Fox News' Bill O'Reilly accused CNN host Brian Stelter of being a "committed left-wing zealot," while slamming him for a remark he had made about the conservative-leaning cable news network's coverage of embattled Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.
"Brian, we just heard Sean Hannity distance himself from the comments. He also said that this is an example of media double standard. Somebody like Cliven Bundy does this, we make a big thing at it, we ask for Republicans to condemn, we don't do that when liberals say outrageous things and Democratic politicians are not asked to condemn. Does he have a point?" CNN host Jake Tapper asked Stelter Thursday.
"I think there are some cases where that's true, but this doesn't feel like one of them. I can't think of any parallel to this case," Stelter answered. "I can't think of MSNBC taking an equivalent story on the left and spending weeks covering it the way Fox News has, and Sean Hannity chief among them.”
O'Reilly was stunned.
"So, Mr. Stelter did you miss the months, the months of coverage about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on MSNBC? Did you miss that?" O'Reilly asked. "Are you that dense, that uninformed that you make an outrageous assertion that MSNBC would not overdo a story for ideological reasons?"
“MSNBC has convicted Governor Christie of crimes over and over and over again in the ‘Bridgegate’ story, and the network did that for two reasons,” he continued. “It amped up its liberal base for ratings, and it targeted a politician who might be a threat to Hillary Clinton.”
[sharequote align="center"]“If Stelter doesn’t know that, he’s not qualified to do any reporting anywhere at any time."[/sharequote]
“If Stelter doesn’t know that, he’s not qualified to do any reporting anywhere at any time,” O’Reilly concluded. “If he does know it, he lied on national TV. And that’s far worse than some Fox News commentators sympathizing with an ill-informed rancher in Nevada against a big government overreach.”
Following the segment, Stelter tweeted at O'Reilly, thanking him for the "shout-out," but wondered whether or not he had watched the entire segment.
.@OReillyFactor Bill -- thanks for the shout-out -- but that video clip was preposterously out of context!— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 26, 2014
This post has been updated to include Tapper's question, in addition to Stelter's full response.
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