In response to a recent FOIA request, fourteen FCC complaints between 2012 and the present give us an idea of what it looks like when the kind of person who registers a complaint with the FCC also watches The O’Reilly Factor.
The FCC’s responsive documents begin with a sparingly punctuated, stream-of-consciousness plea for the FCC to use its power to bring an end to Rupert Murdoch, Mike Huckabee, and Roger Ails’ [sic] acts of “pretty much” domestic terrorism, having “caused 1 billion a month in storm and earthquake damage to the world for 10 years in a row, in doing false imprisonments, stalkings, burglaries, refrigerator poisonings,” and, “pretending people who are downright terrorists from India and Arkansas are people doctors, whom the people have never gone too.”
According to the complaint, these crimes – as well as Mike Huckabee’s KKK involvement and kidnapping of the complainant’s family from their home in Laguna Hills, California to a “Hitler war camp” in Arkansas – have been repeatedly reported to both the FBI and UN, to the point where the family is “sick of having to go to the FBI and United Nations every week.”
While the above complaint never actually succeeds in referencing The O’Reilly Factor, most of the proceeding ones taken in tandem reveal a consistent issue ‘Factor’ viewers seem to have with navigating context.
One serial complainant can’t decide whether the extent to which Fox News discusses the Ku Klux Klan suggests that they are “advocating for it” or implying “that all white people in the South” are down with the Klan.
Another viewer (in Arkansas, having evaded the clutches of a Huckabee death camp) complains about O’Reilly’s airing of a racy Carl’s Jr. ad in his “What the Heck Just Happened?” segment.
In addition to the sex, Complaint Creator cgb.475 is concerned about the use of a violent film clip in the Factor’s “Another Racial Controversy in the USA” segment, adding “Mr. O’Reilly may say he doesn’t condone violence but Mr. O’Reilly knows that visual trumps auditory(the spoken word) hence Mr. O’Reilly is advocating use of physical violence against anyone perceived to be a racist.”
One complaint uses the program to take a potshot at Fox News’ credibility as a whole.
And the final FCC complaint against ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ signals either that an individual more insanely out of touch than any of the above complainants – or perhaps someone keenly aware of how flimsily censorship laws are constructed – watches the O’Reilly Factor:
Read through the full set of complaints on the request page, or embedded below.
Image via Wikimedia Commons