Back to the drawing board for Bill O'Reilly. As noted here, on his radio and TV shows yesterday, BOR propounded the theory that the big-city newspapers have tread lightly in the current Middle East conflict for fear of alienating their liberal Jewish readers. As Bill put it, liberal Jews "are all the papers have left" when it comes to significant market niches.

On Monday's World News, ABC anchor Charles Gibson segued from coverage of the Israel-Hezbollah battle to remind viewers of how badly things are going in Iraq. Over an on-screen graphic of the numbers of civilians and military members killed in Iraq compared to the Israel-Hezbollah conflict, Gibson announced: “Well the focus of the world, in recent days, has been on Israel and Lebanon. And attention has been diverted from Iraq.

The MRC's Brent Bozell will be on the Fox News Channel's "O'Reilly Factor" tonight at 8pm Eastern to discuss the media's coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict. The show repeats at 11pm and 4am Eastern as well. Use this thread to post your comments.

Video of interview (4:22): Real at 100 kbps (3.3 MB), Windows Media at 81 kbps (2.8 MB), plus MP3 audio (1.5 MB).

UPDATE: A full transcript is available below the fold.

Wasn't Tucker Carlson supposed to be MSNBC's conservative counterweight to Olbermann, Matthews, & Co?  I might have to rethink that one, judging by the opening roll of his 'Tucker' show this afternoon, which clearly cast Israel as the heavy in the current conflict. Here's how it went:

  • Open to video of an Israeli tank firing rounds, as an off-screen voice breathlessly announces "Lebanon, under siege" as the scene changes to smoke rising from an urban Lebanese landscape.
  • Cut to a Lebanese couple, with the woman informing us that "our house is bombed, everything is bombed."
  • Cut to what looks like a mosque in ruins. Announcer: "Israel's attack on Hezbollah marches on, and so does the devastating toll on civilian life."
  • Cut to woman in Muslim head shawl comforting distraught young boy with kiss on head.

Bill O'Reilly got his show off to a surprising start this afternoon, with a novel theory as to why the big-city newspapers have tread lightly in criticizing Israel for its role in the current conflict. During his opening monologue O'Reilly theorized that the papers are fearful of turning off liberal Jewish readers.

Better late than never? On CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday, CNN’s senior international correspondent Nic Robertson added all of the caveats and disclaimers that he should have included in his story last week that amounted to his giving an uncritical forum for the terrorist group Hezbollah to spout unverifiable anti-Israeli propaganda.

At today's White House press briefing, reporters kept pushing Bush spokesman Tony Snow as to why the administration hasn't been pressuring Israel to go for a non-enforceable ceasefire with Hezbollah in order to avoid bad PR for having a "disproportionate" response to terrorism.

That makes no sense, Snow replied since basically this line of thought involves asking Israel to incur civilian categories in order to look better. Reporters, such as CBS's Jim Axelrod insisted that wasn't what they were saying but provided no evidence to the contrary. Transcript excerpt below. Full text here.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says the international media is hardly "fair and balanced" in who it wants to win the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.

Reuters reports:

No, not this demonstration in London, but this equally shameless CNN reporting in Lebanon:

Honestly, NBers, this one took several reads to believe. In fact, I’ve checked the link numerous times, as well as multiple media websites, and this really was reported by the Associated Press: “Mideast diplomats were pressing Syria to stop backing Hezbollah as the guerrillas fired more deadly rockets onto Israel's third-largest city Sunday.”

Now, I know what you’re thinking: this was buried deeeeep inside the article. Nope. This was actually the first sentence of a wire piece entitled “Arabs Press Syria to End Hezbollah Support.”

Shocking? Certainly. However, the best was yet to come:

In our ongoing “Friday Night Fights” segment, an amazing barnburner occurred July 21 that will remind folks of Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd's old "Point/Counterpoint" skit on “Saturday Night Live” with the only thing missing being the famous line “Jane you ignorant slut.”

On the left was Fox News’s Juan Williams. On the right was conservative radio host Laura Ingraham filling in for Bill O’Reilly on “The O’Reilly Factor” (very enthusiastic hat tip to Ian at Expose the Left and Ms. Underestimated with absolutely must-see video to follow!).

From the beginning, this fight perfectly exemplified the divergence in opinion concerning the most recent flare up in the Middle East. Juan enunciated the liberal view that Israel is largely to blame for the rise in hostilities, and that America needs to put pressure on it to force an expedient ceasefire even if it goes counter to Israel’s ongoing security. Here’s a perfect example of Juan’s solution to the current problem:

Well, sports fans, The Terrorist…er, I mean The New York Times is at it again. One of America’s allies purchased a variety of weapons last year, and now that it is being attacked by a shared enemy, has asked that the shipment of these arms be sped up to allow it to better defend itself.