Stick And Stones
CBC - Fifth Estate - Broadcast - January 26, 2005


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The United States is in the midst of a very un-civil war. It's a war of words that's pitting conservative against liberal, that's already divided the country into red and blue. The new gladiators are commentators like Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter and their forum is the television studios of networks like Fox. It's loud, it's raucous, but does it have anything to do with the truth?


01/29/05 -- Toronto---Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly has lashed out at a CBC documentary featuring guests who were highly critical of his show.

"Vicious attack on Fox News by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, totally out of any kind of bounds," said O'Reilly in his response Friday night to the Fifth Estate broadcast on Jan. 26.

"How low will they go? We'll show you the tape and you won't believe it!" was another response found on the Fox News website.

The Fifth Estate's website says the documentary examines the "war of words that's pitting conservative against liberal."

"It's loud, it's raucous, but does it have anything to do with the truth?" the site asks about the new kind of hard-hitting political debate on U.S. television.

Journalists, media watchers and other talk show hosts in the documentary took aim at the O'Reilly Factor and show's relationship with the truth.

In turn, the host had two guests on his show who agreed with him about the CBC.

"The Canadian government gives them a billion dollars to put this sort of stuff on the air, and the Canadian government is really at fault here, isn't it?" O'Reilly said to one guest.

"You scare the hell out of them, Bill," the guest answered.

CBC refused an invitation to appear on O'Reilly's show Friday night, and O'Reilly refused to be interviewed for the Fifth Estate broadcast.

In the past, O'Reilly has called the CBC radically to the left, the Globe and Mail a "far-left newspaper," and Canadian health care "socialist."

He and his conservative colleagues say they're doing journalism that is fair and balanced.

The Fox News Channel is the highest-rated news network in the United States. In mid-December, Rogers Communications announced it had added Fox to its all-digital channel lineup, becoming the first in Canada to do so.

Copyright (C) 2004 CBC. All rights reserved.


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