Bill O’Reilly is just certain that “race” was behind the Obama administration’s decision to free some nonviolent federal prisoners. Unfortunately for him, he couldn't get real-life psychiatrist Charles Krauthammer to agree with the diagnosis.
In a Talking Points commentary called “Sympathy for drug dealers,” O’Reilly sneered that President Obama had toured a drug rehab center “touting his leniency” toward “people involved with the drug trade.” O'Reilly conflated that with the Justice Department’s release of about 6,000 federal prisoners. As an October article in The Washington Post reported, but “no spin” O’Reilly did not, the release of the prisoners reduced but did not eliminate sentences. More importantly, the Post noted that the release was driven by a bipartisan consensus and overwhelmingly supported in the more than 80,000 public comments. It’s also consistent with a bipartisan bill in Congress:
Last week, a group of senators introduced a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill, the first such legislation in decades. Although some advocates say it doesn’t go far enough, the measure, which is supported by a coalition that includes the Koch brothers and the American Civil Liberties Union, would shorten the length of mandatory-minimum drug sentences that were part of the tough-on-crime laws passed during the war on drugs in the 1980s and 1990s.
If passed by Congress and signed by Obama, the reforms would apply retroactively, allowing inmates who were previously incarcerated under mandatory minimums an opportunity for release.
But O’Reilly deliberately – and he’s too smart a guy not to know that he was being deceptive – suggested that this is Obama’s personal Willie Horton moment. Driven by his innate feelings of solidarity with black people. Or something.
“The whole exercise will accomplish little in the way of public safety,” O’Reilly complained, though he didn’t bother to interview any experts on the subject. Also, “It sends a message to young people, to drug dealers, to drug users that society doesn’t believe this is a dangerous and amoral situation," he contended.
After his editorial, O’Reilly welcomed Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer. Krauthammer was hardly sympathetic to Obama, saying that he opposed treating a whole class of cases as one (even though that’s not what’s happening, according to The Washington Post: “In each case, inmates must petition a judge, who decides whether to grant the sentencing reduction.”) though Krauthammer did make the point of distinguishing selling hard drugs and using marijuana.
But apparently, Krauthammer was too soft on Obama for O’Reilly. Unable to contain his impatience, O’Reilly interrupted:
O’REILLY: The stats in federal prison, less than one percent are in for use of any kind. …The stats in federal prison are: Hispanics are a greater proportion than blacks, OK? So, a) this is driven by race with Barack Obama. I know it is. I know it’s race: The cops are huntin’ down inner-city black dealers. They don’t care about the white collar dealers. That’s what’s motivating this, Charles. And you know it!
Former psychiatrist Krauthammer didn’t buy it. He gave what may be one of the most elegant smackdowns ever:
KRAUTHAMMER: Unlike you, I don’t have extensive psychiatric training and psychiatric powers to be able to understand exactly why Obama’s doing it. And because I don’t understand, or I don’t pretend to know, I simply want to examine the relevance and the wisdom of the policy. If you want to re-evaluate people who are in jail for crimes that we now think should not have big mandatory sentences, and that is the trend, then what you do is a case-by-case examination.
“It’s not the trend here,” O’Reilly dubiously contended. Then he got back to playing the race card.
O’REILLY: Are you gonna tell me you don’t think there’s a racial element in this for President Obama? Are you really gonna sit here and say that?
KRAUTHAMMER: I think some of the left makes that argument. I’m simply gonna say that when you tell me what’s happening inside of Obama’s head …I can spend hundreds of hours in a room with people who speak intimately and I still don’t know what’s in their heads.
O’Reilly dropped the subject. But I’ll bet he revives it in the not-too-distant future.
Watch it below, from the November 2 The O’Reilly Factor.
“Bill is ill. Decidedly goebbells like a turkey.”
Hmmmmmmmmm, that reminds me of this classic riddle:
Q: How does Bill O’Reilly tie his shoelaces?
A: IN LITTLE NAZIS!