Bill O’Reilly, Dr. Tiller Hater, Wants Limits To “Hate” Speech!
Reported by Priscilla - October 8, 2010 -
Bill O’Reilly’s vile demonization and slander of Dr. George Tiller could have been considered hate speech. His ongoing smear of Dr. Tiller, as a Nazi “baby killer,” when Tiller was performing a safe and legal medical procedure, contributed to a climate of hatred in which Tiller was killed by a man whose views on abortion dovetailed those of O’Reilly’s. The “Family Research Council” even bestowed a “courage” award to Bill for his on-air denigration of a man who assisted many women whose lives were at risk from medically compromised pregnancies – women whom O’Reilly denigrated as silly and frivolous. Bill continued to refer to Tiller as a “baby killer” even after the good doctor’s murder. Thus, it’s really ironic that Bill O’Reilly wants the Supreme Court to rule against the vile Westboro Baptist Church whose First Amendment rights are being challenged by the father of a fallen soldier whose funeral was picketed by Westboro. So for Bill O’Reilly, whose character assassination of Tiller was protected by the First Amendment, to want free speech for himself and not others is truly astounding. I’m sure that Bill has no problem with the equally vile anti-choice protesters who wave grisly pictures of alleged aborted fetuses whilst accosting women who are attempting to deal with a personal and private decision. Bill is an educated man. Doesn’t he realize that our right to free speech isn’t determined by the message and the feelings of those who hear it? If that were the case, his show would have been cancelled a long time ago.
O’Reilly actually conducted a very professional and appropriate interview with the father of the fallen soldier, Al Snyder and his attorney, Sean Summers. He referenced how broadcasters are concerned about the First Amendment aspects of the case. He cited both sides of the argument. But at the end of the interview, Bill said that “we’re on your side” and that he would assist Snyder with court costs. He added that he disagreed with many of his colleagues at Fox News because “you can’t have intentional, emotional infliction at the level they did to you and your family. You just can’t have it in America. There has to be a line as you rightly pointed out….”
Comment: It could be said that the Tiller family shouldn’t have had to experience the “intentional, emotional infliction” that Bill O’Reilly, with his incendiary rhetoric, subjected them to. It could be said that women who are accessing safe and legal health care should not have the kind of “intentional and emotional infliction” that O’Reilly’s anti-choice pals subject them to. But those who protest abortion and the Westboro church are protected, unless the Court rules otherwise, by the right to free speech even if it could be defined as “hate speech.” Our First Amendment shouldn’t be drawing a “line” for a group that Bill O’Reilly disapproves of. What’s next Bill? Should there be a line drawn for gay rights parades because you don’t approve of homosexuality? I suspect that you would be braying about the First Amendment if your anti-choice chums were banned from creating a circus atmosphere (whoops, praying) at women’s health clinics. And I suspect you would be braying if there were a line drawn around the hate speech being promoted on Fox News by hosts and their guests. (Ann Coulter comes to mind) The First Amendment doesn’t recognize different strokes for different folks. I agree that the Westboro funeral protesters are publicity seeking loons; but if you ban their free speech, yours could be next.