Does Bill O’Reilly not do research when he speaks on television, or does he truly believe what comes out of his mouth? Despite multiple reports refuting his claim, he states that no one is working behind scenes with tea party.
Bill O’Reilly made the argument to Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham that there are no “shadowy figures … behind the tea party,” unlike with progressive movements, which have “guy[s] like Soros and these MoveOn people” with “so much power behind the scenes.” In fact, the tea party movement has been heavily funded by rich individuals such as the oil magnate Koch brothers. O’Reilly Says There Are No “Shadowy Figures” Behind The Tea Party O’Reilly: “There Aren’t Any Shadowy Figures … Behind The Tea Party.” During a segment on The O’Reilly Factor , Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham explained that “the far left is very active” and “very much funded by people like Soros and others.” O’Reilly agreed, claiming that “[t]here aren’t any shadowy figures, that we know about anyway, behind the tea party pulling those chains.” From the show: INGRAHAM: As surveys have shown, when you go down the list of — just stick to economic topics, the tea party seems to be much more in line with where most Americans are on a variety of points, whether it’s the growth of government or responsibility and spending. And the far left is very active, and as you pointed out, they’re very much funded by people like Soros and others. And there is targeting, whether it’s Fox News, or other conservative websites, or talk radio. But we have the people, I think, more with us, and people just want more responsibility, personal responsibility, government responsibility, so they can scream and yell as much as they want. O’REILLY: That’s a good point. There aren’t any shadowy figures, that we know about anyway, behind the tea party pulling those chains. You know, it disturbs me that a guy like Soros and these MoveOn people, and all of that, have so much power behind the scenes. It’s disturbing. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor , 7/27/11] The Tea Party Is Heavily Funded By Koch Brothers The New Yorker ‘s Mayer: Koch Brothers Gave Money To ” ‘Educate,’ Fund, And Organize Tea Party Protesters,” Helping “Turn Their Private Agenda Into A Mass Movement.” In an August 30, 2010, New Yorker article, Jane Mayer wrote that Americans for Prosperity , a foundation established by David Koch, “has worked closely with the Tea Party since the movement’s inception” and “helped turn [the Koch brothers'] private agenda into a mass movement.” From Mayer’s article: Americans for Prosperity has worked closely with the Tea Party since the movement’s inception. In the weeks before the first Tax Day protests, in April, 2009, Americans for Prosperity hosted a Web site offering supporters “Tea Party Talking Points.” The Arizona branch urged people to send tea bags to Obama; the Missouri branch urged members to sign up for “Taxpayer Tea Party Registration” and provided directions to nine protests. The group continues to stoke the rebellion. The North Carolina branch recently launched a “Tea Party Finder” Web site, advertised as “a hub for all the Tea Parties in North Carolina.” The anti-government fervor infusing the 2010 elections represents a political triumph for the Kochs. By giving money to “educate,” fund, and organize Tea Party protesters, they have helped turn their private agenda into a mass movement. Bruce Bartlett, a conservative economist and a historian, who once worked at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a Dallas-based think tank that the Kochs fund, said, “The problem with the whole libertarian movement is that it’s been all chiefs and no Indians. There haven’t been any actual people, like voters, who give a crap about it. So the problem for the Kochs has been trying to create a movement.” With the emergence of the Tea Party, he said, “everyone suddenly sees that for the first time there are Indians out there — people who can provide real ideological power.” The Kochs, he said, are “trying to shape and control and channel the populist uprising into their own policies.” A Republican campaign consultant who has done research on behalf of Charles and David Koch said of the Tea Party, “The Koch brothers gave the money that founded it. It’s like they put the seeds in the ground. Then the rainstorm comes, and the frogs come out of the mud — and they’re our candidates!” [ The New Yorker , 4/8/09 , 4/15/09 ] Fox News Hosts Attended “FNC Tax Day Tea Parties.” In the days leading up to the “Tax Day” protests, Fox repeatedly aired on-screen text describing protests Fox news hosts would be attending as “FNC Tax Day Tea Parties.” [ Media Matters , 4/9/09 ] Fox’s Tax Day Coverage Promoted Protesters’ Cause, Urged Viewer Involvement. As Media Matters has previously documented, Fox News and Fox Business also hyped the tea party during its coverage of the “Tax Day” protests on April 15, 2009. Hosts and guests on several shows, including the supposedly objective Happening Now and America’s Newsroom , promoted the protesters’ cause and urged viewers to join the protests and visit tea party websites. [ Media Matters , 4/16/09 ] Fox News “Hop[ped]” Aboard Tea Party Express With Rampant Promotions, Live Coverage. On August 28, 2009, Fox News devoted live coverage and publicity to the kickoff of the Tea Party Express. Fox News’ coverage followed numerous promotions of the tour on Fox News, Fox Business, Fox Nation, and FoxNews.com. [ Media Matters, 4/15/10 ] “Party On!” Fox Relentlessly Promoted October 2010 Tea Party Express Tour IV. Fox News and Fox Business relentlessly promoted the Tea Party Express fourth bus tour, devoting numerous segments to the launch of its October 2010 tour, as well as hosting its chairman for softball interviews. [ Media Matters, 10/19/10 ] Consultant Proposed The Express, Saying It Would “Give A Boost To Our PAC,” Highlighted Possible Friendly Coverage From “Fox News Commentators.” Following the April 15, 2009, Tea Parties, Joe Wierzbicki, a senior associate with the GOP consulting firm Russo Marsh, proposed creating the Tea Party Express bus tour in order to “give a boost to our PAC and position us as a growing force/leading force as the 2010 elections come into focus.” Wierzbicki also wrote in the original memo proposing the creation of the Tea Party Express that the effort could get “some mentions and possibly even promotion from conservative/pro-tea party bloggers, talk radio hosts, Fox News commentators, etc…” [ Media Matters , 11/2/10 ]