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Big Bully Billy O'Reilly Refuses Invite to Debate in San Francisco, Shaking in Fear Under His Desk

Reported by Marie Therese - November 15, 2005

Last night on the O'Reilly Factor, belligerent straw man, Bill O'Reilly, huffed and puffed to no avail against Todd Chretien. Chretien , a writer, was the Northern California Field Coordinator for the Nader-Camejo ticket in the 2004 elections and the man who drafted Proposition I [see below for full text], the recently passed measure in which San Franciscans rejected military recruiting on public school campuses.

O'Reilly's other guest was conservative talk show host Jeff Katz of KNEW Radio in San Francisco. Katz serves on the Executive Board of Directors for the Republican Jewish Coalition of Northern California and has been named a member of the Board of Advisors for Jews Against Anti-Christian Discrimination. While working in Philadephia, he created the Jew Phone as a satire on Jewish stereotyping.

Whenever O'Reilly mentioned the war on terror or military recruiting, Chretien brought up the war in Iraq, but the Bloviating Billster would have none of it. In a clear repudiation of a linchpin of the the Bush doctrine of pre-emption, namely, that we're fighting the terrorists in Iraq so we don't have to fight them here, O'Reilly repeatedly stated that the war in Iraq had nothing to do with the war on terror or military recruiting.

Conservative commentator Jeff Katz turned out to be yet another right-wing clone, spewing half-truths and insults aimed at the people of San Francisco. In the end, O'Reilly dodged an invitation by Chretien to come to San Francisco and debate him on this topic. Bill danced a clumsy soft-shoe and declined, saying that there was no point in debating someone who could not stay on point! What he really meant was he's incapable of going mano a mano with someone who isn't afraid of him.

My favorite moments:

1) O'Reilly lying about the length of his November 8th radio broadcast when Chretien noted that the audio clip aired during his Talking Points Memo was incomplete and left out the offensive reference to Coit Tower. O'Reilly claimed the full tape was five minutes long. However, the portion posted on BillOReilly.com is slightly over a minute long.

2) O'Reilly asking Chretien, in a moment clearly designed to promote the Radio Factor, whether he has ever listened to the Radio Factor and what time the show is aired.

3) O'Reilly claiming that Proposition I did not include a statement about Iraq and Chretien pointing out that it did. A real "gotcha" moment, which was ruined somewhat by the fact that either Chretien is a soft-spoken man or FOX News turned down the volume on his voice .

[Aside: On many occasions on the O'Reilly Factor, which is taped, liberal voices seem "softer" or "less voluminous." I noticed the same thing last night. The O'Reilly and Katz voices came through loud and clear while Chretien's voice sounded thin, a bit muffled and definitely not as loud as the other two. Could it be that the FOX engineers lower the volume or manipulate the filters on liberal voices in an effort to mitigate their impact? Any sound engineers out there? Is such a thing possible?]


O'REILLY: Now, for the top story tonight - two other views of this. Joining us from San Francisco, Todd Chretien, who authored the controversial proposition and Jeff Katz, radio talk show host on KNEW 910, home of the Radio Factor. Mr. Cretien, we appreciate you comin' on the program. Most of the other people from San Fracisco have run for cover. Two simple questions before we get to the issue. Number one, do you believe the U. S. A. is fighting a War on Terror right now?

CHRETIEN: Thanks, Bill, for having me tonight. Appreciate the chance to talk to your audience. I believe that his war in Iraq is creating more terror than we started with and it's not going very well.

O'REILLY (overtalks last 6 words): OK. But you - overall, overall, are we in the middle of a war on terror?

CHRETIEN: That's what the President calls it. I would call it somethin' else.

O'REILLY: OK. So you don't believe we're fightin' a war on terror. OK. Have you ever listened to the Radio Factor?

CHRETIEN: Yes, I have.

O'REILLY: OK. What time is it on?

CHRETIEN: In San Francisco - I'm bad with time zones - it's usually on in the evening.

O'REILLY: OK. But you have listened to the program? You know the tone ...

CHRETIEN: But I heard your - I heard - I noticed that - you know, you're right. You said that it was - what you were saying in that intro piece was that it was satirical, what you said ...

O'REILLY: Right. Right.

CHRETIEN: ... but you actually left out the part at the end there where you said if Al Qaeda came to San Francisco and wanted to blow up Coit Tower, which is about five blocks from here ...


O'REILLY (overtalks last 6 words): Yeah. We have the whole - we can't play the whole thing ...

CHRETIEN: ... that they should go ahead.

O'REILLY: ... it's five minutes long. Anybody can hear it on BillOReilly.com.

CHRETIEN: The thing I would say, Bill ...

O'REILLY (overtalks last 6 words): It was obviously ...

CHRETIEN: And I would say ...


O'REILLY: ... a satirical reference and even the San Francisco chronicle knows it.

