This is Bill O'Reilly's "I'm Not A Racist" Rant, Take Two. Same day, different guest. After declaring war on the Internet for not loving him enough or something, Bill-O took right after MSNBC's Chris Hayes.
First, a look at what launched O'Reilly into orbit.
If you blink, you'll miss it. In Chris Hayes' rather long segment Monday on the Confederate Flag, at about 11:10 in this video...
,..Hayes said this:
"Almost as soon as the backlash against the Confederate flag started to gain momentum, the backlash to the backlash got underway. Much of it came from some pretty predictable sources. Rush Limbaugh railed that removing the flag from the state capitol was all about destroying the South.
Bill O'Reilly said it represents the bravery of Confederates who fought in the Civil War, while neoconservative pundit Bill Kristol..."
That single bolded line sent Bill O'Reilly into orbit, declaring war on Hayes for misrepresenting what he said, calling Hayes "the biggest failure in cable news" and complaining "that he's allowed to distort day after day..."
Pot, meet kettle. That came from O'Reilly, even as he was distorting what Chris Hayes actually said. O'Reilly, it seems, had a problem with Hayes saying he said what he said because he insists he was saying what other people said. Being the angry man that he was, he then edited his video reference to leave out some key moments.
Don't believe me, believe your lyin' eyes, Bill-O. Check the full clip and the transcript.
Here's the lowdown: During a discussion with Juan Williams on Monday, O'Reilly debated the meaning of the confederate battle flag with Williams. In O'Reilly's own words, there were only two basic positions to have. Either the flag was seen as a symbol of hate, or it was a symbol of bravery. He acknowledged that Williams saw it as a symbol of hate, and took up the banner for those who saw it as a symbol of bravery.
O'REILLY: That's a positive and I just -- got to go. You say the Confederate flag is a symbol of hate and you believe that.
WILLIAMS: That's the way I feel when I see it.
O'REILLY: Okay, okay. And absolutely 100 percent legitimate. For some other people who see it in a historical context --
WILLIAMS: What's the historical context?
O'REILLY: It represents bravery.
WILLIAMS: Oh get out of town.
O'REILLY: In war.
WILLIAMS: They put it up in anger when they were trying to mass resist the Civil Rights Movement in the 60's.
O'REILLY: You know as well as I do that it represents, to some, bravery in the Civil War because the Confederates fought hard.
But that's what it represents. You're right historically, but in their minds, that's what it represents. And in your mind it represents hate. So, and everybody should know what the two sides are believing. (emphasis added)
There appears to be two things happening at once. First, O'Reilly grants Williams his point of view, then takes up the cause of "others" who disagree. Because he's just quoting friends or something.
If it's a binary construct and he's already chosen to magnanimously grant Williams his point without agreeing with it, doesn't that suggest he's arguing that it's a symbol of bravery? What we have here is an example of a guy distorting what another guy said on a rival network to stir up sympathy and anger.
Hiding behind quotes of someone you absolutely agree with is ridiculously dishonest, and certainly "distorts things." Hayes quoted O'Reilly verbatim there, though he may have inferred that Bill-O was including himself in the quotes from "others," given that he certainly didn't agree with Juan Williams.
O'Reilly was so steamed he had to get Bernie Goldberg to hold his hand, pat it gently, and reassure him that he really, really wasn't a white supremacist, even though neither one of these two yahoos knows what that is.
Has Bill-O been this out of control since this happened?
He just can't handle the truth.