Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

O'Reilly claims celebrities criticizing Bush are the ones hurting America's reputation overseas

Reported by Chrish - March 19, 2007 -

On The Factor Friday night, Bill O'Reilly showed a montage of celebrities (Chris Rock, Bill Maher, Richard Gere, Ed Harris, Joy Behar, Sean Penn, Donald Trump and Harry Belafonte) opining to various talk show hosts about the incompetence and criminal nature of the Bush administration and Bush in particular (opinions shared by a large majority of Americans). In two different segments he argued with entertainment reporter Jeanne Wolf and FOX personality Geraldo Rivera that these famous people making disparaging remarks is "irresponsible" and claimed he could take any one of them apart in debate in two minutes.

O'Reilly falsely (and ridiculously) claimed that one of the reasons America's reputation around the world is so bad is because some celebrities publicly "attack" Bush in "crude, often immature" ways, which is rejected by "sane" people but absorbed by "gullible" people. He showed the montage of clips and brought in Jeanne Wolf, who said that it's a highly emotional time, to which O'Reilly (Mr. Calm, right?) said it didn't matter,

"every American has a responsibility to his-or-her country. These people are grossly irresponsible; most of them are downright stupid. If they were here, where you are right now (via satellite), I could reduce them to rubble within two minutes. Joy Behar doesn't know what she's talking about; Richard Gere has no clue...; Chris Rock would last about 35 seconds with me; to Bill Maher's credit, he comes on and discusses the issues."

O'Reilly says you can not like Bush, you can criticize, but calling him these "vile names." a murderer. a tyrant, a terrorist, is hurting your country. Wolf replied that "when terrific communicators like the people shown stoop to that language, it does show the level of emotion..." O'Reilly cut her off to say he's glad she agreed with him, but she immediately stopped him, saying that she didn't agree with him singling them out - these sentiments are seen on bumper stickers and billboards..."

BOR interrupted again to say

"So they shouldn't be singled out? They don't have any responsibility? Because they can talk to millions of people, they don't have any responsibilty to talk in a respectful manner even if they disagree? ... If you want to speak out, speak out coherently, make your points in a responsible manner, I have no problem. These ad hominem attacks are disgusting, they hurt your country, and they diminish the people who do it."

Wolf replied that at the same time he is calling for calm rhetoric, he is namecalling. She hears his frustration, she said, and is interrupted again when O'Reilly claims he didn't call anyone any names, he just described what their actions were.

Ahem. "These people are grossly irresponsible; most of them are downright stupid." So much for respectful.

O'Reilly asserted that Richard Gere just killed his movie. to which Wolf emphatically replied "Ridiculous." (Comment: Hmm, which of the four new movies Gere is in is he referring to? This one seems right up obsessed O'Reilly's alley - maybe he doesn't want handsome Gere getting into his act. But they all look good.) Wolf made the points that everyone knows Gere cares a great deal about peace and what he sees daily on the news must upset him greatly, and if the movie is good, his fans will go. Gere will have to answer questions about his statements as he tours to promote the movie. O'Reilly, in the background, muttered "no they won't" (go to the movie) and "no they won't" ask him questions, "they'll kiss his butt." He points at Wolf and says "watch the grosses; Gere's movie, down the drain. And on Monday, we'll prove it." Wolf got the last word, although off-camera by then: "You're wrong; Consider the source!"

In the later segment with Geraldo Rivera, O'Reilly referred back to this segment and asked if Rivera agreed that there is a responsibility to your country to "not do this" when your words are going to be broadcast all over the world? Rivera answered "Yes but..." and says nobody cares what these people say about politics, they care if the movie or TV project is any good. He thinks they have "zero impact", even the Dixie Chicks and their over-publicized comments didn't have any effect on how people vote. (In a delightful bit of irony, Geraldo mentioned that their fan-base merely shifted from country, where people disagree with their politics, to "mainstream traditional pop", where people agree with them. Must have made the T-warrior see red!)

O'Reilly claims concern that people abroad are hearing a constant drumbeat from celebs and it's hurting America. Rivera disagreed, saying their attitudes about American policies are crafted and honed by their own media and not by what a few American celebrities are saying. O'Reilly shifted gears (geres, ha) to spout that if American media would say we are a noble country, we make mistakes but every country does, that would help America. Geraldo noted that he doesn't know where that happens except in countries with a controlled media, and O'Reilly was quick to boast the he does just that.

"But you don't hear it from the Hollywood pinheads; you mostly hear garbage, irresponsible garbage! And (he's) teed off about it, and they better knock it off, or (he's) gonna go see them."
(Uh-oh, they don't take stalkers lightly in Hollywood.) Rivera, looking uncomfortably bemused at O'Reilly's increasing agitation, said "so don't vote for Richard Gere." He doesn't think this has any effect and O'Reilly repeats his prediction that the movie (still not specified) will tank.

Comment: Mark your calendars and call a date: May 11, "The Flock." Go see it, piss off O'Reilly. :-)