Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bill O'Reilly doesn't do personal attacks and hates smear merchants

Ok, I am going to at some point this week post my review of Greenwald's latest book and the latest edition of 'Neal Boortz is a moron', but after last night's insanity from O'Reilly I'm going to spend the next several posts on his particular brand of idiocy.

"I think these are fascist people. I think they're Nazis."

That's what O'Reilly had to say about Jane Hamsher criticizing Elizabeth Edwards for not defending the MoveOn ad about General Petraeus. Here's Hamsher's post and here's what she said about Edwards

Bravo. Hillary seizes the opportunity to pivot and attack — forcing Rudy into embracing George Bush and his horribly unpopular war. She sticks the landing.

Elizabeth Edwards? Not so much. You would think that she of all people should know about the asymmetrical intimidation problem that Paul Krugman talks about — the one where the media is afraid to go after Rudy Guiliani for claiming he’s a rescue worker, but they’ll try to demolish John Edwards over a haircut because they know that they’ll get hammered by the right wing noise machine for the former and pay no price for the latter.

But I guess not, because she decided instead to join with such leading moral barometers as Diaper Dave Vitter and John “McCarthy” McCain to attack MoveOn. So did John Kerry, whom one would expect to know better by this point in time. Granted, we really don’t expect much better from Joe Biden — somehow he continues to find the obvious quite elusive. So I guess we have to say it once again until everyone gets it — you never repeat right wing talking points to attack your own, ever. You never enter that echo chamber as a participant. Ever. You never give them a cudgel to beat the left with.
As you can see, there is nothing there that is remotely fascist or Nazi or extreme. It's Hamsher offering a rational criticism of Edwards (and others) for helping to disseminate echo chamber talking points. One need not agree with her, but there is nothing remotely approaching hate speech in that post.

But on the other hand, demonizing someone you disagree with as a Nazi can fairly be described as character defamation and it would also be fair to describe it as a "personal attack" and the person making the attack as a "smear merchant."

You know, the things that O'Reilly claims he doesn't stand for.

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