Fox News, MSNBC Mock FBI Ad Campaign to Find ‘Whitey’ Bulger, Days Before It Leads to His Arrest

By Alex Weprin 

Late last night in Santa Monica, CA, the FBI captured one of the most wanted men in the world, Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, who has been on the lam for 16 years.

According to the Bureau, a new ad campaign targeting women who watch shows like “The View” and “The Ellen Degeneres Show” very quickly led to a reliable tip, which in turn led to the arrest of Bulger and his girlfriend, Catherine Greig.

The rather stunning success of the ad campaign just goes to show the power of television, and apparently “The View” too.


Before he was captured, however, the ad campaign was the subject of many cable news segments earlier this week, some of which were quite skeptical.

On MSNBC Monday, Rachel Maddow approached the ad campaign with a bit of incredulity:

On Fox News Tuesday, Bill O’Reilly did not mock the campaign himself, instead having a guest, Boston newspaper columnist and radio host Howie Carr dismiss it for him:

“They spent a lot of money here, this is a national spot!” O’Reilly said.

“Yeah. I don’t quite understand it, Bill,” Carr replied. “They haven’t seen either Whitey or Catherine Grieg in the United States since 1996. They haven’t been seen anywhere in the world credibly since 2002. I don’t know why they are running all these spots on American TV because I don’t think they have been here for a long time.”

Top its credit, Fox News was the first cable news channel to report Bulger’s arrest in a special report a little after 12:30am this morning, according to TVEyes. Both CNN and MSNBC waited until their morning programming kicked in to report the news.