Bill O’Reilly got quite an earful from a CAIR representative about The O’Reilly Factor’s slimy hit job on Dearborn, Michigan this week. And while O’Reilly was forced to admit some errors, he insisted the whole thing was “lighthearted” and “good-natured”
O’Reilly began by disingenuously saying that producer Jesse Watters, who did the Dearborn "Watters World" segment, “did what he always does. He interviewed folks.”
“So what’s the beef, Mr. Walid?” O’Reilly asked Dawud Walid, from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
O’Reilly conveniently ignored that Watters very definitely edited the report to make Muslims look un-American and scary. Smearing people conservatives hate is par for the course with Watters. Fortunately for truth lovers, Walid called out The Factor on that point.
DAWUD WALID: Well, the show that you had, Bill, just really shows old, tired, and really bigoted frameworks about the community here in Michigan and Dearborn in particular. And there were a number of factual errors that were in the story. For instance, the mentioning that the police chief was a Muslim when in fact Chief Ron Haddad is a Lebanese Christian.
O’REILLY: But that was corrected though. I corrected that fairly quickly.
WALID: OK, but then also was misinformation put out saying that there was a Muslim woman who was killed simply for having condoms. That never happened. There was no honor killing or anyone getting stoned to death in Dearborn. It hasn’t happened. And there are no honor killings taking place.
O’Reilly had to admit those were “legitimate points” and that they “should have been clarified by Watters and weren’t.” Notice that O’Reilly took no personal responsibility, though he did later, sort of. “So I will cede that those things should have had clarification there,” he continued. “Was a condom killing in Germany. And Watters didn’t say that. That was said by some guy who didn’t know what he was talking about.
Then O’Reilly began playing the “we were just joshing” card.
O’REILLY: However, have you ever seen Watters’ World before?
WALID: I’ve only seen it about one or two times.
O’REILLY: All right. How would you describe it?
WALID: Oh, well, how I’d describe it is it goes into particular communities and in some ways it makes fun of people or communities. But also, it reinforces or plays into stereotypes that people have about certain communities.
O’REILLY: Wouldn’t you say it was satire and pretty much good-natured satire?
WALID: I don’t think it really was satire, especially when you have people making comments about honor killings and then you go on your Facebook page, Bill, and it’s not your fault, but because of that story, people are talking about “bomb Dearborn,” “nuke them.”
O’Reilly waved that off by saying, “In every story we do, there are crazy people that react in nutty ways.” But I’ll bet that O’Reilly’s readers don’t urge any conservatives get nuked after any Watters World segments.
Walid didn’t let that go either.
O’REILLY: But your beef is primarily that we ran you down and I’m submitting to you that every Watters World is a satire and is a Q & A in a very genial way between Watters. There was no malice in that report.”
WALID: We have all types of nuts that come into Dearborn and these types of depictions just give nuts more fuel to come into Dearborn.
…O’REILLY: I think you’re overreacting. However, your points about honor killings and stonings and things like that, that’s my fault as an editor. I probably... probably, I should have said you know what, if we can’t back this up—and believe me, I’m glad you contacted us because it won’t happen again. That if there’s any kind of accusation of violence or something like that, we’ll check it out. And if it doesn’t check, we’ll cut it. But overall it was a gentle piece and you know it was gentle. Why are you so upset?
WALID: I don’t see it as totally being gentle.
O’REILLY: …I think you gotta lighten up a little Mr. Walid, but as I said, you taught us a good lesson.
Well done, Mr. Walid.
Watch it below, from the October 8 The O’Reilly Factor. You can watch what O'Reilly thinks is "good-natured" fun about Dearborn here.
Yes, BOR, remember your own words the next time you are once again tempted to slam comedian Bill Maher whenever he cuts loose with some wisecracks directed at Christians/Christianity. Or does that “lighten up” advice not apply to you and your fellow christians, hmm?
Watters isn’t funny – smarmy? yes; funny? no – and, if BOR really thinks that Watters’ World is satire (much less good-natured satire!), then BOR is more delusional than I realized.
Thank you for speaking up and correcting BOR, Mr. Walid.