CHRETIEN: Well, this is what I would say. The people of San Francisco do not think the war in Iraq is a laughing matter. There's - when I wrote Proposition I back in March, there were 1,500 dead American soldiers. As we speak today, there's almost 2,100 and by next Christmas there'll be 3,000. That is not something we should be laughing about.

O'REILLY: And you've insulted ...

CHRETIEN: That is not something we should be laughing about.

O'REILLY: And you and your ilk have insulted every single military person in this country because, as you know, they're not responsible for the war in Iraq. That's a political decision. These people ...

CHRETIEN: That's why we think they should come home now.

O'REILLY: No. It's not about comin' home ..

CHRETIEN: ... and stop killing and being maimed and dying in Iraq.

O'REILLY (jabs finger at camera): Hey!! Ya' want comin' on - comin' home - put comin' home on the proposition! You put ...

CHRETIEN: It was in the proposition.

O'REILLY: We don't want ...

CHRETIEN: Did you read it?

O'REILLY: Yeah. I did.

CHRETIEN: Did you read it, Bill?

O'REILLY (much louder, ignores Chretien): We don't want military recruiting ...

CHRETIEN: 'Cause it says bring them home now.

O'REILLY (louder, still ignores Chretien): ... in our schools. That's like sayin' ...

CHRETIEN: And it says "Bring them home now," Bill.

O'REILLY (steamrolls ahead): ... we don't want military in our homes. It's the same thing. You insulted them ...

CHRETIEN: We don't think that the troops who are dying in Iraq should be replaced with more kids from our public schools.

O'REILLY: Then put that on the - then make a propositionout of that ...f

CHRETIEN: It was on the ballot, Bill. Hey, that's what the proposition said ...

O'REILLY (still loud, still ignoring): This is about ...

CHRETIEN: You should have read it more closely.

O'REILLY (ignores Chretien): ... military recruiting. Is it - is it not, Mr. Katz? Is it not about military recruiting?

KATZ (restating the obvious, the volume on his feed matches that of O'Reilly's): It's completely about military recruiting inside of schools and college campuses and I have to tell you something, Bill. With the exception of a handful of the uber-leftists here in San Francisco, everybody understood that what you said was - ah - was really - ah - part of what most of America thinks about when they think about San Francisco. Frankly, those of us who live and work in the Bay Area routinely look at San Francisco - the outrageous votes, the ridiculous things that happen at City Hall - and think that San Francisco has simply become a punch-line. It is a virulently anti-American statement. It is attacking the troops full on. And that's what Proposition I was all about. It's what the continued efforts here in San Francisco - they have what they call "Peace Marches" where they chant "Death to America," "Death to Bush." They hate the troops and all you need to do - and Mr. Chretien, I'm sure, is proud of the support he received on Proposition I. Take a look at some of the groups that are supporting Proposition I and you tell me which side of this war they're on.

[COMMENT: Let's see. Faced with the staggering 59% of San Franciscans who voted in favor of the proposition, Katz resorts to saying that the rest of America thinks they're all a bunch of loons. Got news for you, Mr. Katz. Most of the rest of the Bay Area would have passed the same measure had it been on our ballots. At this point, I believe many more cities throughout the land will see similar ballot measures in the near future. Americans have lost faith in the President and lost their belief in the nobility of this war. The Republicans made what I call the Martha Stewart mistake. They branded themselves using a single person. They built their strategy on the cult of personality, that personality being down home country boy straight shootin' George W. Bush who'd look you in the eye, shake your hand and tell you the truth. Now that George has fallen off his horse and the brand name is tarnished, the rest of the enterprise is going bye-bye. The Republicans talk a good talk about issues and having an agenda, but what they really did was hitch their wagon to a hollow man and now they're paying the price!]

O'REILLY: Alright. Now, Mr. Chretien, I, I respect you for comin' on the program, 'cause you knew this wasn't gonna be an easy ride ...

CHRETIEN: Well, I respect you for having me, Bill.

O'REILLY: ... and I - and I also respect the fact that you dissent from the war in Iraq. It's not about the war in Iraq. And if you wanted a proposition on the war in Iraq, you should have put one on there.

[COMMENT: Duh, Bill, San Francisco's been there, done that. Last March they voted to bring the troops home and Proposition I reinforced this in its very language. By this point it was patently obvious that O'Reilly liedwhen he said he'd read the proposition.]

O'REILLY: But you have to understand, sir, that this is a slap in the face to the U. S military. This is a volunteer army. These men and women are putting their lives on the line to protect us and I'll tell ya' what. I don't back down from any of my comments about San Francisco or the satirical reference - and the satirical reference was this and, again, anybody can hear it on BillOReilly.com: Why should we protect you in San Francisco? If you feel so harshly towards the U. S. military, why should they even protect you, sir?

CHRETIEN: I tell you what, Bill, if you feel that strongly about defending it, then we challenge you to come to San Francisco and let's have a 60-minute debate, moderated by a neutral person, and you can debate that we should keep our troops in Iraq and we should keep the military recruiters out of the schools ...

