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Selections from The Daily Diatribe

Bill O'Reilly Claims Irish Suffered as Much Under British Rule as Africans Suffered Under Colonialism and Slavery

July 31, 2001

Bill O'Reilly, host of the top-rated Fox News talk show "The O'Reilly Factor," has not been averse to making statements of dubious accuracy.  There is, for example, his assertion that he comes from a "working class" background, a claim which has been debunked here and elsewhere.

Yesterday, O'Reilly was interviewing Malik Shabazz, National Chairman of the New Black Panther Party.  (O'Reilly should be given credit for having Mr. Shabazz on his program and not limiting his guest list to the slightly-left-of-center to far-right spectrum of other news outlets.) Here is an exchange between O'Reilly and Shabazz:

O'REILLY: All right. Now, you're the history guy, OK?

SHABAZZ: That's correct.

O'REILLY: And this is a little bit off the track. But -- or I was looking at the countries that are ranked by the U.N., and the last 26 countries are black African countries in the lowest form of all services.

The whites are out of there, they're gone. These are black-controlled countries now. But these countries in decades have not been able to improve themselves.

SHABAZZ: But the stench and the legacy of racism and colonialism still reigns in Africa and in the ghettos...

O'REILLY: All right, let me ask you something...

SHABAZZ: ... of America today.

O'REILLY: ... like that. My people come from Ireland, which was colonized by the British and brutally, brutally controlled by them.

They've been able to throw that off in 200 years, the blacks haven't. How come?

SHABAZZ: You have not suffered as Irish under the British nowhere near the Africans...

O'REILLY: Oh, you're going to get a debate on that, man. You...

SHABAZZ: ... have suffered under the British or under the Americans.

O'REILLY: Listen, that famine killed millions of people... argument on that.

SHABAZZ: ... suffering cannot compare to the black holocaust, no way, no how, Mr. O'Reilly.

O'REILLY: All right, OK...


O'REILLY: ... as always, we appreciate your point of view, and we'll have you back on, and it's nice to see you.

[The video makes clear that O'Reilly's "All right, OK..." was not agreement, but a "Let's wrap it up"-type prelude to his "we'll have you back on" immediately following].

So O'Reilly is claiming that the Irish under British rule suffered as much as the Africans under colonialism.  While it's not perfectly clear from the rapid-fire nature of the exchange, O'Reilly also seems to be claiming that the Irish experience under the British was as bad as what Africans endured in hundreds of years of slavery in the United States.

Either way, what O'Reilly is saying is absurd.  I was going to start pointing out how, but why bother?  The most rudimentary knowledge of history reveals the unsupportable nature of O'Reilly's assertion. 

Arguments about which oppressed people suffered more are not useful. I'm writing about this only because O'Reilly was making the comparison of the Irish and African experiences in order to make an invidious point.

I don't know whether O'Reilly is really this stupid, or just trying to be provocative. 

O'Reilly has a segment on his show called "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."  Yesterday he so outdid himself in making a patently false statement that he should have put himself in that segment.

[more on Bill O'Reilly]

Joe Lieberman Visits Bill O'Reilly, Part I: The Senator Engages in Some Big Time Ass-Kissing

August 3,2001

Joe "The Pious Prude" Lieberman guaranteed his place in the Ass-Kisser's Hall of Fame with his performance yesterday on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News talk show "The O'Reilly Factor."   As you read these bits of the transcript, keep two things in mind:

First, these written transcript excerpts can't even begin to convey Lieberman's fawning tone.  If these excerpts were dialogue in a screenplay, each of Lieberman's subsequent lines would have the stage directions "(obsequiously)", "(more obsequiously)", and "(even more obsequiously)."

Second, this conversation took place in the face of O'Reilly's usual overbearing, pompous egomania, which Lieberman was so clearly eager to feed.

Now the excerpts:

A harbinger of things to come...

O'REILLY: So, Senator Lieberman, welcome to THE O'REILLY FACTOR. [sarcastically] I'm glad you finally made it here.


Lieberman works in a congratulations to O'Reilly for how well his program is doing in the face of stiff competition:

LIEBERMAN: That's the problem... [W]e say to them, you used to have a code of conduct in movies, television.

You drew the lines on which you would compete so you wouldn't go down into the gutter. Why don't you do it again?

O'REILLY: No, they can't because there's too much competition now. The industries are wide open. There's too much competition to get the eyeballs...

LIEBERMAN: You're doing OK.

O'REILLY: Yeah, we're doing fine.

Lieberman's "shocked, shocked" that he had been invited on the program and didn't know about it:

O'REILLY: And that brings me to my other question. You guys, Gore and you, you'd be sitting in the White House right now... if you'd come on THE FACTOR. Now...


