A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.
In the wake of Bill O’Reilly’s official departure from Fox News on Wednesday, conservative media reflected on the fallen talking head’s career—and attacked those who had brought him down.
“Activist Left Gets Monster Scalp,” Breitbart announced, viewing O’Reilly, who was fired after advertisers fled over sexual harassment allegations, as the victim. While the accompanying article mostly stuck to the facts of the case, Rush Limbaugh dived deeper into the persecution narrative during a Thursday broadcast of his radio show. “Have you ever wondered why not a single left-wing media figure is ever the target of advertiser boycotts?” the host asked his audience. Later, he found a more specific target: “It’s nothing but a giant, full-fledged, manufactured smear—and don’t forget where it started. It started in the New York Times.”
In another Breitbart article, Joel Pollack argued that the mainstream media was “overstating [O’Reilly’s] political importance.” Drawing on data from a book titled Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind, Pollack wrote, “In truth, the secret of O’Reilly’s success was that he was a centrist. He hit the elusive sweet spot that many media outlets covet, but few actually bother to pursue.” A third Breitbart post quoted at length from a CNBC appearance by George Will, who described O’Reilly as “reckless, coarse and bullying,” both on air and off.
The Daily Caller cast a skeptical glance at Rebecca Diamond, one of O’Reilly’s accusers, who had tweeted, “I have merit” in response to the news of O’Reilly’s firing. “[T]echnically, ‘merit’ means deserving of praise or a reward,” the Daily Caller wrote. It concluded by suggesting that Diamond had “obviously now broken” her repored confidentiality agreement. But the site’s response focused mostly on its founder, Tucker Carlson, who is set to assume O’Reilly’s time slot. Carlson could, as an article on the site put it, “easily fill the void.” That article went on to note, “Even talk show host Jerry Springer wrote to congratulate [Carlson]” after the initial announcement “shook the Internet.”
LifeZette, founded by its own Fox News personality, Laura Ingraham, also praised the switch to Carlson, writing, “Fox’s new primetime lineup is younger and edgier, with more big time personalities than ever before.” Nevertheless, in a separate post, LifeZette acknowledged that many were sad to see the host go, not least of all because O’Reilly himself hadn’t had a chance to say goodbye: “Because O’Reilly’s show was cancelled while he was on a planned leave from the program, the popular television host leaves Fox News without a proper final show or his usual public platform to fight off criticism or controversy.” It then rounded up tweets from outraged fans, some of whom suggested that they planned to boycott the channel in protest.
In other news:
Several conservative sites covered a story out of the University of Alaska at Anchorage, where Thomas Chung, an assistant professor of painting, had submitted a controversial painting to a faculty art show. The painting in question features, as the Blaze explains, “a nude Chris Evans, the actor who stars as Marvel’s Captain America, holding aloft the severed head of President Donald Trump, as a young ’60s-era Hillary Clinton clings to his leg.”
Heat Street notes that the school had declined to take the painting down, despite having “at least one policy in place that ‘clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech’ on campus.” The Daily Caller, meanwhile, focused more on Chung himself, quoting his claim that he “spent days just weeping” after the November election.
Over on Facebook, Sarah Palin had an unusually good day: