make sure the dumbest people in America (aka “low-information voters” in the parlance of patronization) don’t have any ammunition to bolster their theories of Obama’s pro-Islam agenda?Hillary Clinton encouraged an assassination attempt by pointing out the tragic facts of 1968, and had no business competing until the end of the primary season?”Countdown” and Olbermann are rapidly losing their credibility in their attempt to ensure an Obama victory in November. Hope the one-term senator is worth it.

  20. Aunt Nancy

    Everything would be okay if Reagan were still alive.

  21. Anonymous

    **Hey anon 4:15, under the George Bush Administration,**And what does that have to do with Bill O”Reilly telling people to shut up?

  22. Anonymous

    **”Countdown,” which, in this election year, has transformed from a refreshing left-leaning show that still focuses on news to an all-out, bending-over-backwards, pro-Obama vehicle.**What’s funny is those that criticize O’Reilly’s show think it’s great that Olbermann has turned into a mirror image of him. If O’Reilley’s a nutjob on the right……Olbermann is a nutjob on the left mocking peoples voices, etc.What’s even more amusing are media critics who can’t see this.

  23. Anonymous

    Tonight Olberman was lamenting about how Fox news is “bias”…seeming oblivious to the fact that his program is a 1 hour commercial for Obama.

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