O’Reilly Claims He Had ‘No Analysis on Assad at All’ But in 2013 He Did


Bill O’Reilly and Fox contributor Kirsten Powers had a pretty heated back-and-forth tonight about what America needs to do now in Syria to combat ISIS. Powers wasn’t on board with what O’Reilly and Monica Crowley were saying, and brought up how people were saying back in 2013 that the U.S. needs to step in to take out Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

And then there was this exchange:

POWERS: You need to admit you were wrong about saying that we needed to overthrow Assad and…

O’REILLY: I didn’t say anything about Assad! I had no analysis on Assad at all!

POWERS: You have never said anything about Assad?


POWERS: I find that very hard to believe.

O’REILLY: Well, then, you need to go back and check. I didn’t care about Assad one way or the other.

POWERS: This was the talking point, we have to get rid of Assad, never mind the fact that ISIS is the enemy of Assad.

O’REILLY: You’re bringing up stuff that wasn’t dealt with here.

Now, whenever someone on TV says “go back and check,” people who cover TV instantly perk up. And O’Reilly did, in at least three separate Talking Points Memos two years ago, share his analysis on Assad, whom he referred to as a “tyrant” that the United States needs to stop.

Back in late 2013, there was a huge national debate about intervention in Syria when Assad used chemical weapons against his own people, in defiance of a “red line” set by President Obama.

On August 27th, 2013, O’Reilly opened his Talking Points Memo by referring to Assad as a “war criminal, a mass murderer, and a baby killer” and there’s “no question that Assad must be held accountable.”

“If you believe in American exceptionalism,” O’Reilly said, “the USA must act against Assad as it did against Saddam Hussein.”

O’Reilly also said this:

“We all understand the situation inside Syria is chaotic with jihadists involved, but if America wants to be a world leader, we cannot allow a tyrant to violate international law by using chemical weapons. If Assad gets away with that, the world will devolve into a destructive free-fire zone, where anything goes.”

Video of that segment here:

And then, on September 3rd, 2013, O’Reilly said America still has a “responsibility to stop mass murder when we can.” He again called Assad a war criminal and said, “If the USA can punish Assad, we should. But we have to be smart about it. We can’t direct his overthrow.”

“If the USA fails to act against Assad,” he said at the time, “the unintended consequence would be a loss of respect from those who care about a just world.”

O’Reilly concluded, “America needs to do what is right. We should use our power to protect the innocent if we can.”

Video of that segment here:

And lastly, on September 9th, 2013, O’Reilly started off his Talking Points Memo by saying of Assad, “This man is a killer.” And he bemoaned how Assad may get away with it because of a lack of global action against him.

He again warned about the consequence of terrorists being emboldened by American inaction, called lack of action “another great win for the war criminals,” and said this:

“This happened once before in the 1930s, and now it’s happening again. Syria is much more than poison gas and Bashar Assad. It is about the struggle for decency and justice in this world.”

Video of that segment here:

And, just as a reminder, tonight O’Reilly told Powers “I didn’t say anything about Assad! I had no analysis on Assad at all!” and “Go back and check. I didn’t care about Assad one way or the other.”

You can watch that video below, via Fox News:

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: josh@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac