Filling in for Bill O'Reilly last night on Fox, Laura Ingraham led off with a "Talking Points Memo" segment castigating Daisy Khan and the backers of the "Ground Zero Mosque" for having the temerity to point out how the whole debate has served to stir up a real wave of anti-Islamic hatred. Apparently, when minorities under siege in this country stand up for themselves, that's a real sign of "extremism" in Ingraham's book.
But then she brought on Alan Colmes, who promptly called her out for he naked hypocrisy -- having, after all, not so long hosted an interview with Daisy Khan in which Ingraham declared: "I like what you're doing."
COLMES: This is worth seeing who the intolerant people are in this country. It's interesting that the word "tolerance" was used with you and the love fest you had with Liz Cheney. But the real intolerance we're seeing are from those people who don't seem to believe in religious freedom in this country. And I'm interested that you were very much for this when you interviewed Daisy Khan or spoke with her.
INGRAHAM: Actually, you're not reading the transcript correctly, Alan.
COLMES: I did read the transcript.
INGRAHAM: I never said I was for building the mosque--
COLMES: You actually did.
INGRAHAM: --600 feet from Ground Zero.
COLMES: You actually said I don't have a problem--
INGRAHAM: I said I like what you're doing. No, I said--
COLMES: I like what you're doing, which is--
INGRAHAM: No, I said I can't find a lot of people who have a problem with it. I like what she said--
INGRAHAM: --about bringing Muslims into the American experience.
COLMES: Right and that--
INGRAHAM: And I repeated that last night. Absolutely.
COLMES: And that hasn't changed. That hasn't changed.
INGRAHAM: When she goes on television and calls people who question the positioning of the mosque, where it is, not the right to build it--
INGRAHAM: --but the place of building as people who hate Muslims--
COLMES: You know--
INGRAHAM: --I reject that. That's intolerant.
Memo to Ingraham: There's an important -- and large -- difference between declaring that the opposition to the mosque is stirring up Islamohobia and claiming that everyone who's opposed to the mosque is a bigot. Khan says the former, not the latter.
In any event, Ingraham then immediately retreated to the day's favorite Fox talking point -- namely, the suggestion by the mosque's imam that America has Muslim "blood on its hands" in Iraq:
COLMES: What's happening here is a smear campaign against this imam and his wife. That's what's going on here.
INGRAHAM: Blood on their hands.
COLMES: See, you're extracting out of context something he said in 2005 without the full context of what he said. He has been very clear. In fact, in a book that he wrote published by the company that distributes this show by Harper San Francisco, he talked about how wrong it is to ever have terrorism or to kill anybody in the name of religion.
INGRAHAM: Well, he seems to say--
COLMES: That one doesn't do that.
INGRAHAM: Well, I think--
COLMES: One of his full comments said in full context, Laura--
INGRAHAM: I think, Alan -- I think what he says, and all of FOX News has been playing these comments, I think what he says to one audience oftentimes differs from what he says to another audience.
COLMES: Not true, not true because--
INGRAHAM: And it depends on what audience you're talking to.
COLMES: Not true.
Finally, Colmes lays the wood to Ingraham's filthy smear job:
INGRAHAM: The idea that a man who's supposed to be building bridges, whether you agree with him or not, makes statements about America having more blood on her hands than al Qaeda, that that is going to be an effective bridge builder?
COLMES: Laura, you are guilty of smearing a man by taking one sentence out of context and ignoring the number of things he has said that are indeed bridge building and that have -- the fact is if you look at the actual metrics, yes, we have to understand how our actions in other parts of the world affect our view of us. We have Americans dying right now in Afghanistan and Iraq--
COLMES: --in order to promote Islamic countries and work on behalf of Muslims. We have Muslims and the American military who have died.
INGRAHAM: Right, absolutely.
COLMES: And Muslims died on 9/11.
INGRAHAM: We applaud them, absolutely.
COLMES: It's about time we stop this divisive rhetoric and showed a little tolerance about religious freedom.
Ingraham responds by trying out the all-too-predictable Jonah Goldberg gambit: It's not mosque critics who are being bigoted and ugly, it's the mosque backers! (We say predictable because this is what Goldberg specializes in: Whatever ugliness right-winger indulge -- including bigotry and violence -- is always projected first onto "the Left", and thus excused or rendered moot.)
INGRAHAM: Oh, it's the tolerance only goes one way, Alan.
COLMES: And stop arguing over location.
INGRAHAM: The tolerance only goes one way.
COLMES: It goes all ways, Laura.
INGRAHAM: We're supposed to bend to the wishes of everybody else, but we can't even ask questions in our country anymore. Questions aren't allowed, I guess.
Call the waaaaahmbulance!
Sorry, Laura. Sorry, Jonah. That dog won't hunt. Just check today's news.