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What's good for the goose (R) is not acceptable for the gander (D)

Reported by Chrish - January 9, 2007 -

Michael Eric Dyson, Ph.D., University of PA professor, is a really fast talker. He talked rings around Bill O'Reilly on The Factor tonight, 1/8/07, as he defended the Congressional Black Caucus for giving a standing ovation to LA Rep. William Jefferson, who is under investigation by the FBI for possibly accepting a bribe(s).

O'Reilly said he would be a hypocrite if he didn't afford Jefferson the presumption of innocence that he insists is owed the Duke lacrosse players, and Dyson agreed. But neither addressed the issue of O'Reilly's selective outrage over Jefferson receiving an ovation when he (BOR) didn't carry on in a similar manner when Tom DeLay, who was by then indicted and on the way out of Congress, got repeated standing ovations from Republicans in the House (after Democrats walked out in disgust when it became apparent that DeLay was not going to apologize for his transgressions).

(The only FOX mention of the Republican standing ovation came from Susan Estrich, in a column on the FOXNews.com website. Before anyone claims this is evidence of "fair and balanced" reporting, consider a tucked-away web column versus your vaunted cable news ratings leader doing a 5 minute broadcast segment.)

O'Reilly stated that he thinks the "Congressional Black Caucus, is putting, as they have been known to do, race over common sense." Dyson hastened to deny this charge. O'Reilly, becoming shrill, demanded to know why Jefferson got a standing ovation at all - what has he done to deserve it? Dyson said that his constituents felt he represented them well, and named other members who were also being honored - Charles Rangel, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, John Lewis, Maxine Waters....

At the mention of Maxine Waters' name O'Reilly snapped to attention with a laugh, as if that explained the whole thing. Dyson pointed out that to isolate Jefferson to the exclusion of the others nullifies what's going on, as O'Reilly noisily laughed and smacked his stack of papers over the last words.

This was just a transparent attempt to reiterate the current talking point, that Democrats have promised to raise Congressional ethical standards yet appear to have an unethical member among their own ranks. The treatment of Jefferson is miles from the slack allowed Republicans in recent years, but this is exactly what we expected to see on FOX once power shifted back to Democrats. The not-so-subtle dig at the Caucus, the accusation of standing up for Jefferson because he is black and not because he has not been charged, belied O'Reilly's claim of "presumed innocence" championship.

Dr. Dyson did an outstanding job explaining and defending Jefferson and the caucus, doing so with grace and good humor that disarmed O'Reilly.