O'REILLY: ... no, you would have, and here's why.


O'REILLY: We had so -- we have a very large audience in Florida. And many of those people are independents or libertarians, a lot of people.

And you guys flat out would not come on this program. We were stunned.

LIEBERMAN: Seriously? Seriously?

O'REILLY: We were stunned.

LIEBERMAN: I've got to tell you the truth. I never knew that I was invited.

He likes Bill, he really, really likes him, and he'll certainly keep coming back:

O'REILLY: Oh, come on. Then fire your whole staff because we kept calling and calling and calling, and the Gore guys not only would they say no, he's not going to come on, they'd say, "We hate you, we hate you," because they thought were rooting for Bush, you know.

LIEBERMAN: Yeah. Well, I like your show and I like you. And, you know, I'll keep coming on, because (INAUDIBLE)...

Again, he's glad he came on the show, in fact so glad, he jokes maybe he should use O'Reilly as a consultant:

O'REILLY: Listen, Hillary Clinton is going to run for president. Did you know that?

LIEBERMAN: No, I hadn't heard that.

O'REILLY: Oh, yeah. She's been sneaking over to Iowa... and she didn't think that we knew. But we do know.

And she's been having her caucus groups like this. And she says she's not going to run, but she's running. Now...

LIEBERMAN: All right, I'm glad I came on the show.

O'REILLY: Would you run against her? Could you see that, can you envision that?

LIEBERMAN: Oh, look, it's early, a lot closer to 2000 than 2004... I'm keeping the doors open.

O'REILLY: Yeah, but she's raising all kinds of money with Hill PAC and she's going out to Iowa, I know it's early, but if you don't get on the stick, she's going to have a big advantage.

LIEBERMAN: All right, maybe we should consult. You can give me some advice on this.

And a parting kiss-up to O'Reilly:

O'REILLY: Hey, good to see you. You're welcome anytime. You tell that Al Gore I'm looking for him too.

LIEBERMAN: All right. We've been trying to figure out why we didn't do better in Florida. And now I know why.

O'REILLY: Now you know. OK, nice to see you, Senator.

O'Reilly is by now grinning ear to ear, even more pleased with himself than usual.

It's understandable that Lieberman would like access to the eyes and ears of O'Reilly's one million viewers, but have you no shame, Joe?  It was embarrassing to watch.

Please, Joe, do your most obsequious ass-kissing in private.

[other Fox-related articles about: O'Reilly; Hannity]

Bigmouths Who Never Risked Anything for Anybody

August 18, 2001

What could be more infuriating than hearing bigmouths who never risked anything for anybody continually criticizing the peccadillos of people who risked everything for others?

The bigmouths I refer to are those like Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and others of their ilk who continually criticize Jesse Jackson for alleged financial irregularities and/or for having an affair.  Sure Jackson can be criticized if he acted improperly.  But perspective and a sense of proportionality are key.

Hannity, O'Reilly et al elevate the wrongdoing to the sum total of the man, and then ask questions about whether Jackson is through as a leader, blah blah blah.

People with half a brain and an ounce of decency take into account that Jackson has for decades devoted himself to speaking out for the voiceless.  Do the conservative pundits not realize that Jackson risked his life over and over again doing civil rights work in the Deep South with Martin Luther King, Jr.?  It could have been Jackson who was shot on that balcony, not Dr. King.  It could have been Jackson, not Medgar Evers, who was shot to death.

Such courage and long-term dedication mean a whole lot to unbiased, not-blinded-by-ideology people.

And what have Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly ever done for anybody?  I don't know every detail of their lives, but I'd wager they've never risked their lives fighting for social justice.  I'd wager they've never risked even getting beaten by a hostile police force, or bitten by dogs, or water hosed, fighting on behalf of others.

Oh sure, they may claim they're speaking for "the average American," for "the little guy," for "working Americans."  Well, even if they were, talk is cheap, and speaking from the comfort of an air-conditioned TV set for a huge salary doesn't go very far in granting criticism rights against others who do far more. 

But of course, they don't really speak on behalf of those they claim to.  Quite the contrary, the policies they espouse and the guests they have (and exclude) show that in reality Hannity, O'Reilly et al are just shills for big bucks corporate America, befitting the status these hosts enjoy as part of the top 1% of income earners in the country.

I wish they'd shut up and realize their criticisms merely emphasize how small they really are.  Jackson has more courage and integrity in his pinky than Hannity, O'Reilly et al have in their entire being.

Hannity, go risk your life on behalf of others.

O'Reilly, go put it all on the line.

Until then, you and the other bloviating fraud conservatives should SHUT UP about Jesse Jackson!

[Phony African-American "Leader" Should Also Shut Up About Jesse Jackson]


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