O'REILLY (overtalks last 9 words): It's not about Iraq! It's not about Iraq!

CHRETIEN: ... and we'll debate getting the troops home now and getting the military recruiters out of the schools.

O'REILLY: Look. Mr. Chretien. Mr. Chretien ...

CHRETIEN: ... so if you're up for that debate, we'd be happy to have you.

O'REILLY: No. No. No. Look. Why would I debate somebody ...

CHRETIEN: We won't back down. Will you?

O'REILLY: Why would I debate someone like you who keeps deflecting the issue into Iraq? This wasn't about Iraq! It was about ...

CHRETIEN: Where do you think they go once they get recruited, Bill?

O'REILLY: ... denying the military access to your schools!! That's what it was about.

CHRETIEN: That's right.

O'REILLY: You deflect it into Iraq. (dismissive) I'm not gonna debate somebody like you who won't even stay on point! (knows he lost this debate, tried to "punish" Chretien) In fact, I'm gonna give Mr. Katz the last word. Go.

KATZ: Well, I will tell you, Bill, that the efforts here - they have a variety of groups that want to talk about how they want to offer alternatives to kids in schools [see last paragraph of proposition below]. The reality is this - that there is an underlying contempt for the military. There is an underlying contempt for this country. That's what we find with the left-wing. It is epitomized by many of the people who serve on our ...

CHRETIEN (interrupting): That's why 60% of the country want the troops to come home now!

KATZ: ... Board of Supervisors in San Francisco.

O'REILLY: It's not about Iraq, Mr. Chretien.

KATZ: It has nothing to do with that.

O'REILLY: It's not about Iraq!

KATZ: That's, that's the clearest thing - that you guys continue to attack them!

O'REILLY: But I would say one thing, to be fair, Mr. Katz. I don't think its the left wing. I think it's the FAR left and there's a big difference between the two.

CHRETIEN (overtalks last 3 words): Come on, Bill. Don't back down! Come to San Francisco and debate us!

O'REILLY: Mr. Chretien, look, if I thought you were gonna debate the war on terror in an honest way, I'd kick your butt up and down the street. But all you want to do is ...

CHRETIEN: OK. Bring it on, as our President says!

O'REILLY: ... put on a dog and pony show with your little left-wing loon friends.

CHRETIEN: You should have read the proposition, Bill, then you would have known what was goin' on. Thanks for havin' me!

O'REILLY (sotto voce): Yeah. I read it.

CHRETIEN: Thanks for havin' me!

O'REILLY: Well, Mr. Katz, illiterate, too? We both read the proposition. We both know what it was. Gentlemen, thanks very much.


All together now, kids! Ready, set, go!

Billy is a scaredy-cat!

Billy is a scaredy-cat!

Lost to Todd and that is that!

Scaredy-cat! Scaredy-cat!


Notice is hereby given by the persons whose names appear heron of their intention to circulate the petition with the City and County of San Francisco for the purpose of putting before the people of San Francisco for the November 8, 2005 election a declaration of policy stating that:

The people of San Francisco oppose U.S. military recruiters using public school, college and university facilities to recruit young people into the armed forces. Furthermore, San Francisco should oppose the military’s “economic draft” by investigating means by which to fund and grant scholarships for college and job training to low-income students so they are not economically compelled to join the military.

A statement of the reasons of the proposed action as contemplated in the petition is as follows:

Whereas, over 1500 American soldiers have died and tens of thousands have been injured physically and psychologically in Iraq; and,

Whereas, a study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Columbia University School of Nursing and Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad estimates that 100,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the U.S. invasion and occupation; and,

Whereas, the U.S. government is forcing soldiers to serve in Iraq for longer than their contracts require with such devices as “stop-loss” orders; and,

Whereas, the “No Child Left Behind Act” forces all high schools that receive federal money to give personal records of all children to the military for the purposes of recruiting; and,

Whereas, the federal Solomon Amendment specifically orders colleges and universities that receive federal money to violate their own legal policies of non-discrimination against gays and lesbians by allowing recruiters for the military, which bars gays and lesbians from serving openly, on campus; and,

Whereas, a de facto “economic draft” forces tens of thousands of low and middleincome students to join the military in order to get money to go to college or get job or technical training; and,

Whereas, the Pentagon budget, over $400 billion per year, plus $300 billion more over the last three years for the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, is draining desperately needed resources for schools, health care and jobs; and,

Whereas, the people of San Francisco voted by 63% to pass Proposition N in November of 2004 calling on the Federal government to “bring the troops safely home now;” and,

Whereas, the Federal government shows no sign of ending the occupation of Iraq or bringing the troops safely home and, in fact, is threatening military action against other nations; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the people of San Francisco oppose U.S. military recruiters using public school, college and university facilities to recruit young people into the armed forces. Furthermore, San Francisco should oppose the military’s “economic draft” by investigating means by which to fund and grant scholarships for college and job training to low-income students so they are not economically compelled to join the military.

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