Bill O’Reilly Has Had It With the Name-Calling

On his Fox program Monday night (12/10/12), Bill O’Reilly declared:

We are living in a country that is rapidly changing. Rules of civility are pretty much finished. While America has always embraced robust debate now there are elements on both the left and the right which are using disgraceful tactics to demean those with whom they disagree.’

 Both sides are doing it–now, that’s exactly the kind of refreshing honesty one expects from the No Spin Zone, where O’Reilly provided a list:

Some examples: The Supreme Court is now going to hear the gay marriage issue. Some of those who support expanding the definition of marriage are accusing those who oppose it of being human rights violators, bigots, homophobes. So, if you hold the belief that traditional marriage should have a special place in society, you’re a hater, according to the haters.

Alright, I guess those are left-wing “haters.” Next?

Likewise in criticizing President Obama, there are fanatical left wingers who say those who disagree with Mr. Obama are doing so because he’s black, it’s a racial deal. That kind of tactic should be condemned by all Americans.

OK, more left-wing haters. Maybe the next one?

Let me give you a very vivid recent situation that is simply unacceptable. This man, sports writer Jason Whitlock, who actually works for, injected race into the Kansas City Chief’s murder suicide.

Whitlock said that unnamed forces in America want guns in the black communities so that people of color could destroy each other. Whitlock went on to call the NRA, quote, “The new KKK.” That, of course, is insane. And the only reason anybody ever heard about it is because Bob Costas mentioned Whitlock in his gun commentary on NBC.

Huh. Attacking the NRA–I guess that makes him sort of like a left-wing hater. But that’s not the most important problem with Jason Whitlock. The bigger problem is that he says means things about Bill O’Reilly:

So we called this Whitlock guy and invited him on The Factor. Here’s what he wrote, quote. “I was summoned to testify before speaker of the big house, Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News entertainer. I don’t have to shuffle off to the big house when summoned. O’Reilly is not Boehner, Pelosi or Obama. He’s a TV entertainer who has spent the weeks after the election crying about the end of white establishment America. The end of the days when an upstanding white man felt entitled to summon whomever he wanted, whenever he wanted, to the big house to dance. I don’t dance,” unquote.

Now, that is pure racism, nothing else. Whitlock implying that I’m some kind of slave overlord, and he gets away with that kind of garbage. In fact, he gets paid to spout. Way beyond disgraceful.

So maybe the next night would bring some examples of right-wingers haters? O’Reilly carried the theme over to the December 11 broadcast:

The Factor is now going to out media people and others in the public arena who use hate speech. Enough is enough. That includes anti-Christian bigotry which is now rampant in parts of the secular media.

His examples this time?  A comment on Saturday Night Live by comedian Jamie Foxx, which some found offensive. Talking about his new movie, Foxx complained that he had to wear chains, but “I kill all of the white people in the movie. How great is that?”

O’Reilly give this a pass because he was “obviously being satirical”– and “Foxx has some latitude because his ancestors were slaves.”

Uh, OK.

O’Reilly says he is making this a “campaign.” But he seems to be coming up short on examples of those on the right who demean and bully people with whom they disagree. This is easy–all O’Reilly would need is  a mirror.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.