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Derision and deception in O'Reilly's war on free speech

Reported by Chrish - April 11, 2007 -

Hopefully Rosie O'Donnell's pointed ignoring of the fake controversey Bill O'Reilly tried to stir up (for ratings) will force an end to the indignation and sputtering - on that topic, at least. Last night 4/10/07 O'Reilly tried to keep the fires burning but just came off as a disrespectful, misogynist paternalistic hack.

Actor David Hyde Pierce brought up the subject (as it relates to The View ladies discussing Imus' racist, misogynist comments), saying "God bless America" because it's even possible for four opinionated women to express those opinions and discuss the matters of the day. (OK, the tabloid gossip that passes for news of the day.) In response, O'Donnell said that some men in this country are still intimidated by women having a platform, like The View.

O'Reilly laughed condescendingly, as did guest Bernie Goldberg, and even Jane Hall smiled agreeably. Giggling and counting on his manicured fingers, O'Reilly said he won a dinner because "Disney told her 'don't even go near the frame-up of the Iran hostage thing', the preposterous scenario she laid out before she left on vacation; and the 9/11 inside job stuff, Jane. (Maybe she didn't bring it up because it's over!) "So now it's a male thing, the men are after her."

Hall (who appeared to have seen only the clips supplied by BOR and subsequently in my opinion did a terrible job in this segment) said that she couldn't tell if RO'D was defending herself or Imus, and said RO'D slyly made BOR into Donald Trump.

Goldberg ruefully shook his head, which sent O'Reilly into more peals of laughter. Goldberg zeroed in on the phrase "in this country," to reintroduce RO'D's supposed "anti-American" bias. But what she said was appropriate in response to Hyde-Pierce's observation that "there are so many countries where we couldn't talk about those issues (free speech, responsibility), and women wouldn't be talking about it." The panel of women agreed, the audience applauded, and O'Donnell replied "and I think it's threatening to some men still in this country."
(Incidentally, Goldberg read from notes and got the quote materially wrong. He read "Yeah, a lot of men in this country are still afraid. They find us threatening." Watch the video.)

He continued with the "it's always something about us" meme as O'Reilly giggled in the background, and finished with the idiotic statement that he'd rather do hard time in a Saudi prison than watch The View - too bad we can't accomodate him.

O'Reilly brought it back to the huge corporations (ABC/Disney, GE/NBC, and CBS/Viacom - notably not News Corp/FOX) who are "allowing people to run wild. Goldberg agreed and harked back to the TPM and O'Reilly's comment that the free market will sort it out.

O'Reilly went back to Hall for a woman's confirmation that O'Donnell's "blaming men" stance (talk about SPIN) was ridiculous and amusing, and unfortunately Hall gave it to him. O'Reilly congratulated "whoever writes her stuff" for coming up with that spin - making it not about "anti-America comments, or anything (he) ever did," it's about those nasty guys. (Surely this is intended to strike a chord with the homophobes in his audience, who think lesbianism entails man-hating.)

Hall chimed in that she was surprised that O'Donnell defended Imus because she as a woman should have seen how offensive his remarks were - she's having it both ways. O'Reilly, who must have known better, let that stand and the segment ended. Obviously Hall did not see the whole show, because early on there was this dialog:

RO'D: "I think it's interesting, he said 'nappy-headed hos,' right, and the NAACP, and Al Sharpton and Jesse jackson, everybody was on him for the nappy-headed. Why isn't there a women's movement, why isn't there some head of the women's movement going "And we don't like 'hos,' by the way.'" There was a lot of applause and agreement from the panel, especially Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and O'Donnell continued "It's very offensive." So, there it is.

O'Reilly wants to hold everyone at other networks accountable for every word out of their mouths ("mercenaries! he said mercenaries!!!") but doesn't include himself or his colleagues. Step one: admit to yourself you have a problem.

Rosie O'Donnell noted this morning on The View that as all the cable "news" channels and TV talking heads plumb the depths of Anna Nicole's story and Imus' foul mouth, 24 US servicemen and women were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 90 more wounded. Rosie gets it; good for her for reminding her audience.