Bill O’Reilly Remains True to Form

It was only a couple weeks ago when Bill O’Reilly was on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Bill was promoting his new book. He and Stewart sparred but there was no meaningful exchanges. It was only a week earlier when Jon Stewart was on the O’Reilly Factor. Stewart mentioned that O’Reilly had become “the reasonable one.” This was true. Over the last two or three years, Glenn Beck is become the wild and crazy face of right-wing politics. Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly have become reasonable. O’Reilly doesn’t want reasonable. Reasonable does not sell books. So, O’Reilly goes on The View.

Now this was vintage Bill O’Reilly. Edgy, combative, condescending, demeaning were all traits that Bill O’Reilly exhibited over his career and brought to the forefront for this interview. He did not want to Jon Stewart detente type of interview. He wanted more. He wanted something that America could talk about. He wanted something that would fire up those right wing extremists to run out and buy his book. That’s exactly what he got.

In some ways, I agree with Barbara Walters. We should be able to discuss issues without leaving the room. In other ways, this is a throwback to Leave It to Beaver type mentality. We should be able to discuss issues. We should not let conversations deteriorate into shouting matches. These women, on The View, had to know that Bill O’Reilly wanted to start something. They had to know that their show was the perfect venue for him to “misspeak” then apologize. If they didn’t know it, why didn’t they?


Bill O’Reilly, never to let an opportunity go to waste, spent all of his talking points commentary on defending himself. He’s right and they (liberals) are wrong. He basically stated that he said what he said because he was right. The problem, as he sees it, is that America’s fighting Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. He doesn’t see that were fighting Muslim extremists. He then expands his argument by noting many in the Muslim world hate the United States. He states the polls clearly show this. Therefore, he concludes that we’re actually fighting all Muslims since they support the extremists. The most interesting thing of O’Reilly’s diatribe is that he doesn’t note that most Muslims do not support extremists. This is key. This is the flaw in the O’Reilly logic. (There are actually many flaws but this is the most glaring.)

Bill O’Reilly ends his rant with one of the most unsubstantiated statements in his whole commentary. But this is an O’Reilly classic. This is one of those statements that most Americans would agree with on the surface. At first glance it sounds great. “If most moderate Muslims would ally themselves with the United States, the jihad would not exist.” What? What kind of blather is that? If most moderate Muslims would align themselves with the United States… Most moderate Muslims do not support violence. There’s a reason that Osama bin Laden is not sipping tea in Kabul, Islamabad or Istanbul. It is because he is not accepted there. There’s a reason that he’s hiding in the mountains in Western Pakistan. There’s a reason that he will not show his face in any major city. Moderate Muslims will not protect him. There’s a reason that we were able to find Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. We got information from moderate Muslims.

Finally, and most glaringly, Bill O’Reilly is distorting the facts, as usual. He puts forth the facts that support his point of view but won’t paint the whole picture. Sure, in multiple polls, Muslims are not in love with the United States. But these polls go further. The majority of Muslims want better relations with the West. They also show that majority of Muslims, the same 70% that Bill O’Reilly quotes, do not support violence against civilians. Let me say that again, the vast majority of Muslims polled in countries like Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan and Indonesia do not support violence against civilians. Bill O’Reilly remains a controversial figure that will not go away. For reasons that are unclear, thoughtful, intelligent conservative Americans continue to embrace this guy. He distorts the facts. He promotes himself relentlessly. He simply wants to sell more books which by the way, will also distort facts.

| Political Podcast & Blog | Asheville News & Sports | Errington Thompson
| Political Podcast & Blog | Asheville News & Sports | Errington Thompson
Bill O'Reilly Remains True to Form

18 Responses

  1. The perception in America is that most Muslims are silent in the wake of violence by their extremist brethren.

    Maybe this isn't the case, but it is the perception. If our media did a better job reporting what goes on abroad, maybe we would know what these folks actually think.

    Even worse, the perception is that most Muslims in America are also silent in the wake of violence by extremists.

    I think the perception is largely accurate, and I'll tell you why.

    Muslims are afraid of these extremists. Deathly afraid. They know them better than we do and they know how dangerous they are.

    Our leaders too often fail to take the threat seriously IMHO. Let's recall Clinton's weak responses to the bombing of our embassies in Africa, the bombing of the USS Cole, the Khobar Towers, etc.

    I think Muslim silence implies to many observers that there is tacit approval or at least toleration of the violence that extremists perpetrate.

    Muslims have a huge problem within their ranks and unless they are willing to stand up against it, it can and will consume large parts of the Muslim culture and it's countries.

    Its like Germany in the 30s. If they had stood against the Nazis when they were few and relatively isolated, history would've been different.

    If you think that there is little chance that extremists (given time and opportunity) could unite large sections of the Muslim world in a deadly and dangerous alliance that would threaten world peace, then you are dreaming. It's time to wake up.

  2. I think it is the same reason the Jerry Springer was a success. And all the stupid reality shows. The louder and more outrageous the bigger the ratings. How many people watched other people eat disgusting things on tv. WHY? Same thing with this guy. Seems to me that it is accepted as long as you apologize afterwards.

  3. It's hard to imagine Hannity being more moderate but I guess compared to Beck the nutcase its possible.

    As for O'Reilly I've noticed he likes to sit condescendingly and throw out an occassional Democractic point for his guests to jump on like hungry wolves. Lets not forget he was a featured liar in Franken's book Lies and the Lying Liars that Tell Them.

