Coburn told constituents at a recent Oklahoma City town hall that the rumor that people could be jailed for disobeying the health care law was false, even if it "makes for good TV news on Fox."
"Can you tell me one person on Fox News, just one, who has told this audience that they'll go to jail if they don't buy health insurance?" O'Reilly asked Coburn on his program last night. When Coburn couldn't name one, O'Reilly asked: "Why then was it legitimate to bring in Fox News to a discussion?"
Coburn tried to make amends: "Maybe it wasn't fair. Here's the point: I listen to Fox News a lot. I am very glad you're there. You offer a balance to the total slant on the left."
But, Coburn argued, overstating the case on health care reform did not help the conservative cause. O'Reilly was undeterred.
"Nobody has ever said it," O'Reilly responded. "So it seems to me that what you did, you used Fox News as a whipping boy, when we didn't qualify there."
O'Reilly then conceded that Coburn may have been right when he said that the network had demonized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).