January 30, 2010

Bill O'Reilly got called out by Media Matters the other day for comparing the South Side of Chicago to Haiti:

O'REILLY: I'm seeing a guy who's very, very committed to the government. To government, the government's going to solve the problems, and I'm going I don't know how that's possible. If you've ever been to the South Side of Chicago, I mean, it's a disaster, all right? It's like Haiti, it's like -- I've been to Haiti a couple of times. I support some charities there, but Haiti just never gets better, no matter how much money you put in there because they don't have a system. And I said the government can't do it but, Obama really believes the government can do it.

Last night on his Fox News show, O'Reilly -- rather than apologizing or ignoring the matter altogether (which is the Loofahmeister's usual MO) -- decided to double down on it altogether:

O'Reilly: Now those comments deeply -- deeply -- offend far-left Kool Aid drinkers even though every word is true. And if you don't believe me, just ask a guy named Lupe Fiasco.

Lupe Fiasco, it seems, is a rapper who was asked about O'Reilly's remark and answered that he agreed with him insofar as some parts of minority communities in America are like third-world countries.

That's right: O'Reilly cites a rapper -- who on any other occasion would be dismissed as a caricature by O'Reilly, particularly if he had disagreed with him or called him out -- as proof that he's right.

Moreover, Lupe Fiasco didn't seem to be agreeing at all with O'Reilly's larger (and more outrageous) claim -- that these poorer quarters of the world are essentially hopeless, and that the government should have no role in changing their conditions -- that it should just step aside and let nature take its course.

O'Reilly indeed expanded on this:

O'Reilly: For decades, Chicago's South Side has been a pocket of poverty and brutality -- Barack Obama is well aware of that, because he worked there. An enormous amount of federal and state money is poured into the South Side, and yet it remains a major problem.

The situation directly parallels what's happened in Haiti: massive aid, few results. Self-reliance is the key to success in life. A nanny state chokes that. If the president and I have one area of disagreement, it is big government. I believe it cannot solve your problems, he believes it can level the playing field at least somewhat.

Claiming that the conditions that created the malaise on Chicago's South Side are the same that made Haiti into the nightmare it is today is just ludicrous. About the only things the two have in common is that they're both products of generations of the systematic disenfranchisement and impoverishment of black people; to claim that American "big government" and federal aid to Haiti have somehow worsened the situation there is sheer ignorance.

And finally, has O'Reilly forgotten that, you know, there was just this thing called an earthquake that recently killed 200,000 people and turned Haiti into a massive disaster area?

Does he really think it's even remotely accurate to compare anywhere in the United States to that? It's one thing to talk about the Third World generically, but to make an analogy to Haiti, of all places, is indeed outrageous.

And you don't have to be from the "far left" to see that.

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