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Bill O’Reilly Says American Military Are "Pinheads?"

Reported by Priscilla - March 23, 2010 -

Bill O'Reilly has a regular feature titled “Pinheads and Patriots” during which these designations are given to those whom America’s Daddy feels are naughty and nice. And while it appears relatively innocuous and humorous, it does allow Bill, on occasion, to present right wing propaganda for those with short attention spans and those who don’t want to be burdened with details. Bill gets to divide folks into bad and good – or in this case, “pinheads” and “patriots” – a term which has little to do with the characteristic being praised although for Bill’s jingoistic audience, anything to do with patriotism has them standing at attention, hands over hearts. (One would be hard pressed to say that American Olympic women skiers, posing nearly nude for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, are “patriots.”) But the “pinhead” characterization does allow Bill to communicate his disapproval within a short sound bite. There is no further context to an issue which is more complex than Bill would have his audience believe. But the details could detract from the propaganda and that, as the Bard would say, is the rub!

Bill opened up his St. Patrick’s Day “Pinheads and Patriots” by awarding Miley Cyrus the “Patriot Award,” despite her “conduct that might be a bit inappropriate for her age” (her “pole dance” which Bill covered (with video) in his Culture Warrior segment). But she has recently admonished young people to stop spending so much time on the internet and get out and “play sports or something.” Bill started his “Pinhead” segment with “I can’t believe this; but it’s true.” He reported that (his voice rising) “the American flag is not being flown over US military compounds” because “some military feel it sends a BAD message that we might be perceived as occupiers of that country.” He said that this is “a truly dumb thing” and that “the pinheads who will not fly the flag should be ashamed.” He added that “we’re doing a lot of good in Haiti and the world should know it.”

Comment: While some veterans groups and service members are not happy about this decision, it was done because flying the flag could, as noted by the Obama administration, communicate the wrong idea to the people of Haiti for whom the American flag has not always been seen as a friendly gesture, given the history of US military intervention in that country. As a former history teacher, Bill O’Reilly should be aware of that. According to USA Today which has the entire back story, the U.S. government's Haiti Joint Information Center, states that "We are not here as an occupation force, but as an international partner committed to supporting the government of Haiti on the road to recovery," According to Army Col. Billy Buckner, spokesman for Joint Task Force-Haiti, a group representing various Obama administration agency heads, “the decision not to fly the American flag was made out of respect as guests of the government of Haiti.” (What part of “respect” does Bill not understand?) He added "It is no mystery that U.S. forces are on the ground, and we proudly wear an American flag on our right sleeve.” Buckner also said that the military commanders “are smart and intuitively understand their mission here in Haiti, and clearly the sensitivities that come with supporting the mission.” (Bill isn't big on "sensitivites") When the American flag went up at a temporary consulate, at the Port au Prince airport, the Prime Minister saw it and thought that that it appeared that the US was “taking over the airport.” After speaking with the Prime Minister, the American ambassador to Haiti agreed that flying the flag wasn’t a good idea and gave the instruction to take it down. This isn’t the first time that the flag has been taken down. When the Americans took control of the Kuwait airport, during the First Gulf War, they briefly flew the flag; but were told to take it down.

So the matter isn’t nearly as simple as Bill makes it out to be. His audience is being told that this was a “pinhead” decision without benefit of knowing the entire story. Bill, not a military veteran, certainly didn’t quote Don Hollenbaugh, a former Army Delta Force operator who received the Distinguished Service Cross for actions in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004, who said "Everybody in the world knows the U.S. is there. So by not flying the flag, we're not changing anyone's mind about anything."

One is suprised that patriot Bill O'Reilly is accusing those military, who support this decision, of being pinheads! We know that he's a propagandist - but if he's not a patriot, could he be a pinhead? I report, you decide!