O'Reilly nails NYT lie
That's what Bill O'Reilly told his viewers Thursday night as he nabbed the New York Times in publishing a phony story.
On Thursday, the paper ran an editorial claiming that "a screaming baby girl has been forcibly weaned from breast milk and taken, dehydrated, to an emergency room, so that the nation’s borders will be secure."
But on his Fox News show Thursday night, O'Reilly said the the Times report was made up out of whole cloth.
The point of the Times editorial was that the baby's mother and more than 300 other workers in a leather-goods factory in New Bedford, Mass., were "terrorized — subdued by guns and dogs, their children stranded at school — so that the country will notice that the Bush administration is serious about enforcing immigration laws."
As a result of this so-called "terrorism," the Times insisted that the baby was faced with a potentially fatal disorder as a result of the raid that forcibly separated the infant from her mother as the federal raid took place.
Because the Times editorial was so serious, O'Reilly said on his "O'Reilly Factor" show that he and his staff decided to look into the situation.
They immediately found problems with the Times report.
Said O'Reilly: "On March 6th ... federal agents raided a factory in New Bedford, Massachusetts ... detaining 361 illegal workers ... and arresting the owner of the business. Almost immediately ... the feds say ... 50 detainees were released to care for their children and the rest were taken to Fort Devens for processing and possible deportation."
Noting the Times' lead paragraph about "a screaming baby girl" being forcibly weaned from breast milk and taken, dehydrated, to an emergency room, O'Reilly remarked: "Wow. A screaming baby denied breast milk ... so dehydrated she has to be hospitalized? How can this happen in America?"
"Well," he said, "it may not have happened."
"Because the Times editorial was so intense, we decided to look into the situation. And guess what? There are some problems."
Here's what O'Reilly's investigators found: Two babies were admitted to two New Bedford-area hospitals shortly after the raid - a 7-month-old was taken to St. Vincent's Hospital, where it was diagnosed with pneumonia and dehydration, while another baby was admitted to St. Luke's, also with pneumonia and dehydration. Both babies were accompanied by guardians, and both were treated.
Neither child fit the allegations in the Times story.
O'Reilly said, "If there's another baby in play here, we can't find it. Of course, the immigration raid did not cause the pneumonia, which most likely led to the dehydration. So the description used by the New York Times to demonize the Department of Homeland Security seems to be false."
O'Reilly concluded: "America must not harm children and the feds have to make exceptions on humanitarian grounds when kids are involved. The kids are not responsible for the immigration mess. But Talking Points is fed up with misleading and dishonest tactics in this debate. "The truth is that we cannot find a baby in Massachusetts that was forcibly weaned from her mother's breast. The truth is that the two babies we did find had developed pneumonia on their mother's watch before the raid.
"Unless the New York Times has other verifiable information, honesty dictates it correct its editorial."
Don't hold your breath, Billy O.