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Bill O’Reilly Makes Excuses For Paladino

Reported by Ellen - October 5, 2010 -

Dear Bill O’Reilly: There aresome things that are just inexcusable in a politician, even if he is a Republican. Threatening to “take out” a reporter is one of them. Sending racist emails is another. Sending pornographic emails is a third. New York’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino has done all three without expressing regret. It’s bad enough if that’s not a deal breaker for your or anyone else’s vote. However, that’s your business. But there’s simply no justification for whitewashing and attempting to explain away the seriously bad behavior of Paladino to your audience. Period. Even if he is a Republican. Kudos to Brit Hume for coming out and calling a spade a spade – or in this case, a thug. Sadly, he’s the first Fox News pundit I’ve seen speak up about the Emperor’s New Clothes that make up Paladino’s candidacy.

In their one-on-one interview last night (10/4/10), Paladino told O’Reilly unequivocally that he did not regret what O’Reilly understatedly referred to as “a confronation” with NY Post reporter Fred Dicker. In fact, Paladino threatened to “take out” Dicker. If threatening any reporter isn’t enough to outrage O’Reilly, you’d think that a threat to a reporter at a related news outlet (The Post is a sister company to Fox) would be.

Paladino sounded less than credible as he insisted on O'Reilly that it was the NY Post to blame because they photographed his young daughter. Even though the Post denies it and Paladino could not identify the photographer beyond her first name, “Amber.”

I’m not a mindreader but I’ve been watching O’Reilly long enough to think that he knew he had a real case on his hands. But for some reason – whether loyalty to the Republican Party, to the Tea Partyers in his audience, to his desire for a conservative to win the election, to a Fox News agenda or all of the above – he kept on acting as though Paladino was a legitimate candidate who merely needed a little polishing and professional handling.

“The media is going to make the race about you, not what you stand for, not the issues, that you want to clean up Albany, which desperately needs to be cleaned up,” O’Reilly told Paladino. “…The media in this state is gonna say you’re crazy.”

O’Reilly also counseled, “What people are looking for is genuine people. And if somebody came after my daughter, I would react the way you reacted. I have to be quite honest. I don’t want anybody running after my children and I would do the exact same thing. But I would make damn well sure that they did, alright? And if I met with somebody (referring to a meeting Paladino said he had with the Post before the photographs were allegedly shot), with all due respect, Mr. Paladino, I’d know their last name.”

But then O’Reilly referred – for the first time – to the racist, pornographic emails Paladino was caught sending and which he never repudiated. O’Reilly euphemistically described them as “questionable emails (sent) around about President Obama and this and that and the other thing.”

Thank goodness Hume spoke plainly and without mincing words. He said Paladino “did nothing” in the interview to put the incident with the Post behind him.

Noting Paladino’s lack of regret, Hume said, “He should regret it. First of all, I know Fred Dicker, as I know you do, and he’s a solid newsman if there ever was one. It’s just not sensible politics to get into the kind of a shouting match you saw there… Look, when Carl Paladino said he’d like to take a baseball bat to Albany, it sounded like a tough guy who meant it in figurative terms that he would like to clean house up there… But you tell a reporter you’re gonna ‘take him out’…

O’Reilly interrupted to defend Paladino and paint him as a media victim. “But let me play devil’s advocate. People are fed up… And I think Paladino knows he’s not gonna get a fair cut by the media in New York. He knows he’s not gonna get any establishment help.”

Well, except for the establishment help from the top rated cable news network and the pundits who either gush over him or pussy foot around Paladino’s sick, unjustifiable behavior.

Hume held his ground. “(Paladino) had every right to be indignant and to act indignant and angry about what he thought was the harassment of his daughter. But you take that to the point where you’re in a wholly undignified shouting match with a journalist and threatening to take him out, I think you’ve crossed the line between tough guy and thug, at least in terms of how it appears. Tough guy is fine. Thug is not so fine.”

“I’m not arguing with you,” O’Reilly said. “But I’m saying that some people are going to vote for thugs this time around. They’ve had it with the genteel stuff that’s just crippling this nation. They’ve had it. And I think that’s what Paladino is going for… That’s his only chance. He can’t win in a regular way up against a Cuomo machine.”

Fox News: The network where thugs can count on getting a break – so long as they’re Republicans.

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