One of the first details to come out about Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes, that he was connected to the Tea Party, turned out to be inaccurate. Bill O’Reilly and Bernard Goldberg criticized ABC”s Brian Ross for his irresponsible reporting, and ended up clashing with each other over whether someone’s connection to a politically-active group would be relevant in a case like this.
O’Reilly first brought up President Obama‘s recent swipes at Fox News on the campaign trail. Goldberg said that Obama’s just “tak[ing] a shot at an easy target,” and the only reason he’s calling out the channel is because it has focused more on stories like Solyndra and the Fast & Furious scandal than other networks. O’Reilly added that Obama just doesn’t take criticism well.
Then O’Reilly shifted to Ross’ erroneous report. He and Goldberg agreed that Ross is generally an excellent reporter, but making the claim on TV that Holmes was a Tea Partier was irresponsible. Goldberg said that ABC’s first mistake was “bringing the tea party into this at all,” suggesting that even if Holmes was, in fact, connected to the tea party, it should not matter.
O’Reilly actually challenged Goldberg on this point, arguing that if someone involved with MoveOn.org committed a similar massacre, their political affiliation “would become a huge story.” Goldberg disputed O’Reilly’s assessment.
“If he had said before he’d opened fire ‘I’m sick and tired of government intruding in my life,’ then it might have been relevant… The reason they do it is because they don’t like tea party people.”
O’Reilly said that Ross doesn’t have “an axe against the tea party,” he was just looking for a headline.
Watch the video below, courtesy of Fox News:
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