Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bill O'Reilly, How do I detest thee? Let me count the ways (Pt. 1)

Last night, Bill O'Reilly asked Howard Wolfson, advisor to Hillary Clinton, "What's the difference between David Duke and the hate stuff that he puts on his website with his bloggers and this?"

By "this" O'Reilly was alluding to the vitriolic/rude/offensive comments which were critical of Hillary Clinton that O'Reilly had culled from the millions that have been posted at DailyKos, O'Reilly described them as "brutal personal attacks that the Daily Kos trades in." I'll come back to the comments in a moment, but first, let's take a look at the exchange that ensued as Wolfson attempted answer O'Reilly's question.

Wolfson: It's a good question. And the crucial difference is that David Duke's entire organization is routed in hate and racism and-

OReilly (interupting/talking over Wolfson): And the DailyKos is not?

Wolfson (continuing sentence): -and antisemitism ... It certainly is not.

O'Reilly (incredulously): No?

Ok, let's pause here and reflect for a moment. O'Reilly has just told his viewers that DailyKos is an "organization that is routed in hate and racism and antisemitism." The evidence he had given in defense of this were the following comments he had read at the start of the segment, noting before starting that "I'm not going to read them all":

"Hillary George Wallace Clinton fuck you and your ass-sucking careerist any-way-the-wind-blows careerist slag"

"We're looking at George W. Bush with tits"

"Hillary is not the answer she is owned by right-wing crazies. She is for more war, more attack, weaponizing Israel"

"Hillary Rodam Clinton - 'just trust me' *wink wink* - fuck that and fuck her"

"Hillary got stains on her dress, too?"

"Hillary Rodam Clinton is a walking talking repudiation of everything that Kos has stood for over the last four years. I have nothing but contempt for this evil woman Hillary Clinton. Damn her to Hell."
Do those 6 comments out of the millions on the website establish that the DailyKos is dedicated to spreading hate, racism, and antisemitism indistinguishable from that spread by David Duke? Nope, not even close.

Recall that O'Reilly said he wasn't going to read "all" the comments. A moment after the video continues where I left off, O'Reilly asks Wolfson if DailyKos isn't a hate site then "why does it permit this," at which point he holds up his sheet of paper with the anti-Hillary comments. You can see that the comments take up about half the page and that if O'Reilly didn't read them "all" then he must have read 6 out of 7.

Now let's consider how mind-bogglingly stupid O'Reilly is. O'Reilly works for Fox News and he is calling DailyKos a hate site because he found some comments that said mean things about Hillary Clinton? One of the principle purposes of the network is to give a forum to the sort of folks who are at the least as equally anti-Clinton as the 6 comments that O'Reilly found at DailyKos. For example, last Sunday Sean Hannity was peddling conspiracy theory about the death of Vince Foster, and Hannity has had on his Sunday program Neal Boortz, a radio personality who describes Hillary as a "fascist socialist." Or how about O'Reilly, who has on Malkin all the time ... you wanna take a look at some of the sites on her blogroll and see what they're saying about Hillary Clinton? Nevermind the incredible, staggering hypocrisy of O'Reilly lecturing anyone about not promoting hate when he has Ann Coulter on as a guest even after she calls John Edwards a "faggot."

But what's more, O'Reilly bragged about how he doesn't allow hateful comments at his pay access only website (DailyKos is open access). Oh yeah? Now, I don't really think those comments are anything to get all that riled up about, nor do I think they remotely compare to David Duke, Nazis, the KKK, Al Capone or Benito Mussolini (although someone might make a case that joking about feeding Mexicans to crocodiles does), but by O'Reilly's own standard, they make his website a hate organization.

I'll finish counting the ways I detest O'Reilly either this evening or tomorrow morning.

Update: Allright, I'm going to post pt. 2 tomorrow, but in the meantime, you can read this. That's Glenn Greenwald proving my point about browsing through Michelle Malkin's site(s). After listing several comments that the reader can judge for his/her self if they match the "hate" of the 6 anti-Clinton comments O'Reilly touted, Greenwald writes

It goes on and on like that. On a daily basis, Michelle Malkin's hate sites promote violence, rank bigotry, jihad against Muslim Americans, imprisonment of Democratic Party leaders. The comments are not deleted and are virtually never opposed. Her hate sites traffic in content which is the hallmark of white supremacism and violent groups targeting Muslims. And once she is done promoting that, she goes on Fox News and demands that corporate sponsors cut their ties with Daily Kos due to the comments left on that site.
Now, you might possibly object that Greenwald goes to far in stating "[Malkin's] hate sites traffic in content which is the hallmark of white supremacism and violent groups targeting Muslims", as, like Dave Neiwert, I browse hate sites like Stormfront on a semi-regular basis and find that Malkin's site doesn't compare if we're measuring in terms of sheer hate (although other blogs in her blogroll come much closer, e.g. LGF or Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiller). Yet, if you've been reading this blog long enough you'll notice that I personally find Malkin's anti-"liberal" bigotry to be difficult to distinguish from any other form of bigotry - be it religious or ethnic based. Also, if you read this you might find that Glenn's comment makes more sense when put in that context.

But all of that is beside the point as the comments he selected demonstrate the hypocrisy/double standard of O'Reilly.

I didn't feel like writing about it before (and I was in a hurry) but there is nothing in the anti-Clinton comments that matches the utter un-American-ness of this article by Ben Shapiro, in which, besides arguing that we might need to charge Al Gore with sedition and cautioning against buying into the "slogan" freedom of speech (which, apparently, is ACLU propaganda) -saying that we should first look at our rich tradition of supressing it, he suggests that the reason we won World War II is because the United States government put Japanese Americans in concentration camps. And guess how I originally found that article? That's right, Michelle Malkin linked approvingly to an excerpt of it.

Does Bill O'Reilly have an ounce of credibility left to his name? Can any mature adult take this man seriously?


Anonymous said...

The dems have to get spokesmen faster on their feet or brain or whatever. When I first viewed this exchange on C&L the first thing I did was yell at the guy to point out that they were comments not posts and don't reflect the philosophy of daily kos. There are such things as trolls who leave such comments as no liberal would say such things as orally read. Further one only has to go to the freeper site or little green snotballs and see worse things posted and commented by people who really mean them.

I not nominating myself for the job of spokeman for the dems. I may be quick but I'm mental enough to think a guy in a video can hear me.

Sheldon said...

Well ditto to the above. It is absolutetly unfair to characterize a blog site by the comments it gets. You judge it by the primary bloggers. Also, I just checked the Daily Kos. Out of 3 blog posts put up yesterday, the numbers of comments were: 221, 197, and 398! Thats alot of commenting! Of course you are going to have some wing nuts in that large sample. And with that many comments, its also hard to keep up with deleting uncivil comments. Talk about cherry picking!