Truth police, continued

A friend of mine forwards the article about which O’Reilly was whining, and provides some context about the paper. First, the context:

“East Valley” refers to its coverage area, a set of bizarrely different suburban enclaves east of Phoenix itself — Mormon Mesa, Boob-job Scottsdale, Pleasantville Chandler, etc — and when I lived there, it was owned by Thompsen, a famously tight-fisted company that paid reporters little more than fast-food workers. Nearly everyone I met who worked there was seriously demoralized, and the product itself was a pandering mess that sucked up to Mormon leaders in particular. In 2000 it was sold to Freedom Communications, the conservative-libertarian group based in Irvine (the OC Register is its flagship).

As for the actual article, which my friend dug up via Lexis (hence, no link), it’s a longish pre-Oscar rundown which only mentions O’Reilly in passing:

To say the least, the 2006 Oscar field will not be remembered as a paragon of populism. In terms of box office, all five best picture nominees together wouldn’t add up to one “Lord of the Rings” or “Saving Private Ryan.” The Johnny Cash biopic “Walk the Line” — a solid critical and financial success — failed to make the cut.

Commercial disadvantages or no, the nominees have generated robust storms of chatter and controversy in the media. Last week, Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly blasted director Ang Lee’s limpid cowboy romance for “humanizing” homosexuality. After seeing “Munich,” Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated tale of Israeli revenge killings in the wake of the massacre of Olympic athletes, author Jack Engelhard (“Indecent Proposal”) chided the Jewish filmmaker for being “no friend of Israel . . . no friend of truth.”

That’s it. That’s the only mention of O’Reilly’s name.

Note that the author doesn’t specifically mention whether he is quoting O’Reilly’s column, or something that O’Reilly said on either his nightly television program or his daily radio broadcast. (The quoted word “humanizing” does not appear in O’Reilly’s column.)

In conclusion: an obscure columnist in a small newspaper in suburban Phoenix mentions O’Reilly in passing — and O’Reilly devotes an entire segment of his show to denouncing the guy, cherry-picking his own quotes to do so.