Martin Challenges 'O'Reilly Factor' to Debate on 'Black Lives Matter'

Bill O’Reilly’s recent comments on Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor regarding the “Black Lives Matter” movement have spurred a fierce Twitter reaction from Roland Martin, host of TV One’s News One Now. Martin wants to confront O’Reilly on-air regarding the protest movement involving mostly young African-Americans calling for change following several controversial police shootings of unarmed black men.

O’Reilly called the Black Lives Matter movement “a hate group” after a video emerged of some movement protesters in Minnesota chanting that police were “pigs in a blanket” in the aftermath of the shooting death of a Texas sheriff. O’Reilly also said he plans to put the movement “out of business,” and would publicly out any journalist who supports the Black Lives Matter movement.

Since then, Martin said he has unsuccessfully lobbied O’Reilly’s producers to appear on The O’Reilly Factor to debate the popular news/talk host about what he calls misconceptions about the movement. Martin also has made several Twitter posts calling out O’Reilly, as well as CNN’s Don Lemon and other TV news personalities, for “nonsense” they’ve stated regarding Black Lives Matter.

This past week (Sept. 9), Martin upped the ante on Twitter, saying “I Challenge @FoxNews, @oreillyfactor, @megynkelly @TheFive @ TheJuanWilliams to debate me about #Black-LivesMatter facts.”

“When somebody lies and distorts the truth they should be held accountable for it,” Martin told The Wire. “He opened the door by saying if there are any journalists out there who support Black Lives Matter, he’s going to put them on the network and call them out. And I said fine, I’ll raise my hand.

“I just want to correct the record. I don’t believe that people should go on and say things that are factually incorrect — if you disagree with a movement, fine, but you are going to be held accountable if you flat-out lie,” Martin said. “There are things that Bill O’Reilly has said that are simply not true, so we are certainly going to hold his feet to the fire and others as well.”

Fox News did not respond for comment. 

— R. Thomas Umstead

FCC Dish Decision Draws Praise From ‘Porker’ Patrol

Dish Network was featured in the most recent issue of the Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) e-newsletter, but it probably would just as soon not have been.

CAGW gave the FCC a shout-out for unanimously denying Dish-affiliated designated entities Northstar Wireless, LLC and SNR Wireless — satellite-TV provider Dish owns 85% of both, through a joint venture — over $3 billion in bidding credits in the agency’s AWS-3 wireless spectrum auction. That means $3 billion more into the U.S. Treasury, which is getting a chunk of the auction proceeds after the funding of FirstNet and some research.

Calling it a victory for taxpayers, CAGW president Tom Schatz said: “The FCC auctions are a valuable method to increase the availability of spectrum, increase innovation, and raise money for taxpayers. The process must meet the highest standards of fairness and integrity.”

It’s no big surprise that the FCC’s decision would make news with CAGW, best known for its “porker” awards for its identification of what it says is government waste. (Dish memorably sent up cable companies as greedy pigs in ads about a decade ago, so turnabout might be fair play.) CAGW teamed up with other taxpayer groups to ask the FCC to deny the credits back in May, saying a grant would come “at the peril of [the FCC’s] already diminishing credibility.” Ouch.

Dish saw it quite differently, suggesting its participation was one of the big reasons the auction raked in so much dough in the first place.

“Our approach to the AWS-3 auction, which followed 20 years of FCC precedent and complied with all legal requirements, was intended to enhance competition — in the auction and in the marketplace long-term,” Dish senior vice president and deputy general counsel Jeff Blum told The Wire.

— John Eggerton