O’Reilly smeared the group of #StopHateDumpTrump liberals by calling them “radical totalitarian loons” who want to stifle political speech, but O’Reilly has a long record of trying to intimidate and silence those he disagrees with and giving a pass to the radical right.
The #StopHateDumpTrump group promises in its statement of purpose to call out Donald Trump’s hatemongering and “to put the media and political institutions on notice that they are accountable for normalising Trump’s extremism by treating it as entertainment, by giving it inordinate and unequal air time and by refusing to interrogate it or condemn it.”
Rather than defend Trump’s extremist rhetoric, O’Reilly mounted a malicious campaign of personal attacks against the #StopHateDumpTrump signatories, including playwright Eve Ensler:
First, O’Reilly characterized the group’s effort as “trying to intimidate the media.” After reading from the Statement of Purpose, O’Reilly sneered, “Wow, that sounds like a threat from Miss Ensler, does it not?” He then disparaged her as “a rabid feminist.”
The so-called “threat” was all the justification O’Reilly seemed to feel was needed to launch a series of ad hominem slurs that would have made Joseph McCarthy proud:
O’REILLY: There is much more to this Stop Hate Group than most people know. Jane Fonda’s politics are obvious and the other celebrities are well known for their liberal viewpoints.
But two lesser known names within the group are instructive. Noam Chomsky and Kimberle Crenshaw. Chomsky, a radical college professor, who for decades has tried to smear his own country. For example he questioned the credibility of the press reporting atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. He said the reports were propaganda to put the United States in a more favorable light. Later, Chomsky had to acknowledge that genocide did occur in Cambodia and was committed by communists with whom Chomsky is sympathetic.
The nutty professor also blamed the U.S.A. for the 9/11 attacks, partially, calling America a, quote, “leading terrorist state.” So why would you live in a terrorist state, Professor? Just asking.
…He is not a hater? Come on, he hates America.
Whatever you think of Chomsky’s politics, these citations pale in comparison to the kind of hatred of America that Fox regularly showcases. After all, this was the network that actually promoted criminal Cliven Bundy’s armed insurrection against the federal government. That includes a Fox Nation (whose managing editor is O’Reilly producer Jesse Watters) posting an article called “The Case for a Little Sedition.” Or how about O’Reilly’s own jihad against Dr. George Tiller, who provided abortions that were legal in America, that is until he was assassinated by a right-wing radical?
If you can find me O’Reilly commentary that is as vitriolic about Bundy (or his sons who are currently involved in an armed occupation of a federal building in Oregon), I’ll make a $25 donation to one of O’Reilly’s favorite charities.
O’REILLY: So you can see what this Dump Trump Group is all about: a bunch of radical leftists who, apparently, believe they can say pretty much anything, attack anyone, smear their own country and all of that is OK.
O’Reilly went on to invite “most of the people” in the group on his show. Then he started in on Jane Fonda (with another swipe at Chomsky for good measure).
O’REILLY: The odds of Jane Fonda showing up on The Factor, about a million to one. Over her life, Miss Fonda has been an emotional person, often lashing out against her country in bizarre ways.
She has apologized for her conduct during the Vietnam War, openly helping the enemy while Americans are being killed in Southeast Asia. Talking Points accepted Miss Fonda’s apology because that is the Judeo-Christian thing to do.
But I don’t believe Jane Fonda has learned any lessons at all. If she believes Noam Chomsky is not a hater, then she is out of her mind. Chomsky makes Trump look like Mother Teresa.
Then O’Reilly proceeded to bogusly defend his own failures to call out Trump’s extremism;
O’REILLY: Now, one of the reasons I continue to do this program, now in our 20th season, is because I am able to expose rank hypocrisy. Donald Trump' a political candidate. He’s very open about what he believes and you are free to take him or leave him, to criticize or praise him. But you are not free to threaten anyone who reports on him.
To his credit, Mr. Trump comes on this program and answers direct questions. As you know, I challenge him all the time and have openly said his ban of Muslims from overseas and his proposed roundup of illegal aliens would never be implemented because of legal barriers.
O’REILLY: Here, we are responsible, using facts to support our opinions. We practice democracy, freedom of expression, robust debate.
In the radical precincts, Noam Chomsky and his crew seek to shut down expression and debate by using threats and smears. And one more thing: this group may actually help Donald Trump. People on the fence about him might well say, you know, enough is enough with these radical totalitarian loons. Trying to stifle news coverage of any political candidate runs against what the U.S.A. is all about.
The radical left despises the openness the Constitution encourages. Why? Because it’s much easier to control thought when dissenting voices are silenced.
“Democracy, freedom of expression, robust debate?” O’Reilly may want us to forget how many times he has told people to “shut up,” but we have not. In fact, O’Reilly’s “shut up” moments were probably the most memorable ones in the iconic documentary, "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism." (Disclosure: I worked as a researcher on that film.)
In one now-famous segment, O’Reilly told Jeremy Glick, a 9/11 victim's son who opposed the Iraq invasion, “I’ve done more for the 9/11 families by their own admission, I’ve done more for them than you will ever hope to do so you keep your mouth shut.” O’Reilly told Glick to “shut up” several times more before ending the interview altogether, saying, “Cut his mic… we’re done” because O’Reilly didn’t like Glick’s political views. You can watch that segment below, underneath O’Reilly’s Talking Points commentary.
Outfoxed also included a montage of more O’Reilly “shut up” moments. Referring to criticisms of the Iraq war, he said, “Jimmy Carter should privately give Mr. Bush his opinion and shut up publicly,” and “It is our duty as loyal Americans to shut up once the fighting begins.”
And where was O’Reilly’s love for freedom of expression when he said about the Dixie Chicks, who said they were ashamed to be from the same state as George W. Bush, “These are callow, foolish women who deserve to be slapped around?”
Mr. “Freedom Of Expression” also has quite a history of overtly threatening and trying to intimidate the media. Last year, when O’Reilly was under fire for misrepresenting his experiences covering the Falklands war, O’Reilly told a reporter for The New York Times that there would be repercussions if he felt any of the reporter’s coverage was inappropriate. “I am coming after you with everything I have,” Mr. O’Reilly said. “You can take it as a threat.” He also has a habit of sending the same sedition-promoting Watters to ambush and humiliate those whose reporting displeases O’Reilly. Amanda Terkel, now a reporter at Huffington Post, recounted her experience of being followed and ambushed on vacation after she wrote a blog post for Think Progress that criticized O’Reilly’s comments about rape victims.
I’d love to see someone from #StopHateDumpTrump accept O’Reilly’s invitation and call him out on this vile hypocrisy. In the meanwhile, watch it below, from the January 21 The O’Reilly Factor.