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

O’Reilly Sleight Of Hand On Sanford Affair: Make The Story About Liberal Viciousness, Ignore The Open Questions

Reported by Ellen - June 28, 2009 -

The O’Reilly Factor took a break from the nearly non-stop Michael Jackson coverage Friday night (6/26/09) on Fox to spend three segments accusing Democrats, liberals, and the left, of “celebrating” Gov. Mark Sanford’s (R-SC) fall from grace. Cleverly avoiding the substantive issues that surround Sanford’s admission that he’s been having an affair: his failure to arrange for someone else to be in charge while he was MIA, his hypocrisy as a supposed family values conservative, and his use of public funds to visit his mistress in Argentina, Bill O’Reilly, Karl Rove (videos below) and Bernard Goldberg repeatedly smeared their fellow Americans who happen to be Democrats and then accused THEM of being vicious. It was hard not to see it as a deliberate diversion from the sorry state of affairs (pun intended) otherwise known as the Republican Party. Unless it was a deliberate diversion from the continuing outcry against Bill O’Reilly’s persistent attacks on abortion doctor George Tiller, later gunned down by an anti-abortion extremist, about which O'Reilly is obviously still smarting (from the attacks on him, that is, not Tiller's death). With video.

As soon as he heard the news of Sanford’s affair, O’Reilly said, “I knew some on the left would celebrate because the governor’s a conservative Republican.” O’Reilly generously acknowledged that “reveling in the pain of others” is not limited to liberals and Democrats “but the far left has been especially vicious lately.” I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that “lately” means since Dr. Tiller was killed and the world started scrutinizing O’Reilly’s years-long campaign to destroy him.

O’Reilly went on to make the laughable claim, “The right has been fairly restrained about the John Edwards situation... Here at Fox News we reported the Edwards affair but did not dwell on it. Or celebrate it.” That must depend on what the definition of “dwell” is. Because Hannity & Colmes, alone, spent one entire show on the subject (I didn’t see any of FNC's prime time shows spending that much time on Sanford who, unlike Edwards, is still in office). And O’Reilly, himself, while proclaiming that he did not “relish this,” used the occasion of Edwards' affair to air every other “very accurate” grievance O'Reilly had against Edwards and vowed to find out who sat on the story for several months. Funny, I didn’t see any such journalistic spunk over the unanswered questions related to the Sanford case. In fact, I have seen no journalistic spunk at all about Sanford's downfall.

As an example of the left supposedly “celebrating” Sanford’s fall, O’Reilly played a clip of Democratic strategist Paul Begala saying, “I’m sick of getting lectures from Republicans that I’m not a good husband, I’m not a good Christian, I’m not a good patriot. They ought to cut that crap and do their real job and stop lecturing the rest of us about gay rights and sex...”

Correct me if I’m wrong but I didn’t hear anything celebratory about Sanford’s troubles there. Begala didn’t even mention Sanford’s name. But maybe that came later. O’Reilly cut off the clip by saying, “Now, I could spend all night citing the nasty attacks by far-left loons.”

That was followed by a swipe at Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, Christine Pelosi, who said, “How many more Sanfords until the GOP decides to drop the hopelessly hypocritical opposition to privacy rights and marriage equality?’

O’Reilly announced, “Privacy rights, of course, is code for unrestricted abortion.” According to O’Reilly, Pelosi’s game was “obvious.” “If you support any protections for the unborn or traditional marriage, you had better be a saint.”

Maybe O’Reilly’s just worried that his own lack of sainthood will come under scrutiny next, maybe with regard to a little thing called a loofah. Or maybe he’s still smarting from the criticism over his own relentless attacks on Tiller.

“Absolutely vicious. Absolutely un-American,” O’Reilly said. OK, so if Mr. Sensitive O’Reilly believes so much in civil discourse, why does he allow the kind of mean-spirited "jokes" that are Dennis Miller's stock in trade on The Factor? Better yet, why did he engage in attacks far more vicious attacks on Tiller, that continued even after he had been murdered?

In the next segment, Karl Rove proved the point.

But first, O’Reilly huffed that Pelosi and the Washington Post were “intimidating anyone who’s pro life, traditional marriage. You’d better not say a word if you are not a saint or we’re gonna get you.”

Rove agreed, adding that it’s “a curious double standard.” Well, it takes one to know one, Karl. Because before the interview was even half over (at about the 4 minute mark in the video below), he was attacking the left. “The left will seize on any opportunity they think they have in order to condemn those who are pro life and pro traditional marriage.” Hmm, I don’t hear people on the left condemning Barack Obama for being pro traditional marriage nor condemning Senator Bob Casey for being pro life.

Then, referring to Paul Begala, Rove asked superciliously, “Unbelievable! ...Who, exactly, is accusing him of being a poor father or a poor Christian or not a patriot?”

“Nobody!” O’Reilly exclaimed.

OK, maybe not a poor father but just a few nights ago on Hannity, Fox News fave (and two-time voter fraud suspect) Ann Coulter accused the left of hating America so much they think the rest of the world does, too. I don’t recall any outrage from either O’Reilly or Rove. And there certainly wasn’t any objection from Sean Hannity. As a matter of fact, on Monday, Coulter told O’Reilly that liberals are on “the pro-death side” and only in the “one case” of Dr. Tiller’s murder were they upset. She went on to say that she didn’t even like to think of Tiller’s death “as a murder." "It was terminating Tiller... I am personally opposed to shooting abortionists,” Coulter said. “But I don’t want to impose my moral values on others.”

Was O’Reilly outraged? Heck, no. He said mildly, “Naw, he (meaning the assassin) was a murderer.”

Coulter added, “(The left’s) logic is, if you don’t believe in abortions, don’t have an abortion. If you don’t believe in shooting abortionists, don’t shoot an abortionist. No, their logic is always for death.” She clarified that she was talking about “pro abortion liberals” which she described as, basically, the Democratic Party.

Was O’Reilly outraged NOW? No. He complained that no Democrats had come out to support him, before adding that not many Republicans had, either.

Still complaining about Begala (and, of course, suggesting he represented liberals in general), Rove said, “I mean, this sort of artificial victimhood.”

O’Reilly added, “The gleefulness... that I saw on television, the absolute joy in the destruction of (Sanford) and his family, made me almost sick, Mr. Rove.”

Well, O’Reilly, why don’t you watch some of Coulter’s attacks again and tell me that she’s not gleeful every time she utters one of her poisonous remarks which, by the way, are far more over the top than anything you cited from the left about Sanford. And, now that I think of it, it’s not just Coulter. Your own attacks on Dr. Tiller could well be described as gleeful or relished, as were your attacks on Ward Churchill, ACORN and even Think Progress blogger Amanda Terkel.

Then the discussion moved on to Iran, where Karl Rove complained President Obama was not outspoken enough “in defense of democracy” regarding the “deeply flawed” election in Iran. Rove concerned about election integrity? And not getting challenged on it, on a “fair and balanced” news network? It would be funny if the whole thing wasn’t such a tragic reflection on the current state of affairs in American news and politics.

Link to the video below here.

If you can't see the video below, here's a link.