O’Reilly needs a better research team

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I’m generally inclined to leave Bill O’Reilly fact-checking in others’ capable hands, but last night, the Fox News host made a comment that was pretty extraordinary, even for him.

For those who can’t watch clips online, O’Reilly asked Fox News’ Bob Beckel:

“Remember the outcry about waterboarding? You know, everybody jumping up and down? Uh, NBC News, I thought they were going to, like, melt down over there. You heard anything on NBC about the drones?”

It wasn’t a rhetorical question. O’Reilly proceeded to insist that NBC News hasn’t covered the drones story – a detail he confirmed, he said, with his “staff” – and spent several minutes condemning NBC News for the network’s professional negligence.

The host added that NBC refuses to cover the drones story “because they are protecting” President Obama.

Um, Bill? NBC News broke the drones story. I know this because NBC News’ Michael Isikoff appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show, which has covered the drones story for quite a while, to put the newest developments on the national radar.

In fact, the reason the drones story has generated national attention this week is, in large part, because NBC and msnbc put the story on the front burner.

I’ve never been entirely clear on O’Reilly’s position on corrections, but I’ll look forward to this one with bated breath.

Update: O’Reilly will reportedly “address” his comments on his show tonight.

Drones, Bill O'Reilly and Fox News

O'Reilly needs a better research team

Updated