Columns By Cindy Rodriquez Prompt Heated Response From Talk Show Host
1:38 AM, Oct 28, 2005
Denver Post Columnist Cindy Rodriguez and TV talk show host Bill O'Reilly have become embroiled in a dispute over illegal aliens, with each claiming the other is spinning the story.Rodriguez calls O'Reilly, host of "The O'Reilly Factor" program on Fox News, "one of the biggest bullies I know."O'Reilly claimed that Rodriguez "goes on to parrot a bunch of far-left garbage fed to her by extremist Web sites, misstating facts, taking quotes out of context."His reaction was to a Tuesday column by Rodriguez titled "Bill O'Reilly's bullying ways merit apology." In the column she wrote, "On his TV show, 'The O'Reilly Factor,' the host interrupts guests, denigrates them, calls them names, and when someone makes an intelligent point countering him, O'Reilly cuts the microphone and shouts, 'you're spinning!'" The column was a follow-up to a previous column titled, "O'Reilly's a bully."She also quoted him as saying on one of his radio programs that "3,000 Americans have been either killed or injured, based upon the 11 million illegals who are here."O'Reilly fired back on his Oct. 25 program, "How can a columnist like Cindy Rodriguez say that I basically told people that illegal aliens killed 3,000 Americans? It's insane. It's insane." He said Rodriguez' quote of him wasn't true and that he "never said anything like that."However, a transcript of his April 15 syndicated radio program, provided by Media Matters, quoted O'Reilly as saying, "You got 3,000 dead on 9-11, so you do the math and you say, 'Well, how many of these 11 million people have impacted negatively on American citizens?' I think you could probably make an absolutely airtight case that more than 3,000 Americans have been either killed or injured, based upon the 11 million illegals who are here." The Web site even has a video clip of O'Reilly making the statement.O'Reilly called Media Matters "100 percent dishonest" during an Oct. 21 radio show. He also told a radio caller who brought up the Web site that he was "a dishonest person. Because you're not a big fan of mine. You're not anything, OK? What you are is one of these little Kool-Aid-drinking, left-wing idiots," according to a transcript and audio file published by Media Matters. O'Reilly also berated the caller, saying,"You're a weasel, and you're in with other weasels .... Don't call here again."The Denver Post published a new column on Friday from Rodriguez, written as a result of the response she'd received to her first column. She said she'd heard from fans of O'Reilly and from those who thought her first column was right on in describing the talk show host.O'Reilly responded on his Web site, "So you can call me a bully if you want That's fine with me. But I put forth solutions to major problems." He also accused Rodriguez of engaging in what he called, "the smear factor."On Friday's radio program, O'Reilly cut off a listener who asked a question and called the listener a "moron" and a "zombie." He characterized the listener as being "part of the Kool-Aid crowd" -- his oft-used description of liberals.Later, in an apparent contradiction, he said, "To make a generalization about any kind of a group is not fair."