Sunday, June 8, 2008

Bill O'Reilly, Bill Moyers and ambush journalism

Bill O'Reilly often sends his producer Porter Berry to ambush notable personalities to set up stories for his show, 'The O'Reilly Factor'. The people he targets have often been critical of O'Reilly or have refused to appear on his program.

The latest was an ambush of Bill Moyers at the 'National Conference for Media Reform'. Bill Moyers is an influential American journalist known for his investigative documentaries and long-form conversations with the world's leading minds. The conference was organised by 'Free Press' and held in Minneapolis.
According to the program overview on their website, The National Conference
will focus on broadening the media reform movement, envisioning the future of our media system, harnessing new technology for change, and achieving concrete policy victories through sustainable organizing.
The O'Reilly producer who came to ambush Moyers was awkwardly overmatched and quickly became the prey. Bill Moyers is seasoned and was well equipped to handle the O'Reilly surrogate. As keynote speaker, Moyers was also in friendly territory. Being a media conference the room had plenty of journalists and cameras to document and interrogate the lone ambusher.

Some of Moyer's best lines included.
- For the record I asked Bill to come on my show first (responding to why he declined to appear on Bill's show)
- I like to honor the people who do the real work in journalism and that's producers and reporters. It isn't anchors. It isn't the blowhards...
- Bill O'Reilly isn't a journalist, he's a pugilist
After Bill Moyers took the O'Reilly associate to task. Other citizen journalists took over and ambushed the man by shadowing and badgering him with questions of their own. Davin Hutchins, Managing Producer for the 'American News Project' led the charge:
- Do you think what you just did was journalism?
- Did you have a preconceived idea of what he was going to say?
- Did you come here to get facts, to set up a premise (or) a stunt...?
VIDEO: Fox ambushes Bill Moyers

The 'Producer's Notebook' section on provides a brief bio of Porter Berry, the ambushing producer. You can watch a previous ambush of Arianna Huffington here.
Porter Berry has been a producer for the O'Reilly Factor since 2005. Prior to joining Fox News, Berry was a filmmaker in Los Angeles for ten years. He received a B.A. in Economics from Texas Christian University in 1993. Berry was born and raised in Oklahoma City and now lives with his wife in New York City.
Read Bill Moyer's Bio from 'The Museum of Broadcast Communication'
Read the 'National Conference for Media Reform' program overview
Read more about 'Free Press' organization
Go to the official "O'Reilly Factor" website
Read more about the 'American News Project', the people questioning Porter Berry

Update: (June 11, 2008)
Bill O'Reilly returns fire using the footage his team captured. Bill seems a little threatened or at least intimidated by Bill Moyers as he calls him "fanatic", "crazy" and "scary"

VIDEO: Bill O'Reilly attacks Bill Moyers in body language segment

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


It is my first time here. I just wanted to say hi!