O’Reilly Speaks Out for Bias and Backlash

You just never know what will set Bill O’Reilly off. Last night, it was a perfectly reasonable remark by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who, following the arrest of a Pakistani suspect in the Times Square car bomb plot, cautioned against turning Pakistanis or followers of Islam into scapegoats:

I want to make clear that we will not tolerate any bias or backlash against Pakistani or Muslim New Yorkers. All of us live in this city. And among any group, there’s always a few bad apples.

O’Reilly angrily lashed out at Bloomberg:

Well, maybe somebody should remind the mayor that Muslim fanatics have been threatening New York City and the entire country for almost 20 years. That’s a lot of apples out there, sir.

If there is a way to read O’Reilly’s response to Bloomberg as anything but a call for “bias and backlash,” it eludes us.

About Steve Rendall

Senior Media Analyst and Co-producer of CounterSpin Steve Rendall is FAIR's senior analyst. He is co-host of CounterSpin, FAIR's national radio show. His work has received awards from Project Censored, and has won the praise of noted journalists such as Les Payne, Molly Ivins and Garry Wills. He is co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error (The New Press, 1995, New York City). Rendall has appeared on dozens of national television and radio shows, including appearances on CNN, C-SPAN, CNBC, MTV and Fox Morning News. He was the subject of a profile in the New York Times (5/19/96), and has been quoted on issues of media and politics in publications such as the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and New York Times. Rendall contributed stories to the International Herald Tribune from France, Spain and North Africa; worked as a freelance writer in San Francisco; and worked as an archivist collecting historical material on the Spanish Civil War and the volunteers who fought in it. Rendall studied philosophy and chemistry at San Francisco State University, the College of Notre Dame and UC Berkeley.