Wednesday on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” host Bill O’Reilly argued that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was justified in airing his gripes with the national media.
O’Reilly used his “Talking Points Memo” opening segment to make the case the media had unfairly targeted him with questions about his benefit to raise money for veterans last January and the timeline of how the donations are handled.
Partial transcript as follows:
Yesterday, Mr. Trump slammed the national media Tuesday for questioning his donations to veterans. The issue stem from a benefit Mr. Trump held last January where he said he raised $6 million to help vets in need.
A report by the Washington Post questioned whether the money had been distributed in a timely manner. So in a press conference Mr. Trump laid out what his organization did, citing names of organizations and amounts of money donated. Then Mr. Trump lashed the press, something he does frequently.
Today the Associated Press now reports that some of Mr. Trump’s donations were just recently distributed, including his own $1-million dollar check. That’s legitimate. I did the same thing after the 9/11 telethon, which was held to benefit families devastated by the al-Qaeda attack.
I simply wanted them to push the United Way and other charities for full disclosure, very similar to the Trump situation. It isn’t the reporting on the donations that’s wrong, it’s the insinuation that Trump is a fraud. Now, the national press should push Trump and others to fulfill their obligations quickly and efficiently, but that’s it. You don’t cast aspersions and that’s what Trump was objecting to. To be clear, Mr. Trump should have defined the issue sooner and he should release his tax returns as ‘Talking Points’ has stated. However, he is correct when he slams the national press for constantly trying to vilify him, playing the ‘gotcha’ game. I personally can feel Trump’s pain because the national press does the same thing to me.
‘The Factor’ is attacked over and over, as am I, on a variety of bogus charges. It’s been going on for 20 years. It’s wrong and corrupt. The only reason the national press despises this program is ideology. We are the most successful cable news opinion show of all time. We invented the prime time opinion genre and we are fair and responsible here. You hear all side. But the press looks for any reason to denigrate us. So I understand what Trump is going through, but I also know that he sometimes gets testy when legitimate reports surface that he doesn’t like. Donald Trump wants to be president so he will be scrutinized. That’s the way it should be in a free society. However, skepticism should not be accusation and often it is.
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