If there’s any doubt in your mind that Fox News will play the race card against Obama in the upcoming presidential campaign, last night’s O’Reilly Factor should put it to rest. Bill O’Reilly purported to hold a debate over whether or not one of President Obama’s campaign YouTube videos crossed a line between church and state. But O’Reilly changed the direction of his own discussion by abruptly asking “What would happen” if Rick Santorum started a campaign to engage white churchgoers to vote for him. It was a deliberate effort to inject race and in a way so as to suggest that white people suffer at the hands of over-privileged African Americans.
The segment began with O’Reilly playing a YouTube video in which Obama urged African Americans to get involved in his re-election campaign “in your faith community” among other situations. In the first excuse to attack Obama, O’Reilly suggested that laws had been broken. No lawyer appeared to say they had. Even conspiracy-theorist extraordinaire Monica Crowley admitted she couldn’t find any. But that was no reason not to have a full-fledged discussion questioning the integrity of the (Democratic) President of the United States.
But out of the blue, having nothing to do with the issue of churches, O’Reilly asked, “What if Rick Santorum said, on YouTube, ‘We are starting this month a campaign for white people to vote for me and we are going to use the congregation to try to rally ‘em.’ …What do you think would happen?”
“All hell would break loose,” Crowley giggled. “He’d be called a racist, he’d be called a bigot.”
“What’s the difference?” O’Reilly asked, now slyly stepping into neutrality mode after dropping his racial bombshell.
There was no difference, Crowley said, other than that Obama “got away with it.”
Alan Colmes pointed out that disempowered people have a legitimate reason to band together, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. There’s no equivalent organization for whites because “white people are already advanced,” he noted.
“Is that written down anywhere?” O’Reilly skeptically asked, as Crowley tag-teamed about that being “a double standard.”
After Colmes – who had obviously prepared for a discussion about the role of religion, not race, in politics - pointed out ways that Republican Rick Santorum was using religion in his campaign, O’Reilly brought it back to the race card. “If you’re a minority group, you can rally around anybody but if you’re a white guy you can’t.”
Crowley agreed. “It’s a huge double standard and a huge hypocrisy… and unless we call them out on it, they’re gonna continue to get away with it.”
You’re right, BillO and Monica; black candidates have such an unfair advantage.
Just as Senator Alan Keyes, Governor Lynn Swann, or President Jesse Jackson . . .