From the Wall Street Journal Online:
Mike Conway set out to study the number of times Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly used name-calling and other propaganda techniques on his show. Mr. Conway released his report and then watched Mr. O’Reilly employ some of the same methods to ridicule the research â€” the TV host even counted how many times he called someone a name in his rebuttal. “It was a bit surreal,” Mr. Conway told me.
Mr. Conway, an assistant professor of journalism at Indiana University, and his colleagues recruited volunteers to watch hours of Mr. O’Reillyâ€™s regular two-minute segment, “Talking Points Memo.” The volunteers saw 105 episodes, all of them aired in 2005. They tallied the use of seven rhetorical techniques identified as elements of propaganda by the now-defunct research group Institute for Propaganda Analysis. Mr. Oâ€™Reilly’s totals were then compared with those of the anticommunist and antisemitic 1930s radio broadcaster Father Charles Coughlin, as measured by IPA-funded researchers in a 1939 book.
In the resulting research, the most-stunning number was in the category where Mr. O’Reilly vastly exceeded Father Coughlin. According to Mr. Conway and his colleagues, Mr. O’Reilly called someone a name 2,209 times over 248.65 minutes, or 8.88 times per minute. “O’Reilly is a heavier and less-nuanced user of the propaganda devices than Coughlin,” the researchers stated in a press release.