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O'Reilly: "Nobody cares about the Maryland wiretap law"

Reported by Julie - September 24, 2009 -

I caught Bill O’Reilly last night (9/23/09) on The O’Reilly Factor, with his guest, Congressman Barney Frank, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. I expected fireworks, as usual, but it was a remarkably civilized discussion -- civilized, but absolutely mind-blowing, watching O’Reilly’s breezy disregard of the law when applied to right-wingnuts. With video.

You see, some laws are really important to Bill O’Reilly – for instance, when he’s in pursuit of a Kansas abortion doctor named Dr. George Tiller, who O’Reilly (falsely) claimed broke the law. Tiller was murdered, sure, but O’Reilly shed no tears -- hey, laws rule, and I guess “lawbreakers” get what’s coming to them, eh?

Oh, and laws are also really important to O’Reilly when they’re being used against illegal aliens.

And O’Reilly just loves the law when his own computer is hacked and he’s itching for the hackers to do the perp walk in handcuffs.

But for this – oh, yeah, for this, when two young conservatives run a game on ACORN workers and surreptitiously record them (which makes it pretty much pot meet kettle), O’Reilly dismissed the little detail about state law, saying, “Well, nobody cares about the Maryland wiretap law.”

O’Reilly and Frank were engaging in a discussion over ACORN, with the two mostly agreeing on the bad behavior on the part of ACORN. Frank pointed out the organization’s voter registration fraud problems, internal embezzlement issues, and the latest stealth video recordings by right-wingers Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe at an ACORN office in Baltimore, where the pair posed as a prostitute and pimp and got workers to give them advice on how to set up a brothel, which included young girls from El Salvador. (Incidentally, ACORN is now suing the videographers, Giles and O’Keefe, for illegally recording the ACORN workers and, Andrew Brietbart for posting the video on his website, because Maryland requires two-party consent to sound recordings.)

O’Reilly then began to push Frank. “But don’t you admire these young people . . . I want you to admire them.”

Frank didn’t say “yay” or “nay,” and instead chided O’Reilly for cutting him off, asking, “I want you to let me talk, I would like you to let me talk, is that too much to ask . . .?”

“It might be,” O’Reilly laughed.

“You’ll have to get over it,” snapped Frank.

Frank admitted he was in favor of cutting off ACORN’s funding, but would have preferred it not be a legislative decision – because of a Constitutional provision which prohibits singling people out -- but rather a decision on the part of the Obama Administration.

O’Reilly swerved the topic back to Giles and O’Keefe, saying, “Don’t you admire them? Isn’t this what we should be, all citizen watchdogs, whistleblowers on corruption?”

Frank again demurred, saying, “There’s a problem because . . . they may have violated Maryland law. Even if people are doing something good you shouldn’t violate the law.”

O’Reilly said dismissively, “Maybe they didn’t know about it, that’s a complicated law . . . In spirit, don’t you admire them in spirit?”

“Bill,” Frank said, “Can I finish talking about a complicated subject . . . .”

“It’s such an easy question,” O’Reilly prodded.

“No, it’s not an easy question . . . do I get to answer the question?” Frank pushed back.

“Well, nobody cares about the Maryland wiretap law,” O’Reilly said breezily. “I want to know in spirit if you admire them.”

“What an outrageous statement for you to make,” Frank said indignantly. “Nobody cares about the Maryland wiretap law . . . I do care about the law, I’m an elected official.”

“Well, you’re a little eccentric,” O’Reilly laughed. So now it’s eccentric to care about laws? Oh, right – it’s eccentric to care about the right breaking the law to bring the left to its knees. Sorry, lost my head momentarily.

“The spirit, do you admire the spirit of the two . . .?” O’Reilly continued to push Frank.

“Yes,” Frank finally said.

“Yay, thank you,” cried O’Reilly.

“No, excuse me,” Frank interjected, “. . . I don’t understand why you have this congenital inability to let people talk on a complicated subject. I . . . admire the impulse to stop corruption, I do not want to condone violations of the law, and when you say, who cares about the Maryland law, I think you’re being irresponsible.”

It must be nice to live in a world where you can cherry-pick the laws you want to follow and the laws you think can be legitimately broken. In the world of O’Reilly and Fox News, the ends (i.e., bringing down liberal organizations and left-wing loons) justify the means (i.e, flagrant disregard of state laws, if that’s what it takes).

Let’s all remember that whole some-laws-are-made-to-be-broken theme the next time some right-wingnut gets his finger bitten off by a liberal at a Fox News-promoted anti-Obama protest.