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25 Dec, 2009 07:10

Fox News lashes out at RT over anti-war activist interview

Fox News talk show host Bill O’Reilly has ruthlessly criticized RT for its interview with former anti-war activist Bill Ayers last week, which has subsequently thrust the US media’s bias to the fore.

Fox News, who stand proud as self-professed crusaders of truth, can't get enough of RT nowadays. RT’s recent interview with Bill Ayers, a former radical anti-war activist and now a professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago, made firebrand news pundit/entertainer Bill O'Reilly flip out on mainstream television.

Fox News had broadcast a part of RT correspondent Anastasia Churkina’s interview with Mr. Ayers, in which the professor said: “We have to get the United States to participate in the world. The idea that we have been a force for good for the last six decades is nonsense.”

Without delay O’Reilly commented: “Don’t you just want to slap him?” while the guests on his show could be heard giggling off screen. “You saw the Russian interviewer dozing off like this. She had no idea. She didn’t even speak English.”

[RT would like to note that – aside from the fact that the Ayers interview was entirely conducted in English – after spending almost ten years studying in Belgium, Canada, and the US, RT’s international correspondent Anastasia Churkina speaks English, French, Italian and Spanish in addition to her native Russian.]

So how much should the network that lauds itself as “the most trusted name in news” be trusted?

“It is part of what you call a shtick,” explains independent filmmaker and media critic Danny Schechter. “He [Bill O’Reilly] goes to Rupert Murdoch, his boss, and he says: Look, I've just upset the whole of Russia, and Murdoch says ‘Great!’ and O'Reilly says: Please remember this when it's time to give salary increases, and give me a bonus.”

Thankfully, not all Russians have borne the brunt of Bill O'Reilly’s wrath. Russian blonde Marina Orlova, creator of the web site Hotforwords.com, at which she teaches the origins of English words, had obviously charmed the rightwing hothead.

Earlier this week, another widely watched Fox News show “Hannity” also took a jab at RT's interview with Bill Ayers.

“I have nothing to say about Bill Ayers. He is insignificant. Insignificant,” a guest in Fox studio was saying.

Ayers’ insignificance was so considerable, however, that the so-called “Great American Panel” on Hannity’s show dedicated four minutes of prime time to talk about it.

As Americans begin to wake up to the thought that what their mainstream media says is often detached from reality, the question rises as to whether the US media’s ever-increasing attention-grabbing tactics could cause its credibility to fly out the window.