Yes, Bill O'Reilly, it really is a crappy thing when major public figures -- or pissant ankle-biters -- can outrageously smear other public figures as "racist" and do so with impunity and repeatedly. That's what BillO was on about last night, anyway.
But no, he wasn't talking about Sonia Sotomayor. She's just a minor figure, after all. O'Reilly was talking about his own august self. Of course.
It was really quite the stomach-churning whinefest. He started off ranting that "my civil rights" and "my rights as an American" had been violated because he's been branded a "racist" on numerous occasions, which he claims is "libel." Then he indulged one of his periodic bully-the-women routines ("My rights were violated here!"), where he had on two female lawyers who proceeded to explain to him that he was full of crap. This, of course, did not sit well with O'Reilly, who ended up shaking his finger at them and accusing them of enabling the destruction of America.
Along the way, he managed to emit some momentous howlers:
If I were a minority, they couldn't do this to me. You know it. You know it, Tonia. If I were African-American like you are, and they started to do all this kind of stuff, I could kill 'em. And that's my point now. White Americans, Miss California, their rights are being violated, at least the spirit of their rights, by these unbelievable attacks, personal attacks.
They're attacking people who disagree with them in very personal ways. That's what they're doing. Don't dodge it.
Then, when they pointed out that the same could be said of his own behavior, he flew into a barely contained rage:
Wait a minute! Hold it! Tonia, keep quiet. I don't dish it out, madam. I don't do that stuff. Don't sit here and say I do. ... We don't do that here. Ever.
And then, at the end of the show? His usual segment of "Pinheads and Patriots." The "Pinheads" segment featured Barbra Streisand:
On the Pinhead front, Barbra Streisand's gonna write a book -- about design. It's gonna tell us all about her mansion in Malibu. I just can't wait for that, can you? No truth to the rumor she'll be concentrating on designs in ... Red Square!
That, of course, is only a sampling of the nonstop flow of "attacking people who disagree with them in very personal ways" on The O'Reilly Factor. Indeed, his whole show is built around it.
Every single night on his show, O'Reilly demonizes liberals. It's what he does. His critics are all "far-left loons" and "haters" who he himself has compared on a regular basis to Nazis and the Klan. Guess he doesn't much care for it when the shoe's on the other foot.
Especially when, as in the case of Joanne Ostrow of the Denver Post -- who O'Reilly claims "libeled" him as a racist for noting that he was indeed spewing racist bile during that infamous dust-up with Geraldo Rivera -- there's more than abundant evidence to back up her charges. There's a reason O'Reilly hasn't filed a libel suit, and it's not merely because he's a public figure.
The crazy thing about this is: Not only have O'Reilly's "rights" not been violated, but he is doing to Charlize Theron and Joanne Ostrow and the L.A. Times' Ann Powers (who also recently criticized him) and all of the countless parade of targets who populate his newscasts every night exactly the thing he is accusing them of doing.
He's trying to shut them up. By claiming they're trying to shut him up. And it isn't hard to figure out who started the to-and-fro in the first place.
What set him off, apparently, was this remark from Charlize Theron in response to the Prop 8 ruling:
I don't agree with homophobia or discrimination of any kind. I will continue to fight this fight for equality and speak up for the basic civil rights of all Americans.
"Does that include the rights of Americans who sincerely do not believe in gay marriage the right NOT to be called homophobes?"
Sorry, Bill, but no such "right" exists. Otherwise, there would be a similar "right" not to be called a "pinhead" or "Nazis" by Bill O'Reilly. And trying to claim that it does exist is in fact every bit as much an attempt to suppress the free-speech rights of the people Bill O'Reilly is criticizing.