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Bill O'Reilly: Muddled Master of Misdirection

Reported by Marie Therese - November 8, 2005

Last night's Talking Point Memo on the topic of the French riots was classic O'Reilly, chock full of overblown statements, false analogies, distortions and dire warnings of impending doom.

O'Reilly Links Riots in France to Iraq War and French Refusal to Help Bush
"Well, if you don't believe in karma after this story, what can I say. Let's start at the beginning. If France had demanded that Saddam Hussein allow the U.N. weapons inspectors full access, there would not have been a war in Iraq. But as you know, France was making millions under the table by working with Saddam. And that corrupt bargain hurt us all. Also, let's not forget the Chirac government and the French media have consistently undermined America's War on Terror. That's why [The O'Reilly Factor is] boycotting France."

COMMENT: O'Reilly's exhibiting signs of mad FOX disease here, i.e. claiming that the U. N.inspectors did not have full access to Iraq, when in fact they did. The French actually favored permitting those inspectors to continue doing their job for several more months and opposed what they and other countries rightly perceived to be a misguided, unnecessary American misadventure in Iraq.

France was not the only country involved in the Oil-for-Food Scandal. Five U.S. companies and/or individuals have also been implicated. O'Reilly's statement here is simplistic at best and deliberately misleading at worst.

O'Reilly Raps Chirac for Refusing to Use Military
"But now the tide has turned, hasn't it? France is under bitter siege by Muslims. And the weak Chirac government has been exposed in front of the world. For nearly two weeks, Chirac has allowed the insurrection to build in ferocity, refusing to use his military, allowing anarchy in the streets."

COMMENT: Paraphrase: The only good Muslim is a dead Muslim.

O'Reilly Connects French Riots to Hurricane Katrina
"This makes Hurricane Katrina look like a comic book. President Chirac simply has no clue. And if the French people can't figure this out, their entire country's at risk."

COMMENT: Notice how O'Reilly never actually uses the words "violence," "looting" or "New Orleans" here, but instead harks back to his over-the-top and, as it later turned out, completely erroneous, reports that "gangs" of "people" were "roaming" the streets of New Orleans in an "out of control" rampage, raping and murdering, all the while airing video clips of primarily African-Americans.

O'Reilly Condemns France's Legal Immigration Policies
"So what are the lessons here? Well, France has allowed massive Muslim immigration. Ten percent of the French population now practices Islam. Many of these new French citizens [my emphasis] are people of color from Africa, who feel the native French do not accept them and the police treat them unfairly."

COMMENT: The people of France actually have not accepted this Muslim immigrant population. In fact CNN reports that Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has announced that there will be sweeping reforms to address the situation.

O'Reilly Blames Entitlements
"Being a socialist society, France has provided its new citizens with the usual entitlements, including housing, health benefits, and welfare, but there are few jobs in the French economy, which has been stagnant for years. So millions of immigrants are unemployed, feel disenfranchised, and hate their adopted country. And it gets worse. The insurgent Muslims apparently believe they can do whatever they want because Chirac is so weak in the face of the provocation, they're pretty much correct. As I said, Chirac won't even use the military to protect lives and property."

COMMENT: General unemployment in France is running at approximately 10.1%, which is a large number. In France unemployment among the under-30's in the Muslim communities is clocking in at somewhere around 50%, a staggering figure, reminiscent of similar numbers in the black communities in post-WWII America. During the Great Depression, Americ experienced 25% unemployment. It turned out to be a time of great turmoil including the rise of the organized crime, riots in the street, bread lines, weather abberations, massive movements of agricultural populations to the California coast, etc.

According to Outsourcing Times, a online site dedicated to promoting job outsourcing, the French government began over a year ago to fight the effects of outsourcing with a program of tax incentives, etc. to staunch the hemorrhage of jobs to cheaper markets.

O'Reilly Links LEGAL Immigration in France to ILLEGAL Immigration in America
"Meantime, back here in the USA, we have our own immigration mess as everybody knows. The difference here is that we have a vibrant economy in which illegal aliens can make money."

