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O'Reilly and Falwell interview, 1999

Reported by Chrish - May 15, 2007 -

There was no O'Reilly Factor today 5/15/07, but Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes (live at the scene of the 9PM Republican presidential candidates' "debate") hosted a stew of random segments from previous shows for all the O'Reilly junkies. The first segment was a 1999 interview with the late Jerry Falwell, who was at the time under fire for "controversial" remarks.
With video.

The interview encompassed Falwell's end-time beliefs and included references to the rapture and the anticipated second coming of Christ. Not familiar with the controversey (I ignored all these people until monitoring for Outfoxed), i had to look it up and found this at Jewish Bulletin:

..."Falwell told about 1,500 people gathered in Tennessee that he believes Jesus will return within a decade.

Before that event can take place, Falwell and others believe, a figure known as the Antichrist will arise and spread universal evil, but will be conquered at the Second Coming of the Christian messiah.

Is the Antichrist "alive and here today?" Falwell asked his parishioners and millions of viewers who see the service broadcast by television and radio during Sunday morning services at his Lynchburg, Va., church.

"Probably," he said, "because when he appears during the tribulation period he will be a full-grown counterfeit of Christ. Of course he'll be Jewish."

During the course of the interview (remember, during the Clinton years), O'Reilly said :
"...I don't know why you're sayin' this stuff, y'know? It hurts your credibility to say this stuff, don't you think? (Overtalks Falwell, who is replying that he's been preaching this for twenty years...) I know that, but... people wanna paint you as a nut. They wanna paint Jerry Falwell as a nut. They wanna put Bill O'Reilly in a box, they wanna put Geraldo Rivera in a box, anybody who's outspoken or has an opinion about anything, there are gonna be people who wanna put them aside (makes sweeping hand gesture), naaaaaaaaaahhhh, y'know, that kinda thing. So you play right inta their hands by this anti-Christ thing."

How this near illiterate has stayed on the air and developed a following is beyond me. But besides that, the hypocrisy of him charging that some anonymous "they" will dismiss opinionated people for speaking out is enormous. Bill O'Reilly dismisses people who differ from him on solutions to the illegal immigration problem, how to handle the war, right to die issues, taxes, and who should determine how long criminals should be sentenced as "far left." People who are more tolerant on social issues and free speech issues are labelled "secular progressive" (as if that's a bad thing). And he doesn't just generalize, he goes after individuals: Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore, Rosie O'Donnell, George Soros, Sean Penn, Jane Fonda, Sunsara Taylor, Rocky Anderson, William Arkin, Paul Krugman, newspaper publishers too numerous to name, columnists, judges, the list goes on and on. He's the biggest smear merchant of all, a character assassin for hire. But he's rich, rich, rich!