If, in analyzing American US race relations, a host of a show that features "unequaled blend of news analysis and hard hitting investigative reporting," spoke credulously with a neo-Nazi skinhead, there would be serious questions about the credibility of said TV news host. Yet, last night, Bill O'Reilly did just that, albeit with a focus on British/Islamic relations, with the head of the English Defense League, an extremist group whose anti-Islam demonstrations, as noted by the ADL, have been "marked by violence, with some bordering on full riots resulting in numerous arrests, property damage, and injuries to law enforcement." But Bill, who blames the minority community for violence in the public schools, doesn't seem to have a problem with the English Defense League. In his interview with the EDL head, Bill avoided mention of the group's thuggish behavior and unsavory white supremacist connections, except to reference what his guest has been "called" by others. Rather, he sought Robinson's explanation for "Jihad in London." But like O'Reilly, Robinson is white, hates Muslims, and "is fighting for Christianity," so it's all good?
Against a background photo of one of the accused murderers of a British soldier, with the words "London Jihad," O'Reilly reported on the aforementioned crime. He added, with emphasis, that ten other Muslims have arrested in connection with the case which "led to a number of anti-Muslim demonstrations." He showed footage of a violent confrontation between protesters and British police - the same kind of action that Bill condemned, vociferously, when it was done by American "Occupiers." Featured, in the clip, was a man who screamed about how the issue is "political Islam." Bill didn't mention that several British mosques had also been attacked.
He introduced his guest as the same man who was shouting in the video, Tommy Robinson who heads up "the militant" English Defense League. He didn't mention that Robinson served jail time for assaulting a policeman and has a history of brawling, some of which involved violent assaults. Without providing any important background, O'Reilly allowed Robinson (a pen name) to define the EDL as a "street protest group to put pressure on our politicians" formed because of "the inability of the government and the police to tackle radical Islam." This would have been an opportunity for O'Reilly to say something about the group's history of violent protest; but he didn't.
O'Reilly wanted to know why "so many Muslims are coming to Great Britian." Robinson claimed that it was their inability to assimilate into the society, and not the population, that is the problem. To O'Reilly's question of what the government is doing about this, Robinson claimed that they are "pandering to the Muslims." O'Reilly read a statement from the British PM, David Cameron, which, according to Bill, showed that he's "getting tough on them." Not surprisingly, Robinson disagreed and went on a rant about how the British government is not supporting the British people who are "scared" and "in the trenches trying to fight for Christianity."
To O'Reilly's comment that he just couldn't "understand" why the government is afraid, Robinson went off on another paranoid rant about how Muslim money has "bought our government." Bill's befuddlement about why the British government isn't watching radicals who, in the US, are monitored and "smacked down," prompted Tommy Robinson" (actually Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) to rant about the impotency of the British government in the face of radical Islam. Like O'Reilly, he claimed to speak "facts and truths" and asserted that they don't hate Muslims. He must have warmed the cockles of Bill's heart when he said that Islam "is not a religion of peace." Bill finally admitted that Robinson "does come across as somebody with an [anti-Muslim] agenda" and because of that he has been called "a fascist, a racist..." (Pot, meet kettle?) Robinson spoke of the EDL's Hindu and Jewish divisions without mentioning that British Jewish leaders have condemned the EDL. He accused those who say that his group is racist of trying to "stifle debate."
I mean, seriously, couldn't O'Reilly have conducted an interview, about British religious relations, with someone who has more credibility than a street brawling, Islamophobic, glorified soccer hooligan, white supremacist? But who cares about that. O'Reilly's barcolounger brigade now knows that a fine young Englishman is, like Bill, defending Christianity from those dirty Muslims. And for his troubles, he is being unfairly branded as a racist hater. Blimey! That's just a fine fng, innit, yeah.
1) Good luck with that.
2) Nothing to be proud of if you pull it off, Bill.