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O'Reilly: "FOX News, ABC and CNN have the common sense to put the safety of the nation over freedom of the press ..."

Reported by Marie Therese - September 14, 2005

Tonight [9/14/05] Bill O'Reilly savaged the ACLU, NBC, CBS, New York Times, Scripps-Howard, Hearst Corporation and Tribune Company because they have filed a joint suit to force the Pentagon to release 87 new Abu Ghraib photos and four videotapes showing, as O'Reilly himself admitted, "Americans brutalizing prisoners.".

Taking his cue from Gen. Richard Myers, who testified before New York Judge Alvin Hellerstein that there is nothing new in this material, O'Reilly claimed that release of these photos and videotapes will directly result in the deaths of Americans troops. "The intensely anti-American ACLU is still pushing, " O'Reilly said. "That organization doesn't care whether Americans die as there is no question violence will follow the release of any new abuse pictures. Just think back to the Newsweek Koran debacle."

[COMMENT: O'Reilly and his masters at FOX News know full well that the State Department absolved Newsweek of any culpability in those deaths and it turned out later that the original report was, in fact, true, as reported by Chrish in this post. But when has telling a lie or twisting the truth like a pretzel ever stopped Bill O'Reilly? I also noticed that this time Bill didn't take the time to lash out at Judge Hellerstein as he did on May 31st when he called him "a committed anti-Bush person."]

He continued, saying "Talking Points has come to expect this sort of thing from the ACLU, the most dangerous organization in the USA. But, listen to this. Those supporting the ACLU in this revolting quest include CBS and NBC, the New York Times, the Hearst Corporation, the Tribune Company, a bunch of other journalistic organizations. I can't believe it! At least FOX News, ABC and CNN have the common sense to put the safety of the nation over freedom of the press theory. I mean. C'mon! Talkin' life and death here. As soon as Judge Hellerstein rules, we'll report the decision to you. But, no matter how it plays out, the ACLU and the aforementioned press organizations have some explaining to do."

Later in the show O'Reilly interviewed Robert Kaplan, Atlantic Monthly correspondent and author of the new book, "Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground," a treatise suggesting, as one reviewer put it, that the "antidote to anarchy is empire, policed by American soldiers holding an assault rifle in one hand and offering candy bars with the other."

O'Reilly scheduled Kaplan to parrot his earlier comments about the ACLU and he was not disappointed. Here a sampler of Kaplan's remarks:

"While there's an American military and an American public, there's less and less an American media. We have more and more a global cosmopolitan media that doesn't so much think any more in American interests, and this media, in its comfort zone, is much more comfortable representing American troops as either victims of bad Pentagon policy or as war criminals in one sense or another."

"The original stories about Abu Ghraib was [sic] great investigative reporting, but, based on what we know, this is using moral arguments and freedom of press arguments to advance a sensationalist cause."

"What this war is showing is how difficult, Bill, it is to win a counterinsurgency during an era of global mass media, where you no longer have, you know, in a psychological sense a national media."

Robert Kaplan then went right along with the now debunked Newsweek story, saying: "Especially after the Newsweek problem. You know, Newsweek, rightly or wrongly, made a mistake in reporting this about the Koran being desecrated."

NEWS FLASH, BILL & BOB! Newsweek was telling the TRUTH in their original story. The State Department and, as Ellen noted, Gen. Richard Myers absolved them of any responsibility for the deaths and injuries.

However, since when has Bill O'Reilly ever let the truth deter him?

His motto? To hell with the truth, man the torpedos, full speed ahead!

After O'Reilly lamented that he could not get any military families to come out publicly against the ACLU's lawsuit, Kaplan said "I actually know a lot of Gold Star mothers and fathers whose sons have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and, frankly, what they tell me is they're just afraid of dealing with the media altogether. They just want to bond with each other and hide, they're so turned off."

O'Reilly ended the segment by saying: "The military family organizations in this country have gotta step up on this issue. I can't do it by myself and we don't know how this judge is gonna rule. We don't think he's gonna release it, but we'll keep everybody posted."

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