Scott Roeder issued a warming. More violence is on the way. I think it's time that the entire pro-choice movement, including groups like Planned Parenthood, NOW and NARAL, vow never to appear on The Bill O'Reilly show again. His vile treatment of Dr. Tiller along with his staunch opposition to a woman's right to make her own reproductive choices should make it clear that you will never get a fair shake from him.
I love the Washington Post article last week by Mary Alice Carr called: Why I Turned Down O'Reilly:
The first time I appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor," in 2004, I sat across from Bill O'Reilly in awkward silence while he shuffled papers and took notes.
Finally, he glanced up and acknowledged my existence. "Thank you for coming on," he said. "Most people don't have the guts." I said, "Well, you are one of the most-watched new shows on cable." He swiftly retorted, "The most-watched news show on cable TV." Let's face it: Bill O'Reilly is not only aware of his power and his reach, he's damn proud of them.
So I went on his show, time and again, even though many other progressives discouraged me. I went because I know what O'Reilly knows: It's the most-watched show, and I thought it was imperative that his audience also hear our viewpoint. I also know that when you have a bully pulpit, you need to be held accountable for what you preach.
O'Reilly is being incredibly disingenuous when he claims that he bears no responsibility for others' actions in the killing of Dr. George Tiller on Sunday. When you tell an audience of millions over and over again that someone is an executioner, you cannot feign surprise when someone executes that person.
You cannot claim to hold no responsibility for what other people do when you call for people to besiege Tiller's clinic, as O'Reilly did in January 2008. And this was after Tiller had been shot in both arms and after his clinic had been bombed.
O'Reilly knew that people wanted Tiller dead, and he knew full well that many of those people were avid viewers of his show. Still, he fanned the flames. Every time I appeared on his show, I received vitriolic and hate-filled e-mails. And if I received those messages directly, I can only imagine what type of feedback O'Reilly receives. He knows that his words incite violence.
That is why I made a personal pledge to no longer sit across from him after he called for people to converge on Tiller's clinic. I realized that appearing on the show with him would only legitimize his speech and that no good would come of my efforts.
So on Tuesday morning, when an O'Reilly producer called and asked me to come on the show to "discuss the reasons why women have late-term abortions," I held fast to my pledge. I told his producer what I thought: that I had had that conversation on air with O'Reilly five years earlier and that he agreed with me at the time that the decision was between a woman and her doctor. That O'Reilly then went on to pretend we had never talked about it and continued condemning women and doctors. That the nation and those of us in the pro-choice community are reeling from the murder of a doctor who helped women. That we hold O'Reilly responsible for helping to create a climate in which hate was allowed to fester. That I refused to dignify his irresponsible behavior, not to mention his deplorable reaction to Tiller's shooting.
But then I realized I just couldn't. Because if the murder of a man in a house of worship wasn't enough to make Bill O'Reilly repent, what hope did I have?
The writer is vice president of communications for NARAL Pro-Choice New York.
Good for Mary for finally realizing that Bill O'Reilly uses people in the pro-choice arena to further his agenda. He's very good at what he does and by nature is against the pro-choice movement, so the efforts to appear there to get your point across are completely wasted. He has little respect for any of the pro-choice groups, so why help his show? Why appear on The Factor? How does it serve the movement? And Bill O'Reilly's behavior towards Dr. Tiller was unconscionable.
I'm asking Cecile Richard, who is the head of PPFA, Nancy Keenan of NARAL, and Marcia Pappas of NOW to help get the word out. If Bill O'Reilly is unwilling to admit that the vitriol he spews as well as many from the anti-choice movement at the expense of women has a profound negative effect, then he shouldn't get the benefit of their presence. He does not deserve what he does not respect.
Please join me and contact every pro-choice group you know and ask that they boycott Bill O'Reilly to show support for woman's rights all across the world. It's time to take action because as Scott Roeder just proclaimed, more violence is on the way against a woman's right to choose what she does with her body.