The "Oh Really?" Factor
Bill O'Reilly spins facts and statistics
By Peter Hart
If it’s spin to back up your arguments with bogus facts and statistics, and to dismiss numbers that don’t fit in with your preconceptions, then Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News Channel show isn’t, as he repeatedly claims, a "no-spin zone"-- it’s Spin City.
During an interview with National Organization for Women president Kim Gandy (O’Reilly Factor, 2/5/02), O’Reilly claimed that "58 percent of single-mom homes are on welfare." When Gandy questioned that figure, O’Reilly held firm: "You can’t say no, Miss Gandy. That’s the stat. You can’t just dismiss it. . . . It’s 58 percent. That’s what it is from the federal government."
But by the next broadcast (2/6/02), O’Reilly was revising his accounting: "At this point, we have this from Washington, and it’s bad. 52 percent of families receiving public assistance are headed by a single mother, 52 percent." Not only is that a different number, it’s the reverse of the statistic he offered the previous night-- not the percentage of households headed by single mothers that receive welfare, but the percentage of families receiving public assistance headed by single mothers. That’s a distinction that O’Reilly did not attempt to clarify; he seemed unapologetic about emphatically putting forward an inaccurate statistic the night before.
here's the link to the article in its entirety.http://www.fair.org/extra/0205/oh_really.html