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O'Reilly loves his First Amendment rights. Yours, not so much.

Reported by Chrish - April 1, 2007 -

On The Factor last night 3/30/07 Bill O'Reilly berated Roy Sekoff of the Huffington Post for allowing vile comments about Tony Snow to be posted in the first place, even though they were taken down in eight hours. Apparently O'Reilly doesn't know much about his own website or the difference between it and a blog, because he claims such meanness would never get by his 24/7 staff in the first place. Well duh, Bill - your website doesn't allow comments, period. With video.

O'Reilly and Michelle Malkin (whose website MichelleMalkin.com does not allow comments either) double-teamed Sekoff throughout the segment.

O'Reilly led off by highlighting a blog post from the Daily Kos, "one of the most hateful websites in America," the tie-in being that it was a mean-spirited comment about Tony Snow and the purpose being to throw another jab at DailyKos.com, which O'Reilly despises (even though he doesn't understand it). He segued from that to a similar incident at the Huffington Post, where a blogger named Charles Bouley made a deplorable comment about Snow's cancer.

O'Reilly said he's not an Internet guy, he doesn't waste his time...oops. He meant to be dismissive of the "far-left" who populate the web, but he forgot he had Michelle Malkin sitting right there, who has not one but two websites. (Her second website, she claimed, accepts comments, but she failed to note that registration is now closed so if you're not already in the clique, too bad - no commenting for yooouuuu.) He hastened to cover himself and ameliorate his pal, saying "I certainly respect what Mich...I certainly respect the Internet when it is used to promote...goodness."

As Sekoff explained to O'Reilly, Bouley and 900 other HuffPo bloggers are responsible for their own content. When something offensive is brought to light, they are asked to correct it within 24 hours. In this case the content was changed within eight hours of its posting, because, as Sekoff explained, people have other things to do. O'Reilly"misspoke" and told us

"I run BillO'Reilly.com, and we get an enormous amount,,,and this wouldn't have been up,,,15 minutes on my site. Because we have people policing, every second of 24 hours, to make sure this stuff doesn't get up."
As noted above, that website does not allow comments - period. He was completely making it up as he went, lying to his viewers. Sekoff said, incredulously, "Really!"

Michelle Malkin had a beef that there was no indication that it was offensive in the first place and edited at the behest of the "conservative bloggers." Sekoff said they'd have no problem doing that, and agreed again that the original post was despicable. (It was, and I won't reprint it.) But, he pointed out, such events are extremely rare. O'Reilly and Malkin immediately disagreed, and O'Reilly went to his notes, obviously prepared to show a disturbing trend of .0002% objectionable posts.

The item in question said too bad it wasn't O'Reilly and Geraldo who got kidnapped in Iraq (instead of FOX reporter Steve Centanni and photographer Olaf Wittig)(last August). When Sekoff quickly pointed out that that was an anonymous comment, O'Reilly shrilled "How did it get on your blog?" Clueless. As Sekoff explained how the openness of the Internet works, O'Reilly called it ridiculous, audibly groaned and Malkin made derisive comments. Sekoff was trying to explain how everyone gets a say and O'Reilly (remember, clueless) said there's got to be some filters: the haters have a forum! On both sides of the spectrum, added Sekoff.

O'Reilly had to end the segment, but waved good-bye to Malkin, who he'll have in on Monday to discuss this some more. Two on one was too fair and balanced for them, I guess.

So, to recap: O'Reilly lied about the functioning of his website, and it appears he not only doesn't know how the blogosphere functions, he's never even visited his own website. But he "runs" it.

He thinks unfettered free speech without filters is ridiculous. Let me ask: once he starts filtering the typed word, how long until the spoken word is similarly "filtered"?

And despite his and Malkin's denials, they only had one blog post and one comment to kvetch about. No mention was made of the racist and anti-Democratic, anti-liberal hate speech on the web. We know first-hand that it exists, and have quite a few more than two examples right here on this relatively small blog.

O'Reilly gets his radio show and tv show to spout his views and vitriol, but he doesn't want you peons saying anything without running it by - him, who else? - first.

Fair and balanced, or just another liberal smear-job? See for yourself:

Amend 4/1 noonish: BillOreilly.com does allow comments IF you are a PAID Premium member ($49.95, what a deal! so it's not really FREE speech, is it?) Any way, part of the rules read:

"BillOReilly.com will not be held liable for any user activity on the message boards. We do not actively monitor user-submitted content. If there is an inappropriate message, please alert us by clicking the "Report This Post" link found above each post."