March 15, 2016

If you caught Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points Memo opening, you would have heard him defend Donald Trump and blame protesters alone for violence at Trump's rallies, but when Charles Krauthammer came on later in the show, the segment didn't go as BillO planned.

Krauthammer agreed with many points BillO made, including blaming leftwing protesters for shutting down political free speech, but then shifted gears onto Bill himself along with Trump's antics. He called it a big second story to the protesters because when Trump, a frontrunner for the GOP presidential nominee tells his followers that in the good old days, protesters like that would be beaten up or he'd like to punch a person in the face, he's inciting violence himself. And then Charles took aim at O'Reilly, by telling him he's been using weaselly words to soft pedal Trump's actions.

The candidate himself is “winking and nodding and saying, ‘In the old days, we carried them out on a stretcher,'” suggesting in no uncertain terms that “‘We used to beat people like that until they weren’t able to walk.'”

“We saw a guy on that tape sucker-punching a demonstrator in the face, and saying, ‘If we see him again, we may have to kill him.'” When Trump was asked about it, he said “‘I don’t condone violence in the abstract,’ [and] that’s great, but he refused to condemn it, and that’s unconscionable. Are you letting Trump off the hook for this?” Krauthammer asked.

“I’m not,” O’Reilly shot back. “I’ve said he has to readjust his rhetoric.”

“Come on Bill!” Krauthammer replied. “‘Readjust the rhetoric‘? What kind of weaselly words are those? ‘Readjust the rhetoric‘?”

“I’m trying to deal with this in a fair and balanced way,” O’Reilly said, despite having spent the majority of the program having done nothing of the sort. “So I think we’re going to remove the word ‘weaselly’ from it.”

“I’m not going to rebut the point, I’m going to illuminate the point,” he continued. “Trump speaks in an emotional manner — he talks like this, ‘bang, bang, bang’ — and he doesn’t have a filter. He doesn’t think sometimes before he speaks, he doesn’t understand that his words can carry threats. But I’m not going to sit here and say he’s responsible for what happened in Chicago.”

O’Reilly added that Trump only failed to condemn his supporter because “he never admits a mistake,” a rationale that didn’t sit well with Krauthammer. “That’s no excuse,” he said, “no excuse. How difficult is it to condemn it and not say, ‘it’s obvious that that [who sucker-punched a protester] is a patriot.'”

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