I have to wonder: when Bill O'Reilly looks in a mirror, is he capable of seeing his own reflection?
I previously made mention of O'Reilly being a medium for the transmission of Religious Right lies, specifically some lies about abortion clinic doctor George Tiller.
O'Reilly had on someone from an anti-abortion organization that said that Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller has a crematorium in his clinic and somedays when the organization's protesters are standing outside dead baby ashes rain down on them. I kid you not.A look through O'reilly's archives - see here for instance - will find multiple segments over a course of years demonizing Tiller as a "baby killer" guilty of "executing" children.
Tiller was murdered today in Wichita, shot to death as he entered church.
As Brad Blog notes
Tiller was better known to Fox "News" viewers as "Tiller the Baby Killer", as he's long been described by Bill O'Reilly who has spent years targeting Tiller on the most-watched show in cable news. O'Reilly has long demonized him with allegations of performing illegal late-term abortions, characterized as murder by O'Reilly and his guests.This is the first abortion clinic murder in over a decade. Recall that I previously predicted terrorist attacks on abortion clinics would be making a comeback, thanks, in part, to Fox News mainstreaming extremist rhetoric.
Of course, it's no more O'Reilly's fault when a lunatic takes action to murder someone the Fox host has targeted for years on his popular television show, than it was when another lunatic gunned down church-goers in Tennessee last year claiming in his pre-murder "manifesto" that it was "a symbolic killing", and that he had "wanted to kill...every Democrat in the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book." Goldberg is a regular featured guest on O'Reilly's show, and the author of 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (And Al Franken is #37).
Jim David Adkisson, the Knoxville, TN murderer, also advocated the murder of "liberals" in his manifesto, echoing comments frequently made by O'Reilly that "The Major News outlets have become the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party. Liberals are evil, they embrace the tenets of Karl Marx, they're Marxist, socialist, communists."
Those are all merely coincidences, of course. Nobody, other than the murderers themselves, should feel it necessary to take any personal responsibility whatsoever when such events occur.
In March of this year, after Tiller had been acquitted of charges alleging that he'd performed late-term abortions in violation of Kansas state law, O'Reilly continued his series of programs focusing on the Kansas physician, charging him with "operating a death mill" (video here), and alleging that he was "executing babies" (video here).
O'Reilly had previously been highly critical of the state's Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, charging, during his Talking Points commentary in 2007, that she was "allowing [Tiller] to continue the slaughter."
Now, O'Reilly won't have to worry about that anymore.
This also gets back to what I wrote about the need for hate crimes legislation, as this is an act of violence directed not just against Tiller, but at anyone - as few as they already are - who would provide such abortion services. As Steve Benen put it
Amanda Marcotte recently noted, "[Tiller] is one of the two doctors in the country that specializes in the very small percentage of abortions performed late in pregnancy (but before viability) done for health reasons, usually because the pregnancy is a danger to a woman's health or life, or because the fetus is dead or dying.... He's been shot in both arms, stalked by the attorney general's office under Phill Kline ... and charged with the crime of performing a bunch of illegal abortions, for which he was acquitted."Update: Brad Blog updated its post with this link, but I want to spotlight it, too, as it's well worth reading.
I emphasize this because it's a point that may go overlooked in much of the media coverage -- Tiller performed therapeutic abortions for women who wanted children.
Tiller, in other words, worked past the constant threats of violence to provide a service to women that few would. Today, he was apparently murdered for his efforts.
O'Reilly didn't tell anyone to do anything violent, but he did put Tiller in the public eye, and help make him the focus of a movement with a history of violence against exactly these kinds of targets (including Tiller himself, who had already been shot). In those circumstances, flinging around words like "blood on their hands," "pardon," "country club" and "judgment day" was sensationally irresponsible.That article also notes that O'Reilly had described Tiller as doing "Nazi stuff." Which goes along ways towards making the point about the dangers of O'Reilly's "culture warrior" rhetoric: Stop the ACLU earlier today spotlighted this "interesting" comment justifying the murder of Tiller from another blog: "Someone just shot a Nazi guard manning the gas chamber at Aushwitz. I should feel bad about this?"
Update II: The police have a suspect in custody. He's a tax protester, "sovereign citizen" militia type, and member of Randal Terry's Operation Rescue (itself promoted by Fox News) who had previously been arrested for having bomb components in his car. And he, too, appears to have been motivated by the notion that killing Tiller would be like killing a Nazi whom the Kansas authorities had given a "pardon" to.
It seems as though what is happening in Kansas could be compared to the "lawlessness" which is spoken of in the Bible. Tiller is the concentration camp "Mengele" of our day and needs to be stopped before he and those who protect him bring judgement upon our nation.