COMMENT: News flash, Bill. The revolts in France (and now Belgium) are being conducted by people who - as you stated above - are largely CITIZENS. Yet, you make the unjustified claim that the European situation in analogous to American ILLEGAL immigration. I would say you're comparing apples to refrigerators.

Illegal immigrants in America are able to make money here only because employers are paying garbage wages in an effort to compete with other American companies that have already outsourced to cheaper labor markets. The real wage trend in this country is downward. The economy created a dismal 56,000 new jobs in October, significantly under the 150,000 needed to match population growth. I personally believe the October figures show that retailers are not hiring holiday temporary help, which is a bad sign for holiday sales. Additionally, just today Toll Brothers, the huge homebuilding concern, announced it will not be building as many units as projected. 40% of the jobs created under Bush the Lesser were in construction. If the housing bubble bursts, this could mean that by the beginning of the fourth quarter in January the United States will see negative job growth, a spike in first-time jobless claims and a higher unemployment rate.

O'Reilly Conjures Up the Spectre of 9/11
"But the same kind of chaos in place simply can't allow millions of foreign-born people to pour into any country without a well-thought-out plan to assimilate them."

COMMENT: I agree with this. From all reports I've seen, the French have failed miserably to address the issue of assimilation and have marginalized the Muslim population by crowding them into ghettos with no way out. Again, a situation strikingly similar to our own ghettos in this country. Before the Bush administration embarked on it "slash and burn" tactics that cut funding for college education and job training, there was at least some sense that, if you worked hard and got an education, you could pull yourself out of poverty. But, dwindling federal support for such programs (the exception being college-subsidy programs offered by the military) has led to fewer opportunities for economically disadvantaged youth. One wonders: Was this a deliberate attempt to force the children of poverty into the armed services?

O'Reilly Uses 9/11 to Make a Point and Suggests a U.S. Disaster Just Around the Corner
"The Bush administration and the Clinton administration before it have failed to confront the immigration chaos. The result, 9/11, was caused by Muslims who overstayed their visas and recently New Mexico and Arizona have declared states of emergency. We're living in a very dangerous world where fanatics and terrorists abound. France has buried its head in the sand and now has a disaster on its hands. America has done the same thing on immigration. Is our disaster just around the corner?"

COMMENT: O'Reilly shamelessly conjures up visions of hordes of Hispanics burning cars and rioting in the streets of hometown America, even thought the illegal immigration situation in the United States is completely different from the state of affairs in France, where CITIZENS are rebelling against perceived institutionalized discrimination based on race and religion.

As for America's economic future, if unemployment nationally reaches 25%, all bets are off on how the American public will react. But, using the last world-wide depression as a guide, it wouldn't be pretty.

O'Reilly Connects French Riots to Hurricane Katrina
"This makes Hurricane Katrina look like a comic book. President Chirac simply has no clue. And if the French people can't figure this out, their entire country's at risk."

COMMENT: Notice how O'Reilly never actually uses the words "violence," "looting" or "New Orleans" here, but instead harks back to his over-the-top and, as it later turned out, completely erroneous, reports that "gangs" of "people" were "roaming" the streets of New Orleans in an "out of control" rampage, raping and murdering, all the while airing video clips of primarily African-Americans.

O'Reilly Condemns France's Legal Immigration Policies
So what are the lessons here? Well, France has allowed massive Muslim immigration. Ten percent of the French population now practices Islam. Many of these new French citizens [my emphasis] are people of color from Africa, who feel the native French do not accept them and the police treat them unfairly.

O'Reilly Blames Entitlements
"Being a socialist society, France has provided its new citizens with the usual entitlements, including housing, health benefits, and welfare, but there are few jobs in the French economy, which has been stagnant for years. So millions of immigrants are unemployed, feel disenfranchised, and hate their adopted country. And it gets worse. The insurgent Muslims apparently believe they can do whatever they want because Chirac is so weak in the face of the provocation, they're pretty much correct. As I said, Chirac won't even use the military to protect lives and property."

