After playing an ad from John McCain which features remarks by J.D. Hayworth during his radio program questioning whether President Obama’s birth certificate is legitimate or not, Bill O’Reilly asks Hayworth if he’s a “birther guy”. Here’s his response.
Hayworth: Bill, no, I’m a broadcaster and those comments were taken from a radio program where I was a catalyst for conversation. Just imagine Bill if every topic you brought up on The Factor, bloggers said you were an instant advocate for whom ever was on.
O’Reilly: Well they do already. That’s what Media Matters does.
Hayworth: Well okay. Then we’ve got something in common.
O’Reilly: If I mention the word black, I’m anti-black. If I mention the word gay, I’m a homophobe. You know what it is. Okay, so I want you to tell the American public how you view the birther movement. Is it legitimate? Do you believe that it—he might not be the President (crosstalk).
Hayworth: I view… hey Bill I view this entire debate as esoteric. It’s as esoteric as arguing about the eligibility of Chester Alan Arthur well over a century after he served as president. Look, Barack Obama’s the forty fourth president of the United States. His election was certified. I believe he was born in Hawaii. I made certain statements on the air to provoke conversation. That’s what happens in broadcasting.
Sadly Sen. McCain is involved in the politics of distortion and distraction. I can understand why he doesn’t want people talking about his bailout vote that included $150 billion in earmarks. He doesn’t want us talking about the fact he voted against the Bush tax cuts that I helped write. And he doesn’t want us talking about his amnesty that would have cost American tax payers $2.6 trillion in retirement benefits alone according to The Heritage Foundation. This is politics based on distortion and distraction and I’m happy to set the record straight.
Bill-O moved on to another topic from there. He also didn't bother to ask Hayworth about similar remarks he'd made on Hardball which would throw that whole "I just did it to provoke a conversation on my radio show" nonsense out the window.
Hayworth just basically admitted here that right wing hate talk radio—and I’ll gladly lump Fox News in with them since they’ve done nothing but mainstream the same format, cares nothing about the truth if it is a “a catalyst for conversation”. What Hayworth leaves out is what the agenda of that conversation is, which is all about promoting the Republican Party.
And of course O’Reilly is more than happy to excuse him and compares McCain’s campaign ad to what Media Matters does. Media Matters is recording these guys every day and even if you can claim that some of it is taken out of context, you really cannot say that about the body of their work. They pull out the worst of what comes out of their mouths day after day and just let the public hear their words. They also do a lot of in depth analysis that goes beyond the sound bytes and O’Reilly knows it.
Hayworth had better be worried about being hit for his Abramoff ties which are a lot more troublesome for him than his birther remarks if he makes it out of the primary and into the general election. As I’ve said before I wonder if McCain will go there or not given how he helped to white wash the Abramoff scandal from his post as head of the Indian Affairs Committee.