Monday, July 20, 2009
Bill O’Reilly, who mourns the demise of the “white, male, Christian, power structure," just doesn’t understand why anybody would dare criticize any remarks which he makes about African American culture – a subject that he, clearly, is not an expert on! After he expressed utter surprise that blacks, at Sylvia’s Harlem restaurant, used cutlery, had table manners, and didn’t scream “give me my m-fing iced tea,” he just didn’t comprehend why people felt that his remarks were – ah – insensitive at best, and racist, at worst. And despite the conservative credo of taking responsibility for one’s actions and comments, Papa Bear said that “the media fabricated the controversy.” Recently, O’Reilly just couldn’t understand why Michael Jackson is a black icon. He made some remarks that were later challenged and while he did offer an apology, he used the segment to justify his position and chastise the chastisers! Once again, we saw how the no spin zone is a little wobbly.
On July 8th, O’Reilly interviewed Republican NY Congressman Peter King who had recently made disparaging remarks about Michael Jackson. During the interview, O’Reilly claimed that Democratic Congressman Bobby Rush had implied that King was a racist. The “Reality Check” segment of the July 13th Factor, titled “Who’s Demanding that O’Reilly Apologize to Him,?” began with O’Reilly claiming that Congressman Rush was “angry” with him. He then played and read a comment issued from Rush’s office in which the congressman said that he never called Congressman Peter King a racist and that he (Rush) did not “play the race card.” The comment continued: “To millions of African American children, specifically, (Jackson’s) story of being born to a working class family in Gary Indiana, to becoming one of the world’s greatest starts…illustrates the value of hard work…For Rep. King to use Jackson’s death as a springboard to a campaign for a US Senate seat is unacceptable.” O’Reilly concluded that the use of the term “African American, specifically", (said very loudly after which O’Reilly makes a face while looking stage left) “that sounds like a race based argument to me.” King was the one denigrating Jackson. Rush pointed out the reality that Jackson’s story was inspirational to African Americans. Was that a "race based argument" - don't think so. O’Reilly then had to admit that Rush didn’t call King a racist on the earlier show and added that Rep. Rush has an open invitation to appear on the Factor. O’Reilly then repeated the word, “specifically.’
The next section of the program was a video of Lewis Farrakhan, during an interview with an African America interviewer, speculating that Jackson changed his appearance because he “wanted to improve” himself by altering his appearance and the “evidence is there” that Jackson didn’t want to look black. O’Reilly didn’t say anything; but looked very smug....(Remainder.)