Bill O’Reilly lobbed a verbal missile at colleague George Will tonight as the latest salvo in the war between the two Fox News talking heads.
In his Talking Points commentary, O’Reilly singled out Will as the epitome of what's wrong with the Republican establishment.
O’REILLY: First show 2016. The biggest political story in America. That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo. Both political parties are helping Donald Trump dominate the polls. The combined Democrat and Republican establishments just may propel a tough-talking political novice into the White House. Obviously a huge situation. On the GOP side, our pal George Will epitomizes what's going on. In a column just before Christmas, Will uses harsh, personal attacks against Trump and then concludes if he wins the nomination the Republican Party will be destroyed. Will fashions himself a Republican intellectual dishing out conservative theory, using as many big words as possible. But when it comes to solving problems that drive right-leaning Americans nuts, Will offers little. Factor has analyzed his columns in the past three years and found no proposed solutions to the immigration mess or to the ISIS terror threat. In that, George Will is not alone. Republican establishment in Washington has not dealt effectively with these and other vexing problems causing great anger among some GOP voters. Thus, Trump's hardline rhetoric on illegal immigration and the jihad has taken root.
O’Reilly’s beef with Will almost certainly has more to do with his scathing critique of O’Reilly’s latest book than any role Will has played in enabling Trump’s popularity. The two went after each other over it in a memorable O’Reilly Factor segment last November. New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman wrote that the “feud is being closely studied by executives because it is part of a larger power struggle that’s taking place at the highest reaches of the organization.”
In my last post, I wrote about some bickering on The Five over Trump. I suspect it's part of the same schism. But if it isn't, that's even more fascinating.
Grab the popcorn! Then watch O’Reilly’s January 4 Talking Points Memo below.
Everyone knows Billy is a thin-skin man. He gives the Second Floor headaches with his massive ego.
Butter that popcorn. The second half of the show gets better.
NOTE TO BILLY
You act like a big man attacking Will on the air. Let’s see you call out Hannity on the air, too. Or are you too yellow to do it.
It’s a battle between the thin skinned and the light skinned!!
I like salt and butter on my popcorn.
Exactly, Ellen. As we all know, BOR is not one to let a slight against him fade away. He probably spent far too much time of his Xmas vacation fuming about what Will did to him – until he finally came up with the stupid, er, genius idea to waste his first Talking Points of the new year blaming Will for Trump’s popularity. (eye roll)
BOR’s cheap shot as his “pal”, Will, is deluded at best and most certainly driven by personal animosity. His rant served to remind us that BOR has no qualms about using his position as a so-called political “analyst” to attack those he sees as his enemies. But to lay the Trump phenomenon at Will’s feet simply because he is part of the GOP establishment and has been rightfully critical of Trump? That’s bogus. There have been many in the GOP establishment who have been critical of Trump but BOR singled out only Will by name. Rather telling, isn’t it? Regarding the bigger picture, for BOR to be going after the GOP establishment now is laughable especially considering his own network has always been a huge (or, in Trump-speak, yooge) part of the GOP establishment. Of course, that’s not something that BOR has the guts to admit publicly (and he’s most likely only using the “GOP establishment” line of attack as a guise to go after Will).
And, if BOR is so concerned about the lack of “solving problems”, why isn’t BOR using his Talking Points to directly call out by name the GOP candidates who are actually in the freakin’ Congress? THEY are the ones who need to be offering up solutions and it would be a more constructive way to use his Talking Points time (because asking for solutions makes sense while blaming Will just seems petty).
Instead of accusing Will, BOR should really take a good, hard look of what is actually driving so much of Trump’s popularity. Sure, the folks are pissed about what’s going on in DC – both Dem and GOP voters are ticked off. But there’s more to Trump’s rise than just anger that the correct things aren’t being accomplished in DC.
It really cannot be ignored (though FOX “news” tries) that much of Trump’s ridiculous, campaign rhetoric is making it acceptable for many of those on the right to raise their bigot flags and fly them high. Trump’s remarks are outing some of more racist/bigoted aspects of the conservative base. Trump is openly saying what is usually only voiced by right-wing politicians via insinuations and dog-whistle code words. Trump’s outspokeness in that arena has emboldened some of the worst elements of the right and the blatant racism/bigotry has the establishment GOP worried (especially in light of the fact that older white voters are dying off).
If BOR is really interested in analyzing Trump’s popularity, instead of hammering away on Will, he needs to take a critical look at the the discriminatory attitudes/bigoted beliefs of many of Trump’s supporters because that’s where he will find the reason for so much of The Donald’s popularity.
As to the “Republican establishment,” let’s remember that (at present) THREE of the GOP candidates running for the GOP nomination are current Senators (Paul, Rubio and Cruz) and, as such, they ARE in a position to offer some sort of solutions. Unfortunately, not one of them has presented any sort of real solution to any of the “problems” because they’re too busy grandstanding and preventing any work from being done (threatening to shut down the government is really going to solve the immigration problem and defeat ISIL because INS agents, border patrol agents and the military don’t really care about getting paid—unlike the Senators, regular government “employees” get paid for when they work; the last government shutdown, the public learned it literally takes an act of Congress to allow the members to refuse their salaries—they can, of course, donate any or all of their salary to charities, etc, but their pay cannot be withheld for any reason). Of course, none of those three candidates considers himself to be part of the “establishment” but, unfortunately for them, being in Congress MAKES them the “establishment”—regardless of how they may feel. But their
One final thought: It’s funny that O’Reilly would attack Will for being part of the “GOP establishment” when his own network hasn’t found a GOPer that it does NOT fawn over (for a while, at least). They got solidly behind McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012 (and that was after 8 years of the network’s talking heads basically having their proverbial tongues buried deep inside Bush and Cheney’s rectums). For O’Reilly to continually harp about how much of a success FoxNoise is in terms of ratings, it’s hard for anyone with a brain (even a single functioning brain cell) to believe that FoxNoise isn’t as much a part of the GOP “establishment” as O’Reilly accuses Will of being.