More Of Bill O’Reilly’s Untruths And Exaggerations Revealed


Keith Olbermann

A segment by ESPN host Keith Olbermann last year sheds some more light on Bill O’Reilly’s questionable claims about himself (starting at about the 2:35 mark in the video).

On November 19th, 2014, Olbermann named the Fox News host Bill O’Reilly as his daily “Worst Person In The World.”   It wasn’t actually because of their political differences.  Instead, it was about O’Reilly’s past claims about his athletic skills that were presented as fact.

On November 17th, O’Reilly had given a radio interview talking about his days as a varsity football player at Marist College.

“We were undefeated our senior year,” O’Reilly told ESPN radio host Dan Le Batard. “That was a pretty good deal.”

But Olbermann had de-bunked that claim as far back as 2005, and showed that Marist did not have a varsity team until 1978 – seven years after O’Reilly graduated.

Le Batard pointed out Olbermann’s claims. “It was varsity football in the sense of that we played Georgetown, Catholic U., Fordham, Manhattan, Iona,” O’Reilly said in his defense.  “So, you know, look. You know what it is, guys, you know what it is.”

O’Reilly made some claims about baseball that Olbermann also corrected.

Jobless Claims Rise To 10-Month High: MSNBC

The latest news on initial unemployment claims isn’t what we were hoping to see.

The number of Americans seeking first-time unemployment benefits rose last week, but the number is still consistent with an economy that is adding jobs, according to MSNBC.

Initial jobless claims increased by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 320,000 in the week ended Feb. 28, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected 296,000 new claims.

Week-to-week results can vary widely, and it’s best not to read too much significance into any one report, says MSNBC.

In terms of metrics, when jobless claims fall below the 400,000 threshold, it’s considered evidence of an improving jobs landscape. At this point, we’ve been below 300,000 in 19 of the last 25 weeks. On the other hand, we’ve been above 300,000 five of the last eight weeks.

Thursday’s report showed the number of people filing continuing claims for unemployment benefits increased by 17,000 to 2.42 million for the week ended Feb. 21. Continuing claims are reported with a one-week lag, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Irish Anti-Gay Group Claims Homosexuality Causes Cancer

An Irish campaigning group has launched a series of extraordinary attacks against same-sex couples, including claims that same-sex couples die younger, are more prone to cancer, and are more likely to abuse and injure children, according to Newsweek.

“The Alliance for the Defence of the Family and Marriage (ADFAM), an initiative based in Ireland which claims to ‘promote and defend the traditional family,’ has been distributing the leaflets to spread their beliefs this week.”


Secular Talk

Who Is David Barton?

According to Wikipedia: “David Barton (born January 28, 1954) is an American evangelical Christian minister, conservative activist, and author. He founded WallBuilders, a Texas-based organization which promotes the view that it is a myth that the US Constitution insists on separation of church and state. Barton is the former vice chair of the Republican Party of Texas.”

Also, “In 2012, Barton’s New York Times best-seller The Jefferson Lies was voted ‘the least credible history book in print’ by the users of the History News Network website.”

Patheos.com claims Barton has had to walk back on many false claims he’s made over the years.

Barton does some work for conservative commentator Glenn Beck. On Beck’s show, Barton made the claim that the average welfare recipient gets $61K per year.  This was based on calculations done by Senator Jeff Sessions, who includes insurance and other payouts in his calculations.

Also, Sessions adds up many means-tested programs, which are aimed at people with low incomes, but then divides the figure by the number of people under the poverty level — even though millions of people above the poverty level receive these benefits.

The Washington Post gave the claim “three Pinnochios.”

Think Progress states:

“In reality, many of these benefits that families rely on are paltry and, worse, have recently shrunk. The value of benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), formerly known as welfare, have fallen so that their purchasing power is less than what it was in 1996 for the vast majority of recipients.

A family of three that relies solely on TANF won’t be able to make market rent for a two-bedroom apartment and will live at just 50 percent of the poverty line, or $9,765 a year.

Food stamps from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) were reduced in November to an average of less than $1.40 a meal  ($126.00) and more cuts are likely on their way after Congress agrees to a new farm bill.”

Secular Talk video.  Sources:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2013/06/19/capitoltourchanges/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/a-misleading-chart-on-welfare-spending/2013/02/20/1b40bcde-7ba4-11e2-82e8-61a46c2cde3d_blog.html

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/12/18/3081791/welfare-recipient-spending/