You'd think that, now that the public is growing increasingly aware that his camera crew stalked a woman blogger from Think Progress on her private vacation to harass her with phony accusations that she had harmed rape victims -- thereby raising serious ethical issues about the behavior of his ambush news crews -- Bill O'Reilly would kind of ease up on that particular story.
But no. He's the biggest inflatable clown in town, by gawd. Nothing he can't blowhard his way around. So he returned to the subject tonight, focusing especially on John Podesta and Think Progress, tying it all in to his favorite new meme about the "liberal smear machine." Much hilarity -- including a segment with Dick "Suck On These" Morris.
Faiz at Think Progress gives the definitive response, and you really should go read it. But I couldn't help noticing a couple of outstanding lines. To wit:
"Alone, they're insects. OK? But they have a relationship within the National Broadcasting Corporation."
Besides the eliminationist quality of referring to other people as insects, O'Reilly produces zero evidence -- beyond Amanda Terkel's appearance on Countdown the night before, which is evidence of nothing other than Amanda's availability to be interviewed -- that there is a "relationship" with NBC. It's pure conjecture on O'Reilly's part. Meanwhile, his claim that Terkel "harmed a rape victim and her family" was flatly false.
Anyway, that was followed shortly by this:
"But I'm not going any further than the facts take me. What I told the audience and what I told you and we just discussed here? 100 percent factual. No conjecture. That's reality."
O’Reilly told his audience:
Why should you care about any of this? Well, because it’s your country. A well-coordinated, well-financed cabal attacking dissent is a pretty big story.
We agree, Mr. O’Reilly. Your “well-coordinated, well-financed” Harassment Machine that attacks dissent is a pretty big story. That’s why we need O’Reilly’s corporate advertisers to tell him to shut down his “ambush journalism.”
O’Reilly conceded our campaign is having an impact. “If you go to this ThinkProgress website,” the Fox News hatemonger said, “anybody who disagrees with Barack Obama in the public eye gets smeared and slimed. … They’ll go after your sponsors, they’ll go at your house, they’ll go after your family.” (No, in fact, we’re only going after your sponsors, Mr. O’Reilly. You’re the one going to our house to stalk us.)
Indeed, the complete inversion of the reality of his own behavior is fairly startling. For instance, O'Reilly says this:
It's a huge story. Nobody has put the pieces together other than us. They don't want dissent. They don't want criticism. And if you do it, they'll get you.
This is the same man who has declared openly that he would "get" various entities who displeased him.
O'Reilly: Look, I'm gonna take this New York Times on. I mean it's war. Absolutely war. I've had enough.
Far-left zealots want to destroy America so they can rebuild it as a socialistic paradise, a hyper-Sweden. Those people are dangerous, and we will watch them closely.
Finally, all Americans want the economy fixed and their families kept safe from terror killers. That should be Obama's primary focus. Those who continue to run this country down, and divert attention from those things should be condemned by the rest of us. Condemned.
Now we're going to name names, coming up in the future, ladies and gentlemen. It's going to stop.
In fact, chasing down, stalking, and then ambushing Amanda Terkel is decidedly the behavior of someone who doesn't want criticism, and if you do it he will get you.
We just have to hope O'Reilly doesn't go all Shannon Michaels on us.