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O’Reilly and Crowley v. Colmes – A Lament on the Threat of Sonia Sotomayor to the Dwindling White Male Power Structure

Reported by Ellen - July 18, 2009 -

Guest blogged by Julie

On Wednesday (7/15/09) on the O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly’s reaction panel to his Talking Points Memo consisted of Alan Colmes and Monica Crowley (how’s that plagiarism thing working out, Monica?) to discuss that mythical white male plight. Talk about the classic zero sum game!

“Evil white men – that is the subject of this evening’s Talking Point Memo,” O’Reilly intoned. “As you may know, if you criticize a minority group in America you will be labeled a bigot. If you criticize a woman – say, Helen Thomas – you might be labeled a sexist. But if you hammer white men you could wind up with a great media job.”

Gosh, you mean criticizing a group of minorities because they’re minorities isn’t bigoted? And criticizing a woman because of the sound of her voice instead of her professional credentials isn’t sexist? Quick, get the NAACP and NOW on the phone – we’ve gotta rewrite some stuff.

O’Reilly pointed to Maureen Dowd’s article entitled White Men’s Last Stand, and said that the column says “exactly what the New York Times believes – white men have screwed up America, they need to get out of power and to be replaced by minorities and liberal women.” WTF? The article said nothing of the sort – it instead mainly talked about the ridiculousness of the Republicans’ attacks on Sotomayor at the hearings. O’Reilly’s whine seems to be about being on the losing side of the zero sum game – every little bit of power granted to “minorities and liberal women” is that much less to white males. Blasphemy!

O’Reilly went on to talk about his book, “Culture Warrior,” and said that in the book he predicted “exactly what’s happening now – that the left-wing media would promote minority candidates and causes because they despise the white man power structure.”

O’Reilly quoted from Dowd’s column, saying: “President Obama wants Sotomayor naturally to bring a fresh perspective to the court. It was a disgrace that President Bush appointed two white men to a court stocked with white men.”

O’Reilly defended the overstocked court, invoking the two non-white males, Clarence Thomas and Ruth Bader Ginsburg – and even threw out the name of Harriet Miers, a potential Bush appointee to the Supreme Court, as one of the token non-white males. (O’Reilly failed to note that Miers’ nomination was ultimately withdrawn due to “conservative opposition.” )

“Last time I looked, she’s not a white man,” O’Reilly lectured.

O’Reilly seized on a quote by Dowd from a past article with regard to Miers: “I hope President Bush doesn’t have any more ‘office wives’ tucked away in the White House – there are only so many supremely powerful jobs to give to women who are not qualified to get them.”

From this comment, O’Reilly concluded that Dowd has a problem with “non-liberal women as well as with white men.” Well, the only woman Dowd mentioned in the article at issue was Sarah Palin, and Palin, as anyone with a single brain cell functioning knows, is the epitomy of a woman getting a supremely powerful job she’s not qualified for (Oil and Gas Commission, anyone?). And quitting that to get another supremely powerful job she’s not qualified for (Governor, anyone?). And quitting that to be a Republican talking point – a job she’s clearly qualified for, provided she has cue cards written in large lettering.

O’Reilly quoted Dowd again: “Sarah Palin is the definition of irrational, a volatile, scattered country-music queen without the music.”

“Well,” O’Reilly sneered, “The hits just keep on coming . . . White men are bad, conservative women are stupid, and country music should not be heard in the Supreme Court, or something.”

O’Reilly pointed to Dowd’s column as a clear demonstration of “what the left-wing media is doing. Marginalizing all with whom they disagree and demonizing entire groups of people they see as evil or dumb -- white men, conservative women, country music fans. Are we gonna take this?” First of all, the article was not about “white men” being evil. The article was about the “good old boy” network, exemplified by the Republicans’ comments about Sotomayor, such as “temperamental,” “nasty,” and “a bit of a bully” (sexist comments I’m certain would never be applied to the white male Supreme Court justices). Well, just chalk it up to PMS, boys, and call it a day.

Colmes did some fine pushing back on tonight’s segment.

“Wait a minute, wait a minute,” Colmes broke in. “Didn’t you just – you accuse them of demonizing an entire group . . . Didn’t you just demonize an entire group of people by saying 'the left-wing media?' . . . You just did exactly what you accused her of doing . . . .”

“I backed it up,” O’Reilly said serenely. Right, he backed it up – by citing one column written by one person who wrote almost nothing that he claimed she wrote. About the only things O’Reilly got right about Dowd’s column were the headline and the quote about Sarah Palin.

Colmes continued pushing. “Also, Harriet Miers was pushed aside by Republicans, people like Sam Brownback, people like Lindsay Graham . . . It was conservatives who said she was not qualified.”

“You’re pettifogging the issue,” O’Reilly said dismissively. “White man’s last stand, okay? What if the NY Times had printed, ‘Black man, take a hike.’” Well, they’d be racist pigs. And “White Man’s Last Stand” isn’t synonymous with “White Men Take A Hike” – the article clearly portrayed white male Republicans as grasping at straws to kneecap a minority candidate to the Supreme Court.

Colmes was momentarily speechless, which had O’Reilly and Crowley engaged in knee-slapping guffaws.

Colmes spluttered in explanation, “What you’re saying is so ridiculous . . . That is such a ridiculous analogy.”

“He’s so busted,” Crowley cried. “So busted.” Continuing in a haughty, sarcastic voice, Crowley said, “As a wise white woman with the richness of my experiences, I will come to a better judgment.” Ah, right, racist slam against Sonia Sotomayor and her “wise Latina woman' comment.

