Now here's an irony: Bill O'Reilly accusing Al Jazeera of being anti-Semitic because it includes guests who clearly fit that description. Meanwhile, the Glenn Beck Anti-Semitic Elephant in the room goes politely ignored.
Of course, what this was really about was, once again, right-wing Fox talkers like O'Reilly and Monica Crowley using unrest abroad as a way to smear liberal Americans as insufficiently patriotic. And so when Alan Colmes called them out for it, his reward was to get the BillO the Bully Full-On Nasty treatment.
It happened last night on O'Reilly's opening "Talking Points Memo" segment:
"Talking Points" could provide hundreds of examples of anti-Semitism and "hate America" rhetoric displayed on Al Jazeera, the network Sam Donaldson admires.
And he's not alone. Here's what Brian Stelter wrote in The New York Times on Tuesday: "As recently as Friday, the conservative Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly branded Al Jazeera as 'anti-America.' … But that view has been largely drowned out by people like [Sam] Donaldson who have hoisted up Al Jazeera English for its protest coverage."
Totally absurd. Any fair-minded person who follows Al Jazeera knows it is anti-American and anti-Semitic. Only on the far left can it find acceptance.
Sure. And it's true that it's there are many examples of anti-Semitic guests on Al Jazeera -- just as it's true that Fox has had on its airwaves a broad assortment of nativists and other far-right extremists over the years as well.
But even more important, one of Fox News' leading anchors -- and a frequent onstage and on-air cohort of O'Reilly's -- is under siege from Jewish rabbis outraged by Beck's anti-Semitic slurs of George Soros and his obscene overuse of Nazi and Holocaust comparisons and metaphors.
Oh well. That -- like any criticism of the network at all -- is NEVER mentioned at Fox.
Because as the segment that followed with Colmes and Crowley amply demonstrated, this was less about bashing Al Jazeera and was really all about bashing liberals -- as Crowley made explicit. And that set off the fireworks:
CROWLEY: Well, I -- I don't want to attribute this directly to Sam Donaldson but I would say to make a broader point that the far left in this country is essentially anti-American.
COLMES: Oh please, now that's disgusting.
CROWLEY: They are -- and so a lot of their -- a lot of their philosophy.
COLMES: That's disgusting. That's sickening.
CROWLEY: I'm not saying you, Colmes, I'm saying the broader far left has an anti-American agenda that in many ways dovetails…
COLMES: Who, who? Tell me who? Who on the left?
CROWLEY: …with the kind of reporting -- reporting that we see come out of Al Jazeera.
O'REILLY: She's saying the far left.
COLMES: Who? Who? Who are you calling anti-American? I'm so tired of people calling people on my side anti-American.
O'REILLY: Are you a far-left guy?
COLMES: I don't know. You have called me that.
O'REILLY: Sometimes your positions are far left.
COLMES: All right, fine. But am I anti-American?
O'REILLY: I don't think you're anti-American. But certainly the far left is taking anti-American positions.
COLMES: But look, but let's stop this name-calling. Let's stop demonizing anybody you don't agree with and call them anti-American.
O'REILLY: I just ran a "Talking Points Memo" that backed up, all right, with four specific things that this is an anti-Semitic, anti-American network and I could do 40 of them.
COLMES: But you said those were people on the network as guests.
O'REILLY: There is no counter. Why don't you grasp this? I'm getting a little mad at you. Grasp this! There is no counter on it, you got it? There is no counter on it!
COLMES: Yes, I hear what you say. It's free speech.
O'REILLY: So it's this, yes, it's free speech. Shouldn't be praised by a pinhead like Donaldson.
Nor should O'Reilly's speech be praised ... by anyone. Smearing, lying, and bullying should get you removed from the airwaves, not enshrined as one of cable's most prominent anchors.
Memo to BillO: There is a big "counter" hanging around your neck. And his name is Glenn Beck.