Thank God somebody called out Fox’s ridiculous (but pernicious) insistence that President Obama is weak on terrorism unless he says the word “Islamic” before terrorism.
Last night, Bill O’Reilly railed against Obama’s decision not to join the France unit march with comments that neatly echoed the talking points of Fox host Martha MacCallum and her guest, Ralph Peters, earlier in the day.
In addition to swipes at some of O’Reilly’s usual scapegoats (The New York Times and the left), O’Reilly focused on accusing Obama of being “disengaged” from fighting terrorism – based on his semantics.
“The Obama administration does not stand with the world to declare war on the Islamic jihad,” O’Reilly intoned, in all seriousness.
I would love to see a Democrat go on offense against this BS but my second choice is to see someone forcefully refute it. And that Hannah did very well, I think.
Hannah told O’Reilly, “There’s no question about America’s friendship with France. They’re our oldest ally.” While Hannah agreed there would have been “some symbolic or stylistic points for sending somebody along,” he argued it has nothing to do with how the U.S. is actually working with the French fighting terror.
For bonus points Hannah said, “Forget what Bernie Goldberg says or Ralph Peters. The French president’s office has come out and said it’s been an extraordinary gesture to have President Obama go to the embassy. It’s the first thing he did when he returned from vacation.”
Like MacCallum, O’Reilly the France demonstration just happened to remind him of James Foley and the “terrible gaffe” of Obama playing golf after Foley’s beheading was announced.
“Come on, Bill. You can’t think that the president wasn’t mortified by that,” Hannah said.
O’Reilly kept accusing Obama of being “disengaged” and citing symbolic (as opposed to substantive) acts like Obama’s golf game as evidence. Hannah said, “I’ll just refute the premise.” He cited the number of terrorists Obama has killed, including Osama Bin Laden.
Then came the best part.
HANNAH: Bill, Bill, you’re doing exactly what MSNBC hosts did when George W. Bush was playing golf. It’s easy to …put up some b-roll on the screen… You and I don’t know what kind of confidential briefings he’s having, what kind of intelligence he’s receiving, what kind of discussions he’s having on the phone with the presidents and heads of state of people all across the world. And I don’t think it’s particularly constructive to keep calling this ‘Islamic jihadism’ or ‘Islamic extremism.’
When O’Reilly sneered at that, Hannah continued, “Why not call Timothy McVeigh ‘Republican extremism’ because he was all against the expansion of the federal government. And let’s not forget …the Muslim officer that died. It doesn’t do him any service …to call it ‘Islamic extremism.’”
If only he had mentioned Dr. George Tiller! Tiller, you may recall, is the abortion provider who was assassinated – in church – by an anti-abortion extremist after years of being called “Dr. Tiller, baby killer” by O’Reilly. If O’Reilly thinks that saying the word “Islamic” is so crucial to fighting terrorism, I’d love to see him explain why repeatedly calling someone “baby killer” is innocuous. I’m including a mash up video of O’Reilly’s “baby killer” remarks below, for comparison.
4/15/20 update: Videos are no longer available.
I’m keeping one eye open for the 5 Ws of when this is covered by everyone. If Fox News isn’t the first, and using the term “right-wing extremists,” I’m nailing them to the wall.
How could we ever forget Freedom Fries, and not the unpatriotic and ungodly French Fries?