COMMENT: Total unemployment in France is running at approximately 25%, which is a huge number. It puts joblessness in France on a par with the 25% unemployment experienced in America during the Great Depression, a time of great turmoil including the rise of the mobs, riots in the street, bread lines, massive movements of agricultural populations to the California coast, etc. In France unemployment among the under-30's in the Muslim communities is clocking in at somewhere around 50%, a staggering figure, reminiscent of similar numbers in the black communities in post-WWII America.

According to Outsourcing Times, a online site dedicated to promoting job outsourcing, the French government began over a year ago to fight the effects of outsourcing with a program of tax incentives, etc. to staunch the hemorrhage of jobs to cheaper markets.

O'Reilly Links LEGAL Immigration in France to ILLEGAL Immigration in America
"Meantime, back here in the USA, we have our own immigration mess as everybody knows. The difference here is that we have a vibrant economy in which illegal aliens can make money."

COMMENT: News flash, Bill. The revolts in France (and now Belgium) are being conducted by people who - as you stated above - are largely CITIZENS. Yet, you make the unjustified claim that the European situation in analogous to American ILLEGAL immigration. I would say you're comparing apples to refrigerators.

Illegal immigrants in America are able to make money here only because employers are paying garbage wages in an effort to compete with other American companies that have already outsourced to cheaper labor markets. The real wage trend in this country is downward. The economy created a dismal 56,000 new jobs in October, significantly under the 150,000 needed to match population growth. I personally believe the October figures show that retailers are not hiring holiday temporary help, which is a bad sign for holiday sales. Additionally, just today Toll Brothers, the huge homebuilding concern, announced it will not be building as many units as projected. 40% of the jobs created under Bush the Lesser were in construction. If the housing bubble bursts, this could mean that by the beginning of the fourth quarter in January the United States will see negative job growth, a spike in first-time jobless claims and a higher unemployment rate.

O'Reilly Conjures Up the Spectre of 9/11
"But the same kind of chaos in place simply can't allow millions of foreign-born people to pour into any country without a well-thought-out plan to assimilate them."

COMMENT: I agree with this. From all reports I've seen, the French have failed miserably to address the issue of assimilation and have marginalized the Muslim population by crowding them into ghettos with no way out. Again, a situation strikingly similar to our own ghettos in this country. Before the Bush administration embarked on its "slash and burn" tactics that cut funding for college education and job training, there was at least some sense that, if you worked hard and got an education, you could pull yourself out of poverty. But, dwindling federal support for such programs (the exception being college-subsidy programs offered by the military) has led to fewer opportunities for economically disadvantaged youth. One wonders: Was this a deliberate attempt to force the children of poverty into the armed services?

O'Reilly Uses 9/11 to Make a Point and Suggests a U.S. Disaster Just Around the Corner
"The Bush administration and the Clinton administration before it have failed to confront the immigration chaos. The result, 9/11, was caused by Muslims who overstayed their visas and recently New Mexico and Arizona have declared states of emergency. We're living in a very dangerous world where fanatics and terrorists abound. France has buried its head in the sand and now has a disaster on its hands. America has done the same thing on immigration. Is our disaster just around the corner?"

COMMENT: O'Reilly shamelessly conjures up visions of hordes of Hispanics burning cars and rioting in the streets of hometown America, even though the illegal immigration situation in the United States is completely different from the state of affairs in France, where CITIZENS are rebelling against perceived institutionalized discrimination based on race and religion.

As for America's economic future, if unemployment nationally reaches 25%, all bets are off on how the American public will react. But, using the last world-wide depression as a guide, it wouldn't be pretty, especially if the main reason for the job loss was outsourcing to cheaper labor markets.

POST UPDATED Tat 1:00 PM EST on November 8, 2005 TO CORRECT AN ERROR IN THE NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURE FOR FRANCE. Current unemployment rate is 10.1%, not 25% as originally stated.

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