Bill O’Reilly To Jon Stewart: My Nazi Rhetoric Is Better Than Your Nazi Rhetoric
Reported by Ellen - January 27, 2011 -
It looks like Jon Stewart hit a nerve with Bill O’Reilly the other night. As I previously posted, the Daily Show did a great job pointing out the hypocrisy of Fox News’ condemnations of Democrat Steve Cohen use of “Nazi” rhetoric when so many Fox News pundits have used the “Nazi” word, too. Really, O’Reilly was just a brief part of the hilarious sketch that mostly skewered Megyn Kelly. But O’Reilly was bothered enough to spend almost four minutes rebutting what amounted to about 15 seconds from Stewart’s 8:28 segment. Short version: Unlike Cohen, O’Reilly’s Nazi rhetoric – used to describe Arianna Huffington – was appropriate because comments wishing for Nancy Reagan's death had been posted by readers on The Huffington Post and if Stewart had not used “selective editing,” viewers would have known that. So Bill, we’d like to know why you used selective editing that left out your comments that were more inflammatory than the ones Stewart played. We’d also like to know what you’d say about Fox Nation, where we regularly find talk of assassinating President Obama and others.
O’Reilly began by playing the 2008 clip just used by Stewart in which O’Reilly was seen saying, “If you look back at what happened in Germany, you cannot escape the similarities between what Hitler and his cutthroats did back then and the hate-filled blogs, what they’re doing now.”
As “SELECTIVE EDITING” appeared under a photo of Stewart, O’Reilly played “the whole thing.” In that clip, O’Reilly is seen responding to a viewer’s email complaining about O’Reilly’s “lapse of judgment comparing the tactics of the Nazis to the Huffington Post.”
O’Reilly responded that he appreciated “very much” the feedback from the viewer, who said he had lost family members in the Holocaust, and had given the feedback some thought. But, O'Reilly added, “If you look back at what happened in Germany, you cannot escape the similarities between what Hitler and his cutthroats did back then and the hate-filled blogs, what they’re doing now.”
You tell me the difference because it looked to me as though Stewart had caught exactly what O’Reilly said and meant. It’s not as though O’Reilly doesn’t streamline quotes and clips every day. In fact, he went on to do exactly that.
“And here is the context to that letter and that statement,” O’Reilly continued. In 2008, Nancy Reagan fell down and “had to be taken to the hospital,” he explained. “Shortly after that, this appeared on the Huffington Post, quote: Like her evil husband, she has lived far too long. Here’s hoping the hag suffers for several weeks, then croaks in the tub. Unquote.”
“Now I submit to you, ladies and gentlemen," O'Reilly argued, "that my comparison to the vile, Nazi propaganda machine is dead on. You can make the call on that.”
Well, while we’re talking complete context, Bill, how about giving the complete context of your original quote – you know, the one in which you said, “What's the difference between the Ku Klux Klan and Arianna Huffington? What's the difference? …I don't see any difference between Huffington and the Nazis… They both want people to die… I didn't say she was a Nazi… I said there's no difference between what the two do. I want everybody to know that.” The transcript is via Media Matters. But you can watch the entire video segment - and get the complete context - below.
“Jon Stewart didn’t mention Nancy Reagan or the context of my remarks. He just used a short clip of a much longer statement,” O’Reilly said, seemingly unaware of the irony there.
Then, as if there hadn’t been enough violent rhetoric already, O’Reilly said, presumably joking, “If Stewart were a journalist, I would pound him into pudding."
O'Reilly allowed as how since Stewart is a comic, he "has license to take things out of context for entertainment viewers.” However, O’Reilly continued, some viewers take Stewart seriously and without question. “I submit there is not one Stewart viewer, not one who had any idea that a vicious attack on Nancy Reagan prompted, prompted my analysis that Stewart used, OK? They didn’t know that.”
Oh, yes we did, Bill. We posted about this, complete with complete video, on February 28, 2008. It was unforgettable.
"The cold truth is," O'Reilly insisted, "Congressman Cohen directed his remarks at Republicans who oppose Obamacare and classified them as using Nazi propaganda techniques. That’s what he did. I pointed out a hateful posting on the Huffington Post that should never have appeared. Should have been taken down." It was, by the way.
O’Reilly began wagging his finger. “The call for someone to endure a painful death because of her political beliefs does not deserve to be posted on any blog and I compared that to the Nazi propaganda dispatches. They did that stuff all day long, did they not?”
Well, gosh, what say you about Fox Nation? Not only do they regularly talk about assassinating President Obama but also Roseanne Barr, Al Gore, and Muslim College students, e.g., but they even vote to "like" those comments.
Last I heard, your ambush go-to-guy, Jesse Watters was in charge over there. But while I'm sure that in the name of even-handedness you'd readily admit that Watters' tactics are just like "Hitler and his cutthroats," I'm, frankly, a little tired of all these Nazi comparisons. I’d be happy if you just told Watters to cut it out.