Monday, June 1, 2009

Bill O'Reilly is a coward

Bill O'Reilly knew that people would suggest his over-the-top rhetoric about Dr. Tiller fueled hatred of the man and kept national attention on him, which surely made the doctor a bigger target. He knew that he wanted to reject those suggestions out of hand in his smug O'Reilly way. But he is also the king of spin, so he knew he wanted to set it up to make himself look as reasonable and rational as possible.

So he had two guests on in his first segment to discuss the murder. His guests: Kris Kobach and Brian Russell. If you're from around here, you know all about right wing nutjob Kobach. Well, Russell isn't any better. He's a pro-life guy who regularly shills himself out to the panel type news shows on CNN, FOX, and Headline News. So O'Reilly got two guys who agree with him on abortion, specifically Tiller's late-term practice, and got them both to state unequivocally that, of course, Bill O bears no responsibility for Tiller's death. Kobach even obliged him enough to speak out about the doctor in an extreme way such that Bill O could reign him in, thereby making himself look oh so moderate and fact-driven. Yeah, sure, Bill. None of that was spin.

If Bill O really feels so very sure he bears no responsibility, why was he too afraid to have someone who doesn't share his views on abortion come on to his show? I'm sticking with it's because he's a coward who doesn't really want to have to defend himself or have an honest discussion about whether his inflammatory rhetoric contributes to an atmosphere of violence.

Just for the record, Bill, Keith Olbermann's lead guest was Andrew Sullivan, noted conservative and pro-lifer.


BellsforStacy said...

Let's be careful here. The one responsible for Dr. Tiller's death is the man in police custody. No one else. I don't watch O'Reilly so I don't know if he's spent a lot of time on this or not. But I know he didn't pull the trigger.

Also ... an army recruiter in Arkansas was killed today by a similar zealot who was against what the recruiter did professionally.

Where's the media? And where's the blaming of rethoric by leftist pundits from Kos or Huff Po?

S said...

No need to be careful. Don't ascribe motives to me that are nowhere in my writing. I said not one thing about whether Bill O bears any responsibility or not. My post is about his lame guest selection. If he's so sure he's right and just, I don't know why he would shy away from selecting a guest from the other end of the spectrum. Does he not think he can hold his own in a debate?

As for the recruiter shooting, last time I checked, it was the lead story on and it's on the front page of msnbc with a headline claiming a political motive.

Unknown said...

S., I have a great fascination for the idea of shared responsibility. I think it's more than fair to acknowledge that right-wing talk radio hosts share in the responsibility of acts like this. Remember the Adkisson case in which he admitted as much in his "manifesto."

As you know, I'm always arguing this point with the pro-gun guys on my blog. I think it's perfectly valid for me to recognize that we're all part of the human family and our actions influence others. I'm opposed to the attempts they make to disassociate themselves from the wrongdoers. Those wrongdoers in many cases are just like the rest of us.

S said...

So my thought is that you, or someone who agrees with you, would have been a great guest for Bill to have on if he didn't want people to think he's a coward.

Bob S. said...


Hey, if we gun owners have shared responsibility for firearm crimes; do you computer & camera owners have shared responsibility for child porn?

It's a topic that gets my comments deleted at your site but if you are going to advocate shared responsibility, shouldn't you answer that question?


I think that Bill O'Reilly is a blowhard but I've seen more than a few shows where he's had people who disagree with him on.

Should a commentator have to always have people on who disagree with him?

BellsforStacy said...

My guess would be that you don't spend a lot of time watching Bill O'Reilly either. And that maybe all the information you're getting is second hand.

That'd be my guess. Which is why I'd say we should all be careful when ascribing motives to people we do not know. Including those of talk show hosts.

If we're going down this path, than The NY times release of wire tap information that lead to the endangerment of US soldiers is valid too. And that the folks in San Francisco and New York that drum beat that recruiters are child killers are equally as responsible for this murder in Arkansas as the man that pulled the trigger.

S said...

Stacy, you need to stop guessing because you're wrong. I do watch Bill far more than you think. I don't think it would be fair for me to criticize him if I didn't watch, would it? And, yes, Bob, I have seen Bill frequently have guests on who disagree with him. He has never struck me as someone who was afraid of that challenge because he trusts in his ability to just shout anyone down.

All of that is why is was so striking to me that he intentionally chose to surround himself last night with two little lapdog-types who would not challenge him at all. Not commenting one way or the other on whether he bears any responsibility for Dr. Tiller's murder (which, once again, was never the point of this post), I think he showed cowardice by not finding a guest who might push him a little bit on that point. His whole first segment last night was about whether there is any merit to the "looney left" pointing a finger at him. I know this because I watched it. (I even DVR'd it!) But he didn't even try to set up any real discussion about it; he just arranged a segment where the two panelists would join in his chorus that anyone who thinks he's responsible in any small way is insane.

And, no, Bob, he doesn't always have to have people who disagree with him on. But in this particular discussion, I thought it was noteworthy that he did seem to avoid it last night when the stated point of his segment was to take the criticism head on. He didn't really take the criticism head on, now did he? Made me think he lacked the courage of his convictions.

Unknown said...

I haven't been able to bring myself to read any comments anywhere. Not even those here. So represent me well in your responses. I know you will.

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