Bill O’Reilly continued his effort to work the refs for Donald Trump by insisting that charges of racism against him are just political ploys to elect Hillary Clinton.
In his Talking Points last night, O’Reilly worked to delegitimize accusations of bigotry toward Trump right in his opening:
O’REILLY: It is becoming clear that many, perhaps most, in the media believe that journalists are not acting responsibly unless they are condemning Trump. Labeling the man a bigot or worse.
…No question the racist tag will be front and center in the upcoming presidential campaign should Donald Trump get the Republican nomination. That will be the centerpiece of attacks against him. Trump himself doesn’t seem fazed or do his supporters. But in order to become president Donald Trump will need about 65 million of Americans to vote for him. And his opposition believes the racist tag will drive minority and on-the-fence voters away.
The question then becomes how do responsible and fair-minded press people cover the Trump campaign when the race card is being used as an ax.
Well, how about investigating whether the sentiment is deserved? Not surprisingly, O’Reilly didn’t seem to think it was necessary. Instead, he pointed to Jorge Ramos’ accusations of the night before that O’Reilly has been too easy on Trump’s bigotry countered by instances where he has challenged Trump.
O'REILLY: Here’s the Factor record and you can look it up. Everything is online. In the beginning of his campaign, I directly told Donald Trump that Mexico would not, would not pay for the border wall. Even if economic reprisals were taken against that country. Simply put, no Mexican politician could survive in office if he or she agreed to that. I suggested to Donald Trump that a mass deportation of illegal aliens would be tied up in federal courts for years, effectively shutting down the policy. Same thing with temporarily barring Muslims from entering the U.S.A. Courts would block that. And the hearings would take forever.
We also investigated Donald Trump’s statement about thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating after the 9/11 attack. And found the statement to be exaggerated. In addition, I suggested to Mr. Trump that Muslim nations are needed to do defeat the jihadist and America would be wise not to alienate them. Also, I told Donald Trump that John McCain is a hero, Carly Fiorina’s appearance was no issue. That Megyn Kelly’s question about women was legit and just last night I said that rhetorical mudslinging will not make America great again. I said all this to Mr. Trump’s face. I can list dozens of other issues where I have challenged Donald Trump.
O’Reilly is correct that he has challenged Trump on the issues. But what Ramos was saying O'Reilly was soft on was Trump’s characterization of Mexican immigrants as criminals. And O’Reilly pretty much proved Ramos’ point during their discussion because he insisted Trump “didn’t say all of them were.” In fact, Trump implied that most of them are.
But now that Ramos was not there to defend himself, O’Reilly declared, “Now, I like Jorge Ramos, he is no phony, but he is absolutely blind on the Trump issue. And he has no bleeping clue about what we do here, obviously. Maybe Jorge objects because I will not brand Donald Trump a racist. He is not. He doesn’t care what color or race somebody is. It is not racist to want to shut down illegal immigration or brand Islamic terrorism a deep threat. That’s not racist.”
It was a straw man argument because that’s not what Ramos had objected to.
O’Reilly went on to make another straw man argument over Trump’s refusal to disavow the support of David Duke and the KKK:
O'REILLY: If you really believe Donald Trump is courting the KKK, you need to get some fresh air.
O’Reilly was referring to an interview on CNN in which Trump claimed not to know who the KKK is and refused to disavow the support of their former Grand Wizard, David Duke, for the same reasons. It may well have been a dog whistle to Duke supporters and other white racists but I have yet to find any mainstream pundit who thought Trump was actively courting the KKK. But, speaking of the KKK, there’s the inconvenient fact that Trump’s father was arrested at a Klan rally in 1927. It was a point that “no spin” O’Reilly didn’t seem to think worth mentioning.
Nevertheless, O’Reilly wants you to make him your Trump-news arbitrator.
O'REILLY: It is my job to give you the American voter insights into those seeking power. I do that in a variety of ways, and you will learn more from the Factor than most other news programs. You don’t stay number one for 16 years by spinning, shilling or selling out. Donald Trump is the most important political story in decades. We will cover him fairly on the Factor, allowing to you decide whether or not he has the right stuff to be president.
…Sadly few media outlets will provide fair coverage in this election cycle. Trump has changed all the rules because he has broken many of them. Jorge Ramos and other press folks are out to get Trump. We are not. We are out to cover him.
Expect more of this “I’m impartially telling you that Trump is not a racist” rhetoric from white guy and Trump pal, O’Reilly.
Watch it below, from the March 17 The O’Reilly Factor.
(transcript via Fox News.com, with some edits)
I can but imagine what the unedited encounter with Ramos was like. 👍
Then, as NewHounds points out, Bill does his standard shtick of endlessly debating straw men in subsequent segments to thoroughly convince his fans there’s but 1 way to think.
It’s all a game. The only surprising thing to me is how many idiots fall for it.
It’s so unfair when the media plays videos and soundclips of what Herr Trump says!