Conservative gasbag and made-up war hero Bill O’Reilly took to the ‘Talking Points’ segment of his show Friday night to heap blame on liberals for the racially motivated mass shooting of nine black churchgoers in Charleston. Pretending to analyze recent commentary on the tragedy, Papa Bear instead used his platform to claim that conservative pundits have no skin in the game when it comes to Dylann Storm Roof’s actions. However, those on the far-left need to look in the mirror because their rhetoric is “far more hateful than what the hard right puts out.”
Bill-O took specific aim at Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson over comments they made over the past couple of days. Clinton was an obvious choice as Fox News and right-wing radio have made a special effort to frame her comments about Donald Trump calling Mexicans racists as Clinton blaming Trump specifically for the Charleston shooting. (Essentially, Fox is just parroting Trumps accusations.) O’Reilly hypothesized that Clinton’s remarks about overly negative political commentary, specifically about immigration, was an effort to build up Latino support.
As for Hill and Robinson, both black men, O’Reilly called them both “race hustlers” and whitesplained to them why they were totally wrong in their assessments. The O’Reilly Factor host chastised Hill for stating that the idea of white supremacy played a definite part in this mass killing. Even though Roof told his victims he was murdering them because they were black, and relatives and friends have said he wanted to start a racial civil war, and photos of him show him sporting white supremacy symbols, O’Reilly called Hill’s comments “lunacy” that “makes a mockery” of the good work people like O’Reilly are trying to do to “bridge the gap” between the races.
As for Robinson, Bill-O took him to task for suggesting that the endless stream of over-the-top rhetoric from the right had any influence on Roof or others who have committed race-based murders. In O’Reilly’s mind, it is the left that is far more hateful and hyperbolic with their language, and liberals should look in the mirror before criticizing conservative media. The way O’Reilly framed his “argument,” it would appear that he wasn’t only suggesting that Roof was influenced by liberal politicians and pundits, but that the right-wing media was being unfairly victimized in this tragedy.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of Fox News:
In the end, no one really expects O’Reilly to own up that his profession of saying outlandish and inflammatory things may have a real-life impact. But to suggest that liberal rhetoric is having a greater influence is a stretch, to say the least. The fact remains that conservative talk radio hosts outnumber their liberal counterparts 10-1. And, as O’Reilly likes to mention pretty much everyday, Fox News is the #1 cable news network, and he has the top-rated show in cable news. So give me a fucking break with this idea that hateful liberal opinion makers are shouting down the poor little hardworking conservative pundits that can barely get a word in edgewise. Turn on any AM station any day of the week and you are going to hear some yahoo yelling about Obummer and the pussification of America.
But the main reason O’Reilly did this is to distance himself personally from any culpability that his bombastic spewings may have had on impressionable minds like Roof. O’Reilly preaches from his TV pulpit nightly, tossing around factless ramblings like they were candy, with almost everything coming from his mouth a hateful repudiation of anything liberal or progressive. He paints anyone to the left of him as a pinhead and idiot who is a danger to American society. Therefore, it makes sense that he is going to remain on the attack at a time like this, and redirect any criticism that comes his way towards others.