[Updated at end of article with videos of responses to O'Reilly response from MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann.]
After years of demonizing Kansas physician Dr. George Tiller, who was assassinated in his Wichita church on Sunday, Fox "News" host Bill O'Reilly toned back his inflammatory rhetoric on his first show back since yesterday's murder. (See video at end of article.)
Where he had previously, and repeatedly, described Tiller as "Tiller the Baby Killer," equated him with Nazis and al-Qaeda, described him repeatedly as "executing babies" and "operating a death mill," tonight O'Reilly characterized himself as the victim of a "left-wing" cabal of "Fox News haters" trying to "exploit" the tragedy to "shut guys like me down." Notably, however, he did not use the same strident rhetoric that had characterized his "reportage" of Tiller in the past...
Update 6/1/09: Thanks to Jed Lewison at DailyKosTV for the following short compilation of clips from among 29 segments of O'Reilly's show, in which he persisently demonized Tiller. "As you can see from these video clip samplings of O’Reilly’s holy war," Lewison writes, "you don’t have to actually pull the trigger to help sponsor terrorism:"
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.
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.
FURTHER UPDATE: A quick read of the far right website FreeRepublic (O'Reilly's base), reveals hundreds of comments on a number of threads, applauding and even celebrating the death of Tiller. We've reposted many of them below. (Hat-tip Charles at Little Green Footballs.)
Note to O'Reilly, who has proven not to understand the difference when he repeatedly highlights a selected anonymous user comment from what he describes as "liberal hate-sites," such as Huffington Post and Daily Kos, while comparing them to the Ku Klux Klan: The following are comments by readers at the site, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of those who run Free Republic. Nor is there any guarantee that such posters are not purposely posting these comments in hopes of reflecting poorly on the site in question. Though, in this case, there are so many of them, most posted by users with a long posting history on the site, that we'll leave it to your judgement as to whether you believe these comments are for real or not...
Chicago radio host Erich "Mancow" Muller decided he'd get himself waterboarded to prove the technique wasn't torture.
It didn't turn out that way. "Mancow," in fact, lasted just six or seven seconds before crying foul. Apparently, the experience went pretty badly --- "Witnesses said Muller thrashed on the table, and even instantly threw the toy cow he was holding as his emergency tool to signify when he wanted the experiment to stop," according to NBC Chicago.
"I wanted to prove it wasn't torture," Mancow said. "They cut off our heads, we put water on their face...I got voted to do this but I really thought 'I'm going to laugh this off.' "
The upshot? "It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that's no joke," Mancow told listeners. "It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose with your head back...It was instantaneous...and I don't want to say this: absolutely torture."
So far, it's been almost a full month since Fox "News"/ABC Radio propagandist Sean Hannity volunteered to be waterboarded for charity, claiming it was not torture. Despite MSNBC's Keith Olbermann offering $1000 for the troops, for every second Hannity lasts, the cowardly wingnut torture apologists has failed to revisit the topic since his original act of phony bravado.
See "Mancow" being waterboarded, and then commenting on it, in the two very short videos below. And remember, unlike the detainees that we tortured, he was not being waterboarded by hostile folks, and was able to call it off at any time, on his own...
* * *
On a related topic... I was on San Francisco's usually very rightwing radio station KGO last night, with the progressive Christine Craft sitting in as late-night host. Lots of similarly cowardly wingnuts called in to inform us that waterboarding isn't torture at all. Here's the audio. Enjoy.
Last night on Countdown, Olbermann announced that he was rescinding the offer to Hannity, and instead giving $10,000 to charity following radio host Erich “Mancow” Muller’s waterboarding attempt. Olbermann promised to donate to the charity Veterans of Valor, founded by Sgt. Klay South, who administered the waterboarding to Muller. Olbermann revealed that Mancow’s publicist had contacted Olbermann’s show yesterday to see whether Olbermann would make a similar offer to Mancow as he did for Hannity:
OLBERMANN: Mancow Muller had the guts to put his mouth where his mouth was, and the guts to admit he was dead wrong. As you saw, he not only said it is torture, but that he had nearly drowned as a boy, and it is drowning, and that he would have admitted to anything to make it stop.
So the offer to the coward Hannity — a thousand dollars a second he lasted on the waterboard — is withdrawn.
And to Mr. Muller, whose station’s publicity person contacted us yesterday saying she’d heard I’d offered ten thousand dollars to anybody who would do what he did –
You got it. Ten thousand dollars to the military-families charity of the man who did the waterboarding, Veterans Of Valor. [...]
As to Hannity, you are now unnecessary.
UPDATE 5/29/09: Olbermann interviews Mancow after his waterboarding. Video follows below. Here's a bit of the transcript...
