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The amazing FCC complaints against ‘The O’Reilly Factor’

'This might sound crazy, but...'


Andrew Couts


Posted on Jul 19, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 8:09 am CDT

Liberals love to complain about Bill O’Reilly‘s Fox News show The O’Reilly Factor. But what do viewers say when they make their complaints official? 

The Freedom of Information Act wizards at MuckRock recently received a cache of complaints about the show to the Federal Communications Commission thanks to a successful FOIA request. And the payoff is nothing short of… just, wow. 

The earliest of the 14 complaints MuckRock received, dated Jan. 12, 2012, takes a stab at once and current presidential candidate Rick Stantorum, the former Republican senator from Pennsylvania whose name has been soiled by Internet pranksters.


Multiple complaints address profanity that made it through the broadcast, including O’Reilly saying “bullshit” on air. “I was watching with my kids,” the complainant wrote. “This is unacceptable.” 

Another, from April 2014, lamented the use of a movie clip that the writer said promoted “violence against anyone [the viewer] perceived to be racist.” Meanwhile, one filed in May of last year pointed out that O’Reilly had bleeped the N-word from the show but not the word “cracker.”

A complaint dated May 3, 2015, begs the FCC to stop Fox News from talking about the Ku Klux Klan so darn much. (Of course, the FCC lacks the authority to do any such thing. Thanks, Obama First Amendment.)


Another, filed just a few days after the KKK complaint, takes issue with Dish Network ads that were allegedly “EXTREMELY LOUD. No exceptions.” Fortunately for this viewer, the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM) requires that television providers to “ensure television commercial advertisements have the same average volume as the programs that they accompany,” according the FCC. The agency simply thanked the complainant for his or her comment. 

The most recent and substantial complaint, if you can call it that, revolves around a personal conspiracy theory involving News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch, Fox News President Roger Ailes, and former Arkansas governor, GOP presidential hopeful, and ex-Fox News host Mike Huckabee. All three are “pretty much domestic terrorists,” the complainant says, due in part to some alleged “refrigerator poisonings.” 

We’ll just let this one speak for itself:


See how much fun FOIAs can be? The full cache of complaints is available here.

Screenshot via The O’Reilly Factor/YouTube

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*First Published: Jul 19, 2015, 11:00 am CDT