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The Nation

Bill O'Reilly's Foxy Lady

John Nichols

You can argue with Bill O'Reilly about a lot of things. But the Fox Newsman got something right Wednesday night.

"(The) media in America," O'Reilly explained, "has become very corrupt, partisan."

No viewer of O'Reilly's program could possibly disagree.

Watching him get cozy with Hillary Clinton, his guest on Wednesday night, was one of the creepier moments in the creepy history of Fox's experiment in partisan broadcasting. And the pursuit of their mutual agenda -- discrediting Clinton's rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Barack Obama -- confirmed the the full extent of the corruption that results when a political campaign and a broadcast outlet start working together.

O'Reilly and Clinton tag-teamed Obama on the only issue that Fox covers these days: the Rev. Jeremiah Wright

O'Reilly pitched the softball: "Can you believe this Rev. Wright guy? Can you believe this guy?"

Clinton replied: "Well, I'm going to leave it up to voters to decide."

O'Reilly: "Well, what do you think as an American?"

Clinton: "Well, what I said when I was asked directly is that I would not have stayed in the church.

O'Reilly: "You're an American citizen, I'm an American citizen, He's an American citizen, Rev. Wright. What do you think when you hear a fellow American citizen say that kind of stuff about America."

Clinton: "Well, I take offense. I think it's offensive and outrageous. And, you know, I'm going to express my opinion, others can express theirs. But, you know, it is -- it is part of, you know, just an atmosphere that we're in today where all kinds of things are being said."

Clinton is Fox offended.

Clinton is Fox outraged.

Clinton may never be the Democratic nominee for president.

But she's got the makings of a Fox New analyst: corrupt, partisan and ready to play ball with Bill O'Reilly.

John Nichols' new book is The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders' Cure for Royalism.

Copyright © 2008 The Nation

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