WASHINGTON – Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly invited WND Editor Joseph Farah on his show tonight to discuss eligibility questions surrounding Barack Obama, then backed out when the guest insisted on sticking to facts and conducting a civil discourse with no shouting.
O’Reilly producer Ron Mitchell contacted Farah Sunday night asking if he could be on the program tonight. Farah replied that he was available and that details could be worked out with his publicist, Maria Sliwa.
In turn, Sliwa presented Mitchell with a short list of criteria for Farah’s appearance:
- Though a sober and civil discourse is always welcome, shouting is not;
- No other guests on during the segment with Mr. Farah;
- Discussion to be limited to the facts of the story;
- Accurate, approved description of Mr. Farah and news organization he represents;
- Screen ID chyron to be approved by Mr. Farah.
In turn, Mitchell replied that he would have to “discuss his requests with Bill.”
Two hours later, the reply from Mitchell came back: “I’m afraid that is not going to work for us.”
He wrote: “I have a challenge to my old buddy Bill O’Reilly – put up or shut up!
“You told your viewers this week that challenges to Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility are ‘bogus.’
“You claimed you and your news organization examined Obama’s birth certificate last year and found it to be in order.
“Can I ask a question, Bill? Why don’t you simply reveal to your viewers exactly what you saw and what you found?
“Fox News Channel’s slogan is, ‘We report, you decide.’ Why don’t you try actually reporting the story, rather than deciding for us?”
Farah said he was not surprised O’Reilly wouldn’t agree to a civil discourse and a calm discussion of the facts.
“I wanted to shed light on this issue, but evidently O’Reilly only wants ratings heat,” he said.
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