Correction: I misheard O'Reilly on this: He said "blackboard," not "black boy." My apologies. The text has been edited to reflect this.
Bill O'Reilly has been irked at Joe Klein since last October, after Klein wrote a typical Villager piece for Time castigating President Obama for standing up to Fox News. That's not what upset O'Reilly, though. Rather, it was these lines:
Let me be precise here: Fox News peddles a fair amount of hateful crap. Some of it borders on sedition. Much of it is flat out untrue.
So last night on Fox, O'Reilly finally got his chance to pin Klein down for this, and found he had his hands full defending Glenn Beck:
Klein: I have worked with an awful lot of Fox journalists, the ones who actually bring you the news, like Carl Cameron and Major Garrett.
O'Reilly: And those people are good guys, right?
Klein: Those -- those are good guys, I think you're a good guy, we come from the same neck of the woods.
But I think that your pal Glenn Beck is peddling a lot of hateful crap.
O'Reilly: But he's funny! He's doing it in a funny way! What's hateful about it?
Klein: Oh, he's doing a hilarious -- I thought the part where he describes the president as intentionally steering the airplane of state into the ground was hilarious. And the stuff about Obama not being an American citizen? That was hysterical!
O'Reilly: He's got a blackboard out there, he's got a phone to the White House -- look, he is everyman sitting on a barstool. Why shouldn't everyman have a show?
Klein: No, no, he is Father Coughlin trying to delude and entertain the American people.
O'Reilly: That's such baloney. That's the left-wing line, that this guy is a threat to the union. If anybody thinks Glenn Beck is a threat to the union, they're insane!
Actually, the comparison to Father Coughlin is more than appropriate -- it fits like a glove.
And dontcha just love how Beck being "funny" means he isn't hateful? I understand Theodore Bilbo was quite the crackup too.