Fox News' Bill O'Reilly launched a rather scathing attack on MSNBC in a recent interview, saying the rival network does not deal in "facts."
O'Reilly was speaking to Multichannel News to mark Fox News' 10 years at the top of the cable news ratings pile. (O'Reilly has also had the top cable news show for nearly 11 years.) He said that the main difference between his network and the others was "presentation." He said that MSNBC had a "very strong leftwing, partisan approach," and that CNN was "traditional" but with a liberal "culture."
Then, O'Reilly unloaded on MSNBC.
"I think that as far as the facts are concerned, there's not much difference between CNN and Fox," he said. "And MSNBC doesn't really deal in facts...I'm not saying that disparagingly; they just don't do it. They don't have a Shephard Smith broadcast, they don't have a Bret Baier broadcast, they don't have news blocks throughout the day. And they don't have correspondents of their own: they borrow NBC's correspondents. They're really not in business to give you any facts."
MSNBC personalities would, of course, dispute this idea. The network does have three hours of straight news programming during the day, though there is no primetime news program akin to "Special Report." And MSNBC figures such as Rachel Maddow say that the difference between their network and Fox News is that the latter is, in Maddow's words, "run as a political operation" to benefit Republicans.
O'Reilly gave a more restrained answer when he spoke about Anderson Cooper and Ed Schultz, his time-slot rivals.
"Cooper is a professional," he said. "He's a different personality than I am; he's not a hot personality. He's certainly skilled in what he does and we respect him...Schultz is an ideologue and he is successful on the radio. As long he doesn't use personal attacks, we have no problem with him."