Despite the new wealth of evidence that the Bush administration’s desire to torture suspects was driven by a desire to gin up phony links between Iraq and al Qaeda, not by concerns about another terrorist attack, former Vice President Cheney is sticking to his story that it was all about terrorism. In part II of his interview with Fixed News, the Dark Lord accusing the Obama administration of not believing that the U.S. is threatened by terrorism.
The Fox "News" interview was vintage Cheney. He referred to torture as “a robust interrogation program on detainees” that was vital “to the very existence of the nation.”
CHENEY: What the Obama administration is doing, in effect, is saying that we don’t need those tough policies that we had. That says, either they didn’t work, which we know is not the case—they did work, they kept us safe for seven years...
You have to see a Cheney performance in order to appreciate the effectiveness of Cheney propaganda. Unlike George W. Bush, who was inclined to trip over his own tongue, Cheney has perfected the quiet lie. His words may be false but he delivers them as facts so uncontroversial you’d think he was a local network anchor reporting on traffic conditions...
Of course, the video above underscores the plain truth that the "protesting" tea baggers sore losers, had no real clue what the hell they were even doing at their tiny "protests" on Wednesday, which they only showed up for, to protest against their own best interests, because Fox "News" told them to. The photo below (courtesy "rumproast") may say it all...
All of Wednesday's confused, desperate (though rather amusing) "protests" were, of course, dwarfed in size, actual meaning, and actual grass-rootsness, by dozens of actual grass-roots protests during the Bush years, such as this one against the Iraq War and these when Bush was inaugurated in '05, even though somehow Fox "News" forgot to promote those actual protests, and the rest of the corporate media forgot to cover them at all.
But ssshhhh...don't tell the tea baggers sore losers, they think they've started a "revolution"...
No. He's not crazy at all. Glenn Beck pours metaphorical "gasoline" on "himself," his viewers, and his imagined newly-tyrannical America, and his own, and his viewers', rapidly accelerating, self-perpetuated sense of victim-hood. When he/they eventually --- and it shouldn't be long at this rate --- actually light the match and blow themselves/us up, feel free to point back to this item, when we're told "who could have predicted it?"...
Beck's daily hour on governmentally subsidized cable TV, and three hours daily on our publicly owned radio waves, is a tremendously responsible use government welfare, and reflects brilliantly on our Founding Fathers' guarantee to one single industry --- and one single industry only (the press) --- in our U.S. Constitution.
That's a very responsible use of that singular Constitutional dispensation, Glenn. Keep up the bad work.
BTW, in case you missed it on Wednesday, Jon Stewart --- an actually responsible steward of public largess --- spoke directly and brilliantly to the crazies like Beck and Hannity and O'Reilly and Levin and Bachmann et al, by informing them (since they don't seem to know): "I think you might be confusing tyranny with losing...that's not tyranny, that's democracy"...
That video --- actually worth watching and taking notes --- follows below...
Perhaps one of the funniest bits ever on Colbert. If you didn't see it last night --- or Glenn Beck's multiple, recent insane breakdowns on the Fox "News" Channel --- this video is a "Must Watch"! (Video courtesy RAW STORY)...
Wow, does the dishonesty never end at Fox "News"? Well, we all know the answer to that one, but as Ben Dimiero at Media Matters noted in email, "this is ridiculous, even by Fox News standards".
In a package with Martha MacCallum on Fox's Live Desk today, suggesting that Administration officials who once criticized John McCain's assertion that "the fundamentals of the economy are strong" have now changed their tune, they played some clips purported to be from "recent interviews this weekend." Included in those clips, is Joe Biden declaring "the fundamentals of the economy are strong." (Video at bottom of this article.)
Trouble is a) Biden's statement was six months ago, when he was on the campaign trail and b) it was taken completely out of context, as Biden was quoting McCain's statement which he was in the process of criticizing!
Biden's actual in-context statement to a campaign rally in September 2008 was...
Imagine if everything --- actually, if any one of the dozens of improprieties --- that Norm Coleman has pulled since the November election, had been done by Al Franken instead.
Might Sean Hannity be repeating, over and over, something akin to the following for three hours a day on the radio (over our publicly-owned airwaves), and during his hour-long solo Fox "News" freak show, five days a week??...
According to Media Matters, 'liberal', 'Obama-loving' MSNBC has now shown the following misleading graphic at least twice to support stories suggesting that Barack Obama is somehow responsible for the alarming drop in the Dow-Jones industrial average...
And here is the graphic they are not showing, making it quite clear that the plummet has little to do with Obama's Presidency...
The "Liberal Media" strikes again!
(For the record, Media Matters also notes that it's not just "liberal" MSNBC, of course. The wingnut propagandists at Bloomberg and WSJ, along with Fox "News'" Chris Wallace, are also banging the same misinformative drum. So, naturally, MSNBC finds it necessary to not miss a beat.)
