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O'Reilly: as TB Guy goeth, so goeth the country

Reported by Chrish - June 2, 2007 -

Bill O'Reilly really stre-e-e-tched tonight 6/1/07 to connect the story of Andrew Speaker (aka "TB Guy") to his war on culture meme. Because statements from Speaker and his wife were somewhat contradictory, and hers (as he interpreted it) supported O'Reilly's premise, he declared her to be telling the truth and Speaker to be lying.

In his Talking Points Memo tonight, O'Reilly noted that Speaker is a US Naval Academy graduate and an attorney, and said that he put his own needs above those of other people when he refused to quarantine himself in Italy. He showed video of Speaker saying to Diane Sawyer that he asked the CDC "what's changed? Why are you abandoning me and expecting me to turn myself over for an indefinite time?" O'Reilly asked, rhetorically, if he should give Speaker the benefit of the doubt, and answered with an emphatic No. Why not? Because video of Speaker's new bride, Sarah Cooksey, showed her saying, "Imagine sitting in a foreign country with your husband, and being told that your government was just going to leave you there, and you would probably die."

O'Reilly interpreted Speaker's comments to "he said he wasn't fully aware of his condition" (which is not what was shown in the video. If he did say that, we should have video of it to lend credibility. If O'Reilly is "paraphrasing" he's doing a poor job of it, changing the essence.) Contrasting the "not fully aware" alleged remarks to Cooksey's, O'Reilly concluded, smugly, that Speaker must have been lying.

Comment: Cooksey's comments indicate to me that she was using "you" to indicate herself - "you're in a foreign country with your husband" - and she was using the term "die" euphemistically ("You would probably die"). She smiled through her tears as she said this to Sawyer, indicating she wasn't rally talking about her beloved's impending death. Poor choice of words, perhaps, but who knew it would be spun like this?

So, says the big BOR, this all comes down to a philosophy of life (and book sales). Traditionalists put others on a par with themselves, love your neighbor as yourself, the Judeo-Christian ethic. The "s-p"s, on the other hand, put themselves above all others, me first, then you. He claimed that the US has been successful embracing the traditional point of view but today it's being challenged, and TB Guy is a great example. He put his own welfare above everybody else.

Comment: Since O'Reilly hasn't interviewed Speaker himself, it's one mighty big assumption on O'Reilly's part that this man is an "S-P." (He graduated from the Naval Academy, so you'd think the big T would want to claim him for his camp, fine patriot that he must be.) But because he is being widely vilified for exposing others to his disease, O'Reilly chose to exploit yet another situation to further his own agenda, based on nothing more than his own prejudices.

His assertion that America has practiced the Golden Rule as a nation is pretty generous. Yes, we deliver a lot of aid to foreign countries and we as a nation do and have done much good in the world, and still do. But we are also the only country to ever drop atomic bombs on another country, we are mired in a pre-emptive war against a country that was no threat to us, and a lot of people in his camp subscribe to the "kill or be killed" way of thinking.

From what we've seen lately, it is his end of the political spectrum that puts themselves above others, the "I got mine" crowd, and secular progressives are more likely to embrace compassionate policies. Like I said, he was really stretching and his argument was subsequently thin and transparent.

See for yourself if Sarah Cookesley was speaking literally or not.