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Instead Of Trying To Calm The Political Discourse, Bill O’Reilly Doubles Down On Inflammatory Rhetoric Against The Left

Reported by Ellen - January 10, 2011 -

Dear Bill O’Reilly,
Tonight’s show could have been a shining moment for you in which you, acting as a voice of reason, called for a ceasefire of overheated rhetoric and explored avenues in which our country can pursue vigorous debates without stooping to demonization. Instead, you doubled down on the flame throwing in a deliberate effort to ratchet up tensions and hostilities against the left.

The bombast (the very kind of rhetoric Roger Ailes supposedly asked Fox News employees to cast aside) started right in your Talking Points and continued through your entire program.

Besides the senseless violence, there is another disgusting display sweeping America and that is the exploitation of the murders by political zealots. Only moments, moments after Congresswoman Giffords was shot, some far-left loons began to spew their hatred.

So did conservatives but you seemed to miss that.

You tarred everyone who thought that Fox News’ flaming chickens had come home to roost as worthy of some kind of punishment.

The merchants of hate who are peddling this stuff should be accountable.

Then you proceeded to enumerate your enemies list. It was a familiar group: The New York Times (the “reprehensible,” “far left newspaper”), NBC News (“allows vicious personal attacks on anyone who doesn’t tow the far-left MSNBC line”), NOW (“the far-left organization”) and new-to-me O’Reilly enemy Paul Krugman, “a radical left Princeton professor.” Krugman had the nerve to point out that Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck have made jokes about shooting government officials (I think Krugman may have meant poisoning) and beheading people. (“As usual, Mr. Krugman is lying. The man is simply incapable of telling the truth.”)

You ought to thank your lucky stars, O’Reilly, that Krugman did not bring up Dr. George Tiller, the abortion provider whose 2009 murder sparked an earlier round of speculation about the role your incendiary hate mongering may have played. Maybe that’s why this is such a sore subject.

Far left loons have attacked me in vile ways for years. I have to have security around the clock. Has the New York Times ever said a word about that?

So this is about you? Guess what, O’Reilly? I know from personal experience that conservatives threaten liberals, too - even those who can't afford round-the-clock security.

Finally, with about 17 seconds left in the eight-minute segment, you got around to “one final note:"

There is hatred on the right as well. There is over-the-top rhetoric and these murders in Arizona should remind conservatives that there are boundaries, lines that should not be crossed. Hate is hate, it doesn’t matter where it comes from.

Maybe not. But given just how much hate comes from your own colleagues – especially one you regularly tour with – it’s pretty clear some hate counts more than other.

After the massacre in Arizona, I thought of the ending of West Side Story, when Tony’s tragic death finally motivates the warring gangs to rise above their hostilities. I had hoped, O’Reilly, that given how you have become something of an eminence grise on Fox and given that you have not become unhinged with Obama antagonism, as some of your colleagues have, that you might have stepped up to the plate and helped bring the battling factions in our country at least a little closer together. Alas, it seems you’d rather keep the fighting going.

I just hope more people don’t have to get killed.

You can contact O'Reilly at oreilly@foxnews.com.

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