"In the milky way of punditry, there are white dwarfs and there are flaming balls of gas...But tonight I'm proud to announce there's a new worm hole to a parallel world. Glenn Beck has a new show on Fox News and it is great!"
Colbert's probing look at the whacked-out world of the whacked-out Beck, as now proudly featured on everyone's favorite whacked-out cable "news" channel, courtesy of RAW STORY...
Via Media Matters...During Fox "News'" Happening Now show this morning, host Jon Scott claimed "the Senate is expected to pass the $838 billion stimulus plan --- its version of it, anyway. We thought we'd take a look back at the bill, how it was born, and how it grew, and grew, and grew..."
Trouble is, the "we" Scott mentions wasn't Fox. It was the Senate Republican Communications Center (SRCC), and the resultant "news" analysis, was virtually an exact repetition of a news release the SRCC issued earlier today.
In addition to turning the exact quotes from the press releases into graphics, Fox even replicated a typo from one of them, on the final graphic, as referring to a Wall Street Journal report from "12/9/09." (That's almost a year from now, for those not paying too close attention.)
Video of the Fox "News" "report" is at right, and you may compare it to the SRCC's press release --- including the typo --- here. (We've taken the liberty of archiving the original version here, just in case they decide to change it.)
Other than that, the outfit is completely legitimate, like totally fair and balanced, and not associated with the Republican Party in any way.
UPDATE 2/11/09: After a day of getting pounded by the media for the above, Fox News issues an apology...for the typo.
We'll call it the Sunday Funnies. Geraldo did a segment on his Fox "News" Saturday freak show, in response to the California "Octo-Momma Drama", featuring an interview with a Florida family who recently had sextuplets. The attempted interview just gets funnier and funnier as it goes along, and as the babies get more and more upset.
My favorite, however, is the oldest child, five year-old Zoey in the middle of the shot. She's the one to keep your eyes on as the madness unfolds...
(Note: While there's nothing particularly political in this clip, for those who insist on politics, okay: The babies are the Congressional GOP and "that little sweetie in the middle," Zoey, is Obama, ignoring the madness, and taking her case straight to the American people.)
After all the stuff, nonsense, bullshit, lies, hoaxes, WSJ "editorials", Fox "News" Alerts, Presidential candidate lies, phony "conspiracy" claims, and-wall-to-wall cable and radio garbage that we had to endlessly suffer through, for months on end, leading up to last year's election, about supposed, massive "voter fraud" being committed --- by Democrats, naturally --- it turns out that in one of OH's largest counties, an exhaustive investigation by a Republican Special Prosecutor, appointed by his former GOP prosecutor partner (the Hamilton County Prosecutor who was also a state co-chair for the McCain/Palin campaign), looked into hundreds of "serious" allegations of such "fraud" and found exactly one such case.
No, it wasn't Ann Coulter. She commits her voter fraud in FL and in CT instead. But it was someone who had already turned himself in. His vote was never counted.
After an entire season, using facts and reality-based information to fend off the insidious, America-hating forces of the evil Republican War on Democracy and their attempts to undermine the very core, the very heartbeat of our democracy, of our nation, for little more than attempted, pathetic --- and ultimately futile --- political gain, is anybody gonna apologize here? Anybody?
Rush? Sean? O'Reilly? John Fund? John McCain? John Danforth? Karl Rove? Tom Feeney? "Thor" Hearne? Todd Rokita? Jackasess at Powerline? Jackasses at Redstate? The entirety of the shameful, unpatriotic Fox "News" Channel? Anybody? Any of you liars and cowards and thieves and democracy-hating, facist-loving, Stalinesque, Saddamites have the guts, the courage, the sense of decency --- the love for your country --- to stand up and say you were wrong? That you are sorry?
Of course not. Especially not in Minnesota where not only have they found no such "voter fraud" epidemic --- as committed by Democrats or ACORN or anybody else --- but the Republicans are now trying toincludeactual fraudulent ballots in the results of the U.S. Senate race. Now that they need them in hopes of "winning".
No apologies, of course, because they'll all be back in two years and the same horseshit will be flowing loud and clear, once again from their democracy-hating souls, out to millions of Americans who are ready to believe --- listening over the corporately-run, though publicly-owned airwaves --- all over again and again and again. And again.
Not that they'll wait that long. Measures claimed to supposedly prevent (non-existent) "voter fraud" --- little more than measures meant to rob minorities, the elderly, students, and anyone else who tends to not vote Republican, of their Constitutional rights --- are moving forward, as John Gideon noted last night, and even as we speak, in TX, in UT, in MS and wherever else you can find depraved, soulless, Republican cretins who despise America, its history, and all that it pretends, and tries desperately, to stand for.
I am ashamed to call you people my fellow citizens.
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