It seems our old pal (and former Fox News contributor) Marc Lamont Hill, Ph.D. made quite a stir with some comments on CNN recently about suspected ex-LAPD cop killer Christopher Dorner and, more to the point, why he has garnered support in the black community. Apparently, Hill didn’t get the memo that he was supposed to just condemn any and everyone to whom Dorner appealed and leave it at that. Because as Hill tried to argue that it’s not up to O’Reilly to decide the framework and timing of a discussion about the issues that Dorner has thrown a spotlight on, O’Reilly snapped, “No, I get to decide here, Dr. I get to decide.” Things went downhill after that.
For the record, here’s how RealClearPolitics wrote up Hill’s remarks (a bit more extensively than the clip showed by O’Reilly):
This has been an important conversation that we’ve had about police brutality, about police corruption, about state violence,” said Huffington Post Live host and Columbia University professor Marc Lamont Hill. “They were even talking about making (Dorner) the first domestic drone target. This is serious business here. I don’t think it’s been a waste of time at all. And as far as Dorner himself goes, he’s been like a real life superhero to many people. Now don’t get me wrong. What he did was awful, killing innocent people was bad, but when you read his manifesto, when you read the message that he left, he wasn’t entirely crazy. He had a plan and a mission here. And many people aren’t rooting for him to kill innocent people. They are rooting for somebody who was wronged to get a kind of revenge against the system. It’s almost like watching Django Unchained in real life. It’s kind of exciting.”
Michelle Malkin issued a hate tweet in response (shown in the RCP post). The Daily Caller also suggested Hill was some kind of racist nut.
Hill told O’Reilly that his heart goes out to the victims. “If my words in any way caused them any pain or trauma or stress, more than they’re already experiencing, then I offer them my deepest condolences and my apologies,” he added. Then he elaborated on his CNN comments by emphasizing that Dorner is not a superhero to him. Having been asked by CNN to explain Dorner’s appeal to his supporters, Hill now said, “To many people, they’re not seeing him as a mass killer. The media narrative isn’t just that he’s a mass killer. The media narrative’s that he was someone who was wronged by a corrupt (police) department and now he’s exacting his revenge. …I’m not condoning what he did. But that Americans are capable of having two thoughts at the same time.”
Not so, apparently, with the Fox News set. You may recall the shallow, knee-jerk reactions of the Fox & Friends Weekend hosts who high-handedly dismissed the phenomena of Dorner’s support as some kind of sinister racial solidarity. Now, O’Reilly seemed to be restraining himself from doing the same.
Hill continued, “We can critique him and say, ‘Look, Dorner was wrong for what he did but there might be a real story here about corruption, about violence, about targeting individual people that we can also talk about at the same time.' And I think that’s what this crisis has produced for us.”
But O’Reilly wasn’t interested. He was too busy condescending and scolding Hill throughout the discussion. “Let me tell you why you’re wrong,” O’Reilly began severely. He lectured Hill, “You cannot take anything away from the crime by trying to explain why certain misguided people are supporting the killer.” O’Reilly allowed as how he understood what Hill “was trying to do.” But, wagging his finger, he chastised Hill for not condemning Dorner’s supporters and giving “credibility to a killer.” Soon, O’Reilly was waving his pen into the camera and exclaiming, “Do you understand that?”
The discussion devolved from there.
HILL: I’m not saying investigate the LAPD because Christopher Dorner initiates a conversation about the LAPD or police, more broadly. There’s already a decade or, excuse me, a century-long critique of the LAPD that we need to have and he puts a spotlight back on it.
O'REILLY: That conversation comes later.
HILL: You don’t get to make that decision, Bill. You don’t get to decide. There are people who are suffering...
O'REILLY (interrupting): No, I get to decide here, Dr. I get to decide.
HILL: When we talk about police brutality, Bill?
O’REILLY: Don’t get yourself into even more trouble here.
HILL: Bill, you’re not right about this.
O’REILLY: …You’re insensitive, Dr. You’re IN-SENSITIVE to the victims' families. And that’s what you were.
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen: sensitivity, Bill O’Reilly style.
Dorner was completely unhinged and in the end had committed himself to a murderous rampage. The apologists for him ignore the fact that he killed that woman and her fiancee just because of who her father was. He gets no sympathy from me, regardless of his grievances with the LAPD. Plenty of people have grievances with police departments and they don’t do this.
That said, the handling of this matter was ridiculous, including innocent people being shot at by police because their vehicle looked like his. The final night, with the LAPD and San Bernardino PD arguing in public over whether the manhunt was over, was a prime example of two department heads really needing to have their heads knocked together.
It was inevitable that once Dorner was cornered by police, something like this was going to happen. There was no way he was going to be taken alive, and I think everyone involved knew that. We can discuss the nature of how that final confrontation was handled but we should keep in mind there had just been an exchange of automatic weapons fire during which Dorner had just killed another policeman and seriously wounded a second. I don’t think he had any intention of walking out of that cabin with his hands up, and I’m not sure how he could have after the mayhem he had committed.
Given all that, Hill’s comments were also ridiculous, even when taken in context. And it’s not just that he was being insensitive to the victims – it’s just ridiculous to be talking about how exciting it is to see a modern day John Rambo shoot at police and civilians. Hill was legitimately trying to explain the appeal of such a man, but he also got a little carried away. Which gives people like Bill O’Reilly room to make nasty comments to him, unfortunately. I don’t like the way O’Reilly approached it, with the really sanctimonious lecture, but I can’t argue that it was okay for Hill to make the comments. Another guest on another show mentioned that Hill has been a supporter of Wesley Cook (aka Mumia Abu Jamal). This is unfortunately true, and it damages Hill’s credibility, particularly in this matter.
That said, watching O’Reilly enjoy lording it over Hill and then cut his mike at the end was distasteful.
The insanely unhinged amount of force the LAPD used hunting Dorner has actually spawned conspiracy theories, ranging from that he was innocent, but had heavy dirt on someone high up… to that the manhunt was a extremely elaborate hoax designed to justify police violence on minority neighborhoods. They’re both BS… Dorner killed those cops, he was extremely dangerous, and in a city known for their law acting like that.
That should be the end, but the LAPD acted so screwy, including continuing to commit acts of violence against poor minority neighborhoods after they said he was in the mountains, that even a lot of extremely well-grounded people started asking a couple of the same questions as the nuts. Their smirks and questionable accounts on some developments does not help.
But God forbid this get in the way of Fox News’ turning the manhunt into a race carding Obama bash, then hypocritically saying that people who would like them to ask the same questions as the rest of the world of being insensitive.
spectacle in trying to demean Dr.Hill I couldn’t go on watching this another minute. It was another embarressing moment for Vile Bile.
Hm — talk about an “epidemic of disrespect” . . .