See Grandeur, delusions of

SEE GRANDEUR, DELUSIONS OF…. On the front page of the Fox Nation, readers are greeted with a headline that reads, “Spain Caves After O’Reilly Boycott Threat.” Seriously.

Spanish prosecutors were considering charges against six Bush administration officials — Alberto Gonzales, Jay Bybee, John Yoo, William J. Haynes II, David Addington, and Doug Feith — for their role in the torture of five Spanish citizens held at Guantanamo Bay. This week, Spain’s attorney general backed away from this, arguing that such charges would be more appropriate in the United States.

Fox News believes Spain “caved” because of Bill O’Reilly. Indeed, last night, O’Reilly made a similar boast on the air.

“Now, I don’t know whether ‘The Factor’ was a factor in this decision, but I am taking full credit for it…. Because Spain, according to The Economist magazine, is pushing 19 percent unemployment. We were going to boycott Spain. That means millions of Americans would have at least been exposed to the idea.

And they folded pretty darn fast. We started this last week. Today, ‘No mas.’ … We’re taking full credit for that, ladies and gentlemen, whether deserved or not.”

Perhaps no phrase better captures O’Reilly’s worldview than those four words: “whether deserved or not.”

What’s more, Satyam Khanna reminds us that O’Reilly routinely takes credit for all kinds of developments, “whether deserved or not,” including the Fox News host having affected John McCain’s poll numbers, saving Christmas, bringing down major newspapers, and lowering gas prices.

No wonder O’Reilly thinks he’s more powerful than any politician.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.