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The Half-Spin Zone

Reported by Marie Therese - June 24, 2004 -

The O'Reilly Factor. June 23, 2004. 8:00 PM PT.

During his Talking Points Memo entitled "Freedom of Expression vs Encouraging Terrorism", self-admitted FOX News bloviator, Bill O'Reilly, yet again berates the University of California at Irvine for allowing 30 Muslim graduates to wear green and white sashes to their graduation exercises last Saturday.

The fact that school tradition allows graduating students to wear all manner of decorations, religious and secular, does not phase him in the least.

He has his "Talking Point" and he's going to stick to it, by gum!

O'REILLY: The two sashes had two Islamic sayings: "There is no God but Allah" and "Mohammed is His Prophet." Let's look at the facts, so you can decide the truth.

First, Hamas is a terrorist outfit that specializes in blowing up civilians, mostly Israelis. The U.S. government has condemned the group as have many other civilized nations.

Hamas uses a green flag with the SAME EXACT WORDS (his emphasis) the students had on their green sashes.

Also, the Muslim Association at UC Irvine has hosted a number of radical speakers, including Imam Muhammad al-Asi, who said in the PBS documentary JIHAD IN AMERICA: "If the Americans are placing their forces in the Persian Gulf, we should be creating another war front for the Americans in the Muslim world - and specifically where American interests are concentrated."

Comment: A masterful half-spin on the facts, Bill. Through the use of innuendo, false analogy and factual omission, you lead your viewers to conclude that the University supports terrorism, Bravo! A good bit of propaganda!

Now, let's look at your "rock solid" facts again.

Fact #1: Hamas blows people up. True. No sane person disputes the fact that Hamas sponsors terrorism and has killed people.

Fact #2: You say that a green sash emblazoned with the words "There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is His Prophet" is a terrorist symbol. The Saudi Arabian flag is green (the traditional color of Islam) and looks like a twin of the Hamas flag. Does that mean all Saudis are terrorists because of their flag? Duh! For more on flags go to Exxun.com

Fact #3: Hosting a lecture by a controversial Imam. Lots of groups in lots of universities in lots of cities in the United States sponsor controversial speakers on campus. And someone inevitably objects. For instance, in February 2003 students from Holy Cross, Clark and Worcester State Colleges protested strenuously when Daniel Pipes was scheduled to give a free lecture on the Middle East. Mr. Pipes advocated the war in Iraq and supported the shock and awe campaign to bomb that country into submission. Should he have been denied to opportunity to speak simply because his views did not match those of some of the students who objected? Oh, yes. Daniel Pipes is the ultra-conservative director of the Middle East Forum and a member of the presidentially-appointed board of the U.S. Institute of Peace. Source: Campus Watch

Anyone can lump a bunch of unrelated factoids together to create the illusion of a connection.

Intelligent people see this for what it is - illusion - and hunt for their own truth from many sources.

Attention O'Reilly fans. He's NOT looking out for you. Don't trust just one man or one source (even this one) for your news. Investigate. Question. Delve. Prod. Kick the tires.

Treat the news media today as if it was a used car. With suspicion, skepticism and a healthy dose of good old American common sense!