  4. Have any Jewish or Hindu or Christian groups declared armed war on the USA, as these fringe Islamists have?

  5. O'Reilly's a populist entertainer, he belongs on the View with a bunch of old has been women who want to chatter about nothing amongst themselves and make money for it. That women or people would actually seek their communal catharsis through a tv show rather than their actual local communities is a sign of problems in this country far bigger than terrorism.

    I think the reason he'll show Stewart more respect on his show than others is that they respect each other via share in trade. They are both inflammatory entertainers who take the MTV format to news (Stewart with a bit of mockery obviously). Its cute but uninformative, it fits what people want in the postmodern world, subjective pandering, powerpoint info and lots of flashy colors. Colbert isn't much better but does a good job calling him on it.

    I'm not sure citing Egypt is a good example of the good will of the muslim people. People in such countries as Egypt who leave Islam or convert to Christianity specifically run the risk of severe persecution. Obama can make all the feelgood speeches he likes, it doesn't change reality. I think Pope Benedict is right, Islam has to figure itself out in the current day, or else it will continue to have this problem of not just its perception, but the reality that worsens that perception. Its one thing to have bad followers, you can't fix that, but a system that facilitates bad behavior is worse.

    Regarding Germans in the 1930s, most historical accounts in anything are up to interpretation, even military history which is as fact and stat based as you can get. It doesn't mean there is no truth, it means its hard to find that truth when you have to go through so much, and have so much missing. So I have my pretty liberal german teacher saying that Germany was a thriving chaotic display of wonderful enlightment democracy, and my rather unknown but probably libertarian PoliSci teacher saying it was a stagnant deplorable period where people were sick of the street fighting between the nationalists and the democrats. The Holocaust described by the Pope and my catholic teacher is as the Enlightenment (rule of reason) on steroids, while that german teacher points to studies by scholars who try to find out why such a vangard of the enlightenment fell to Naziism. The reaction of the winning powers in WW1 was certainly a huge issue concerning Germany's identity going forward, and Hitler certainly used men to intimidate voters. Does that mean the Germans weren't aware? Does it mean they didn't want more order in the end? I'd more agree with the idea of stagnation, due to what I witness. I agree with Plato here, tyranny arises, for a variety of reasons but that being one of them, from democracy.

    Its true many perhaps don't want to speak out, out of fear, out of cultural obligation (the only thing I can think of that keeps latinos from working against gang crime from their own race), out of a number of things. That doesn't mean it shouldn't happen. Matt Stone and Trey Parker were threatened for their South Park skits with their lives, they said to hell with those people, it was the studio that backed down.

    Sorry I'm in a ranty mood today.

  6. Christian: A five-count indictment against the Hutaree militia group alleges that eight men and one woman planned to “levy war” against the United States. Part of the plan allegedly included slaying a police officer, and then using IEDs, grenades, and machine guns to kill the police officers who went to his funeral. Nine of the defendants remain in jail without bond, pending appeals in U.S. District Court.

  7. “So I have my pretty liberal german teacher saying that Germany was a thriving chaotic display of wonderful enlightment democracy, and my rather unknown but probably libertarian PoliSci teacher saying it was a stagnant deplorable period where people were sick of the street fighting between the nationalists and the democrats.”

    Both are right from their perspectives. Cuturally, Germany was top dog- best scientist, music, and universities. The US universities in the late 19th and early 20th century copied the Germans.

    Politacally, the Weimar Republic was a mess.

  8. I don’t think that these semantics add much to the conversation. Extremist is simply a label for someone that libs don’t like. In another post you called Sharon Angle an extremist. Has Angle killed anyone?

  9. Angles views are extreme. No she is not a terrorist extremist. She is a political extremist or ideological extremist.

    Thanks for your comments.

    Errington C. Thompson, MD
    Sent from my iPad

  10. “They have no more of a problem in their ranks than Christians and Jews and Hindus do?”

    Do you really believe this? The contrast couldn’t be more obvious.

    ”Piss Christ”: Protest mainly over the NEA funding. Mohammed cartoons: Riots, innocents killed.

    Nigerian beauty pagent: riots by Muslims.

    Burning the Koran: pleading by US politicians not to burn the Koran. Koran not burned. Still have riots. Burn the Bible, see “Piss Christ .”

    Honor killings.

    Scorcese’s blasphemous, The Last Temptation of Christ. Polite criticism. Marty lives to make many more and much better films.

    Theo Van Geogh makes “Submission.” Stabbed to death by Muslim fanatic.

    Fatwahs. Rushdie.

    Al Queda, Islamic Jihad, Muslim Brotherhood, Hesbollah, Hamas, etc groups that that consider themselves in the religious and political van guard of the Moslem world. Is there a moderate group in Islam that could claim such a leadership role.

    I could go on but I won’t. Just a little shocked by your claim.

  11. The Hutaree? That’s your best example, a marginalized group of losers running around in the woods firing guns. Their main motivation has been political rather than religious. The don’t seek to advance any religious agenda. Not a single, notable Christian leader supports them.

    Well at least you didn’t mention the crusades which is the usual example I hear from libs. Actually, the Hutaree militia is a good example of how Christianity doesn’t have a problem with a violent extremist Christian movement. Would anyone accuse the Hutaree of high-jacking Christianity?

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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