O’Reilly said, “. . . But you’re still stupid because you like Sarah Palin. According to Maureen Dowd you’re a dummy.” Well, she is sort of a dummy, but what Dowd actually said was, “Her [Palin’s] Republican fans defend her lack of application and intellect, happy to settle for her emotional electricity.”

Crowley, Palin-defender that she is, responded, “You know what . . . this piece by Maureen Dowd is not only racist, it was sexist, because she went after Sarah Palin and she continues to do so, this is not the first time, in the most disgusting, revolting way, and I’ve found that women have attacked Sarah Palin even more intensely and viciously than men have.” Maybe we’re immune to the wink. And maybe we don’t like women who are imbeciles getting by with nothing but short skirts and folksy talk. Damn those feminists, always looking for substance.

And since when are the terms “volatile and scattered” and “lack of application and intellect” disgusting, revolting smears? Plus, I could have sworn Crowley just took a catty little swipe at Sotomayor – a highly educated and accomplished “wise Latina woman” -- with that sneering “wise white woman” comment.

“When you read Maureen Dowd’s piece today,” Crowley went on, “What comes across is that . . . given the politically correct, multi-cultural environment in American today [voice dripping with sarcasm], the most radical thing President Obama could have done is nominate a white guy to the court, because we are no longer a meritocracy. . . . Now it’s all . . . some sort of affirmative action principles . . . .” Nice try at suggesting that Sotomayor is not qualified (as opposed to Sarah Palin!). The truth is, Sotomayor meets every definition of meritocracy. Republican Senator Richard Lugar spells it out.

O’Reilly, rather weakly, defended Sotomayor as qualified to be a Supreme Court judge, and admitted she did well in the hearings. Crowley referred to Sotomayor as a “judicial activist” and said that Sotomayor, in the hearings, “cloaked all of that to make her look like she’s an (originalist ). . . and a strict constructionist, which we clearly know she’s not.” O’Reilly, of course – despite reluctantly admitting Sotomayor had the qualifications for a Supreme Court judge -- declined to ask Crowley what evidence she had that Sotomayor was dissembling about her judicial record.

O’Reilly lamented, “There is a race factor now involved in the confirmation hearing of a potential Supreme Court . . . .” A race factor, imagine that -- a race factor manufactured by Republicans and hyped by Fox News – who’ve all had plenty to say about Sotomayor’s racial status since her nomination.

Colmes argued that in the case of Clarence Thomas, he was appointed because he was an African American, not because he was the most qualified candidate, to which Crowley responded, ‘Clarence Thomas is a brilliant jurist . . . Do you believe that Sonia Sotomayor is just as brilliant?'"

“I absolutely do, and by the way, she has upheld the court precedent in the Ricci case . . . It was the Supreme Court that overturned court precedent,” Colmes said, again pushing back.

Yikes – not going there. O’Reilly moved on swiftly, saying, “. . . [This is an] area that is not germane to what we’re talking about. The crux of this matter, Crowley, is this. It is a strategy on the part of the left-wing media . . . to say, listen, white men have screwed up America, the reason we’re in bad shape is because of white guys. We need to throw the white guys out and get anybody else, that’s what’s going on here.” It may be what’s going on here, but it wasn’t what Dowd wrote in her column.

“Exactly right,” Crowley cried, “And you know what Maureen Dowd’s column reflects, is exactly that, it’s called white guilt. It’s about 233 years of white domination in America, so now white people like Maureen Dowd feel you gotta throw ‘em out . . . .” Where in the hell are these people getting this stuff? Are Michelle Bachmann’s little voices whispering in their ears now?

“You want the white guys out . . . .” O’Reilly accused Colmes.

“I want the best people to be chosen for the court,” Colmes responded calmly.

“As long as they’re not white guys,” cried O’Reilly.

“I didn’t hear Maureen Dowd go against Sandra Day O’Connor,” Colmes argued. “Just because somebody is conservative doesn’t mean Maureen Dowd is against her, and the people you mentioned, Harriet Miers and Sarah Palin, are often renounced by the right who feel they’re not qualified for the jobs they have.” Miers, in fact, was a political hack, had never been a judge prior to her nomination, and gave inadequate responses in her judicial questionnaire – in fact, she had to do parts of it over. Her nomination was ultimately withdrawn due to “conservative opposition.”

O’Reilly launched a discussion of the headline, “White Man’s Last Stand,” and Colmes responded that it was a provocative headline: “It got you to do a segment on it,” he joked. Boy, Bill – you have no sense of humor.

O’Reilly argued, “Say you object to Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson or one of those guys, Louie Farrakhan. Would you then write a headline, ‘Black Guys Take Off?’”

Colmes said he wouldn’t, that the so-called double standard is appropriate because “There’s always been a white power structure . . . .”

“So it’s okay to be racist,” O’Reilly argued.

Colmes kept the pressure on, saying, “ . . . Gordon Liddy says about Sotomayor, I hope she’s not menstruating when they have conferences . . . There’s never been a Hispanic on the court, and out of 111 justices only 4 [about .04%] have not been white men.”

O’Reilly threw in the towel.

“. . . There’s never been an Australian on the court, okay,” he said weakly, in conclusion.

The white male power structure -- firmly in place at Fox News – seems to be pretty rattled at the thought of a Hispanic female on the Supreme Court. With the help of the Foxettes, fluttering around to stroke egos and make nice, we’ll no doubt be hearing more about the plight of the rich white guys – and more trashing of minorities who have the nerve to intrude in areas clearly marked “White Men Only.”

If you can't view the Talking Ponts Memo, the first video, here's a link.