Boyce Watkins is O'Reilly's new target, allegedly for "race hustling."
Reported by Chrish - May 13, 2008 -
In Talking Points Memo tonight 5/12/08 O'Reilly was again bemoaning the plethora of "race-hustlers" in this election season, a term he now applies (along with "race-baiters") to any black person who speaks out in anger about racial issues or the media-created "controversy" about Obama and his former pastor. Centered in his sights now is Dr. Boyce Watkins, a professor at Syracuse University who has blogged about racial issues.
I have to admit I don't recall ever hearing of Dr. Watkins before and had to use the Intertubes. None other than Dr. Marc Lamont Hill says "Boyce Watkins is one of the greatest minds of our time." SO why would O'Reilly single him out as a race-hustler? Well, apparently Dr. Watkins has had enough of O'Reilly's (and Hannity's and Limbaugh's) racializing of Barack Obama's candidacy, and he's fighting back with petitions and email campaigns to O'Reilly's sponsors.
O'Reilly (who apparently found Watkins in a recent morning Google of himself - eeeww) found four references to Syracuse U. on Watkins' homepage, so sent his ambush producer Porter Berry to accost the Syracuse Chancellor, Dr. Nancy Cantor. (Interesting that Berry didn't accost Watkins himself and instead chose the petite white woman to badger on her way to work.) Ostensibly she was taken to task for not condemning Watkins free speech on his personal blog, because he had the audacity to call Juan Williams a "happy negro" (last year, on CNN, after the Sylvia's restaurant story broke). (Watkins defends his use of the term here; interesting.) By the way, the "references" to Syracuse were included in autobiographical material and comments from a student and from Dr. Michael Eric Dyson. Also "referenced" were Kentucky University and Ohio State, where Watkins earned his many degrees.
Berry told the Chancellor that Watkins said that Bill O'Reilly wants to lynch Michelle Obama, and he's "using the good name of Syracuse U to spread these kinds of lies." First off, Watkins is not using Syracuse's name for anything, and second, what lies? O'Reilly said it: "I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels." Does he think the qualifying "unless" gets him off the hook? Cantor repeated several times that Watkins spoke for himself, not the school, as is his right. She was practically running to get away from the jerk.
O'Reilly says Watkins is just one of many (implied: blacks!) using the campaign to push a radical agenda and hides behind academic freedom in his "villainous pursuits;" I'm not making this up. But, apparently Syracuse U does not have any academic standards... because it allows someone who is identified as an employee maintain a personal blog that promotes views that are anathema to Bill O'Reilly.
Talking Points expects a vicious campaign this fall, although it will be "fanatical surrogates" and not the candidates spreading the hate. (Recall that just last week Dick Morris said to O'Reilly "But the real fight over the summer is gonna be you, and Hannity, and Limbaugh, and all of those folks against Obama over issues like Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers and all that."
But O'Reilly claims his role will be to call out the hate-spreaders and "expose these people." Hide the children, BillO is going to expose himself on national teevee!
As one of the top gatekeepers of what's "news" and what isn't, O'Reilly gets to set the agenda and we've been watching him make race and racial fear a central issue in the election. Shame, shame, shame on him.
Following the TPM, O'Reilly brought on Juan Williams "to react." Williams is no fan of Watkins and the two spent the "Top Story" segment demonizing the man. O'Reilly framed the issue as Watkins using the presidential contest to defame people; that's rich. Watkins is using the defamation of Jeremiah Wright (and by extension Barack Obama) by O'Reilly et al to call for sanctions against O'Reilly. Williams claims Watkins is threatened by he and O'Reilly having an honest discussion and said Watkins twisted things in the Sylvia's incident. Likening him to Communists, Williams said Watkins is running a "re-education camp" at Syracuse.
O'Reilly continued to whine about the university allowing it - he compared Watkins several times to Ward Churchill, who was O'Reilly's target in early 2005. O'Reilly "had to" tell the audience, so they could see just how derelict Syracuse was being, that Watkins wrote on his personal website that Juan Williams is not actually African-American but Panamanian, which O'Reilly says is a "vile personal attack" and "street stuff." Except that it's true: "Williams was born in April 1954 in Col贸n, Panama, which is near the Panama Canal Zone (United States territory at the time)."
And Syracuse allows that? Outrageous.
O'Reilly asks his usual leading question (Churchill, Rosie O'Donnell, Arkin): what should they do about him? Williams says academia should not stand for this type of bullying and intimidation and all points of view should be heard - but, it sounds like he and O'Reilly would prefer that Watkins point of view, which they've labeled "hate," that handy catch-all for dissent or disapproval of what they believe, should be silenced in the name of "standards." Theirs, of course.
After Williams speech, O'Reilly asked bluntly, "so would you fire the guy?" There. the seed's been planted and the minions will be bombarding that poor Chancellor first thing in the morning.
Williams would have him come before some board and have hearings over legitimate discourse and standards. O'Reilly, having gotten what he wanted from the segment, ended it.
Make no mistake, this is personal. O'Reilly will once again use his powerful platform on national television to go after a professor who has dared call him out on his racial fearmongering, and O'Reilly will endeavor to get him fired.
Juan and Bill attack Watkins