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On Martin Luther King Day, Bill O'Reilly Manufactures A Controversy To Fear Monger About Muslims

Reported by Ellen - January 18, 2011 -

On Martin Luther King Day yesterday (1/17/11), Bill O'Reilly spent a lot of time hate mongering against the left but he also took time out for a special spotlight of suspicion on Muslims. His guest quickly explained why there was no “there” there but O'Reilly persisted in suggesting that something anti-American was going on and being sanctioned by the Muslim group Council on American-Islamic Relations.

In the “Unresolved Problems” segment O'Reilly said that a chapter of CAIR had put up on its website a poster advising members not to cooperate with the FBI. O'Reilly noted that the poster had been removed but added gravely that it had remained up “for a week.” He continued, “So why did CAIR launch the poster in the first place?”

CAIR spokesman Corey Saylor told O'Reilly that it was a 30 year-old poster used in the “late 70's, early 80's” that had been placed on the site of one of their “affiliate chapters.” Saylor noted that the poster is “not in line with CAIR's policy when it comes to these things” which he described as “Constitutionally-informed cooperation with law enforcement.” He said that as soon as “headquarters” found out about it, they asked the chapter to remove the poster and they did. Saylor added, “It's a minor story.”

It was hard to disagree. Even O'Reilly did not disagree. But rather than apologize for raising unfounded fears, he continued asking suspicious questions. “What chapter was this and why did they put it up in the first place?” Investigator O'Reilly asked.

Saylor said that the poster had been used as part of a “know your rights” event co-sponsored by other groups and that he found it “really interesting” that O'Reilly was only questioning CAIR about the poster's use. Rather than responding to Saylor's concern, O'Reilly threw out a trick question desiged to cast CAIR in a negative light: demanding to know if the organization was concerned about the chapter's use. Had Saylor answered that it was not concerned, he would have looked cavalier about anti-Amercansm in Muslims. Had he indicated concern, it would have been an admission that there was some kind of anti-Americanism to worry about.

When Saylor wisely sidestepped the queston by indicating that the issue had been resolved, O'Reilly insisted on suggesting to his viewers that there was some kind of Muslim problem CAIR had not addressed - without offering any specifics – you know, the kind that O'Reilly has been demanding from the left when they threw suspicion on right-wing rhetoric. “What troubles me,” O'Reilly said, is that “there are obviously more branches of CAIR – you can't monitor every one, but there are some that are more militant than others... Do you have control over those people?... What can you do to make sure this happen again? ...Were they contrite? ...With all due respect... I think you might have a problem with them out there... When we see something like that, we have to get to the bottom of it.”

Then as the segment was ending, O'Reilly didn't bother to hide his triumphant glee as he reported – apropos of nothing in this segment – that Imam Rauf (a regular O'Reilly scapegoat) had been removed from the so-called Ground Zero Mosque project.

I'm sure Dr. King would have been so proud.