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Bill O’Reilly Misses Ethnic “Humor” Songs Like Ray Stevens’ “Ahab The Arab”

Reported by Priscilla - January 19, 2010 -

Yesterday, I reported on Bill O’Reilly’s interview with Ray Stevens about Stevens' new “patriotic” teabagging revolution song during which Bill played some of Steven’s video. I didn’t get to the last part of the interview in which O’Reilly, a lifelong Stevens fan, complained that you “could never get away with” doing a song like “Ahab, the Arab” today because “I tell you what, you’d have CAIR (Council for American Islamic Relations) right at, at” (Bill laughing) “your house.” Oh, those darned "Mooselims" who don’t have any sense of humor!!!!! Bill just so hates “political correctness” especially when it comes to Muslims. But let anybody lampoon Christians and Bill, who feels that Christians are denigrated, isn’t laughing. It’s ironic, don’t ya think!

Stevens said that in 1962, CAIR “wasn’t around.” He asserted that the song was “just for fun.” (I remember hearing it on my “transistor radio” and I thought it was stupid.) Stevens then claimed that he read “Arabian Nights” and was “a fan of the culture.” So far, so good. But then O’Reilly asked Stevens about the socio-political ramifications: “So 48 years ago — 48 years ago in this country we could make fun of Arabs, Remember that song “Midnight at the Oasis” send your camel to bed, Maria somebody. We could do all that. We could make fun of people in a general way, and certainly, Ahab was the Arab was a general parody. But now, we can’t. What has changed in America?” Stevens, not a political analyst, said “I think we’ve gone overboard with the political correctness just like so many other people think the same way about that. And I don’t know. We’ve got to come out of that, I think.” Bill said that he didn’t want to run Ahab the Arab “too much because I didn’t want them to put it on Al Jazeera and have then chasing you around Tennessee.” Bills said that “it’s an important situation for satirists,” like Stevens, who “makes a nice living” poking fun at things in the news. He said “you really have to, now, be really careful.” He referenced “the Denmark guy, the cartoon stuff over there, it’s a very different world than it was 48 years ago."

Comment: Yeah, it was different 48 years ago. The riots that occured in 1962, when James Meredith enrolled at the University of Mississippi, required President Kennedy to send 5,000 troops to the troubled area. In 1963 there was a brutal suppression, in Alabama, of Civil Rights marchers. Medgar Evers was murdered. Ah, good times! I guess Bill wants to go back to the days when blacks were portrayed as wide eyed simple and amusing folks who loved to dance and who needed a little prodding to do any work. African blacks were portrayed, in cartoons, as frizzy haired cannibals with bones in their noses. And speaking of “bones in the nose,” there’s this from “Ahab, the Arab:” “There he saw Fatima laying on a Zebra skin rug, wearing rings on her fingers and bells on her toes and a bone in her nose ho, ho.” And what was with O’Reilly’s reference to Maria Muldaur’s “Midnight at the Oasis?” It wasn’t a comedy song. (Interesting that he remembered the part about sending the camel to bed. Is Bill into interspecies marriage?) But Bill mourns the demise of ethnic humor. Right. Let’s bring back all those jokes about Pat and Mike being dead drunk and getting into fights. Ah, good times.

As a fan of Ray Stevens, I do wonder what Bill thinks about the song that Stevens wrote after Katrina - "The New Battle of New Orleans" – a song that was about as racist and insensitive as they come. I know that Stevens has done some good material; but this is really ugly. Here’s a snippet:

“Law and order left town and the gangs took over
And committed every kind of unthinkable sin
They shot up the town and trashed the Super Dome
And they showed it on Fox and CNN

Chorus And they stole TV's and they stole fine jewelry
Everybody got a new pair of Nike tennis shoes
Stole guns, DVD's, shopping carts full of beer (fur coats, cold beer)
Well they even stole some stuff that they couldn't even use”

Ah, good times!


"We could make fun of people in a general way"
Bill O'Reilly