Bill O’Reilly put the Fox News slogan to the test on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Thursday, but never really came to a definitive conclusion. After a viewer said that he was tired of seeing “smug liberals like Kirsten Powers and Alan Colmes” on the network, O’Reilly jumped to their defense.
“Fair and balanced is the Fox News motto. If the liberal view were not represented, we’d be liars, so that’s ridiculous,” he said. O’Reilly then asked “Fox & Friends” host Heather Nauert how many liberal contributors the network had.
She came up with 19 paid left-leaning contributors. She did not, however, specify how many paid right-leaning contributors the network has, instead saying simply that they “have a mix of both.”
Of their liberal paid contributors Nauert cited Fox News host Bob Beckel, along with Evan Bayh and James Carville. All three are listed on the network’s list of “On Air Personalities” on the site. That list includes a total of 175 personalities.
If 19 is the number, as O’Reilly concluded, and the list on the site is the total number of paid contributors for Fox News, then 11 percent of the network’s paid contributors are liberal. Without knowing how many of the 175 listed personalities are right-leaning, it’s impossible to extrapolate the percentage of conservative contributors.
Fox News did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for clarification of Nauert’s analysis and results.
“We are fairly, in our commentary, balanced,” O’Reilly said in conclusion. “19. That’s the number.”