Whopper of the Week: Bill O'Reilly
Oh, that boycott …
"Finally tonight, the mail. ... About the attempted sponsor boycott against Rush Limbaugh by an anti-war group.
"Lise Rousseau, Lafayette, Colo.: 'Mr. O'Reilly, imagine my confusion as I watched you criticize the protester for organizing the Limbaugh boycott. Last August, I heard you tacitly call for a boycott against Pepsifor hiring [the rap singer] Ludacris. There is a lack of consistency in your rhetoric.'
"No, there isn't. ... First of all, I never do anything tacitly. I do things directly. I simply said I wasn't going to drink Pepsi while that guy was on their payroll. No boycott was ever mentioned by me. " [Italics Chatterbox's.]
—Bill O'Reilly on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Feb. 4, 2003.
"So I'm calling for all responsible Americans to fight back and punish Pepsi for using a man who degrades women, who encourages substance abuse, and does all the things that hurt particularly the poor in our society.
"I'm calling for all Americans to say, Hey, Pepsi, I'm not drinking your stuff.[Italics Chatterbox's.] You want to hang around with Ludacris, you do that, I'm not hanging around with you."
—Bill O'Reilly on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Aug. 27, 2002.
"Because of pressure by Factor viewers [italics Chatterbox's], Pepsi-Cola late today capitulated. Ludacris has been fired."
—Bill O'Reilly on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Aug. 28, 2002.
[Thanks to G. Beato's weblog, "Soundbitten."]
Got a whopper? Send it to email@example.com. To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.
Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.
Photographs from the U.S. Department of State.