Bill O'Reilly's "Tip of the Day," is a stunning illustration of O'Reilly's hypocrisy at best or cognitive dissonance at worst in that what he preaches isn't anything remotely like what he practices. Given O'Reilly's pattern of Islamophobic comments, which suggest that Islamic terrorism is a reflection of Islam and his belief that the world has a "Muslim problem," a recent "Tip," about "being fair to every ethnic group," seemed to be more divergence between what Bill advises and what he says. But on second glance, it was actually quite consistent in that he actually qualified his advice with a caveat that was perfectly consistent with his toxic world view - a world view that he proudly articulated on the Daily Show which he proudly used as the visual aid for his "tip."
On May 23rd, O'Reilly began his tip by introducing video of his appearance on the Daily Show during which he spoke about "the Muslim jihad situation." (As opposed to his Christian jihad against Dr. Tiller?) It began with Stewart discussing the "lumping together" of all adherents of a given religion based on acts of terror committed by one member of that religion. Stewart had joked about profiling Fox employees but O'Reilly didn't show that part. He also didn't show the part where Stewart said that the number of deaths attributed to handguns trumps Bill's terrorism numbers. Full daily show video here.
O'Reilly then, as Sen. Al Franken used to say, might have pulled a fact straight of his ass when he contrasted "one act of terror against 14,600." The only reference to 14,600 acts of terror comes from a 2006 AP article which cites worldwide 11,000 acts of terror resulting in 14,600 deaths. The US State Department stats show that in 2011, there were 10,283 acts of terror and those include "secular, anarchist, and political" groups. Sunni extremist groups account for the highest number of terrorist incidents but the number is 5,700 - not 14,600. (Counting Muslim terrorist acts in standard fare on rabidly anti-Islam blogs, btw.)
But according to O'Reilly, he was just "doing the math" and if they [terrorst acts] "keep mounting up maybe you do a little profiling." The rest of the segment was friendly banter between Stewart and O'Reilly about Stewart's upcoming hiatus from his show while he directs a movie. O'Reilly chided him as "insincere" for not using a Muslim as the substitute host.
After the video, a chuckling O'Reilly offered his "tip."
"Be fair to every ethnic group, be fair. But don't back down when something is wrong." On his website he summarized his tip: "Strive to be fair to every ethnic group, but don't be afraid to criticize when there is an ongoing pattern of bad behavior."
Okaaay, so Bill is saying that if there is a "pattern of bad behavior," certain groups should be criticized and profiled. I guess that means that we have to criticize and profile young white men because school shootings (domestic terrorism?) have been, for the most part, done by f*#ked up white boys. And given that anti-abortion domestic terrorism has been exclusively the domain of Christians, I guess we need to scrutinize this group which, as far as a pattern, has, since the time of Constantine, persecuted non-Christians. So if ya wanna talk "patterns." And then there's that whole Irish/alcoholism thing...
And while Bill, in an avuncular way, is suggesting that we can legitimately claim that Islam supports terror because of a pattern, he is ignoring the reality that in the US, between 1980 and 2005, only a small percentage were carried out by Muslims. Duke University ("liberal loons?") has determined that "the threat of Muslim-American terrorism in the US is greatly exaggerated." According to Europol, in 2011, there were 174 acts of terror in the EU. Of the 174, 122 were "religiously inspired." And since 9-11, there have been almost twice the number of terrorist plots from non-Muslims.
But Pope Bill (or is it Mullah) has issued his papal bull (or is it fatwa) which nicely dovetails with the official Fox News be scared of evil Islam meme. So, it's all good...