Gee, surprise surprise. Bill O'Reilly took extreme umbrage at Salon's Joan Walsh speaking the truth about his role in inspiring acts of domestic terrorism.
WALSH: Exactly. I was watching MSNBC all day today, Chris. And there were a couple of experts on these right wing groups saying, this guy was known to authorities. He went to jail in the ‘80s for an assault on I think the Federal Reserve Bank. This is not a lone wolf who has never come into contact or expressed publicly expressed his hateful views. He published a book.
I think there is a certain amount of surveillance that would have been wise. How somebody like that gets a gun when he used a gun in his prior crime—all these things, I think, should be looked at. I support the Second Amendment, but I think guns are too easy to get. All these things will come into play.
And I will say, you know, I do hope that some conservatives stand up. I don‘t blame them. I don‘t blame mainstream Republicans, by any means, for this. I want to be clear. But they could help in ratcheting down some of the rhetoric. When Bill O‘Reilly goes on TV every night and calls Dr. Tiller a baby killer and a Nazi and a Mengele, and shows where he works, why do we put up with that? Why is that entertainment in our culture? It's demonizing a private citizen for doing a lawful job. Why are people doing that? Why is that acceptable? I would like to see a debate about that.
O'Reilly dismissed her point by saying: "Private citizen? Sounds like he sells insurance." Because, in O'Reilly's world, a person's occupation makes all the difference in whether or not he should violate basic precepts of journalistic ethics by holding him up for public demonization and suggesting that someone oughta take him out.
But then he and Laura Ingraham decided to embark on attacking Joan Walsh instead -- by bringing up Salon's coverage of the Jeff Gannon fiasco:
Ingraham: Look, Joan Walsh -- I did a little research for you, OK, tonight. Joan Walsh -- this was in 2005, in a Q&A with the Columbia Journalism Review, she justified what Salon had done to that reporter, Jeff Gannon, that White House reporter who Salon published accounts of as outing! Outing his sexuality, I guess, because of who he was or what he was doing, what he wasn't saying to the White House. And she said, look, it was justified because it was, the White House wasn't very forthcoming with information it was giving reporters, and it apparently didn't even know who this Jeff Gannon was, and he was a fraud, blah blah blah.
So let's be clear: The Left uses, quote, hateful rhetoric when the Left thinks it's justified. So the Left on MSNBC will call President Bush a war criminal, a liar, the most hateful comments about people like Karl Rove, et cetera, et cetera. But when these comments are directed by you -- about you, or people like Rush Limbaugh, as this Joan Walsh character did last night, that is -- well, they deserved it.
Um, Joan Walsh didn't accuse Jeff Gannon of being a mass murderer or a baby killer. She didn't suggest someone should do away with him. She and her reporters just pointed out that Jeff Gannon was a fraud of a reporter to whom the Bush White House gave unbelievable access -- which wasn't a controversial matter at all, but rather a simple fact. It certainly didn't constitute hateful speech.
The same, it must be added, can be said about the rest of Ingraham's examples. She's going to have to work hard to come up with an example of any anchor at MSNBC, let alone any guest, actually spewing hateful rhetoric. Calling Bush a war criminal isn't hateful speech; there in fact is a complete legal case to be made that Bush is indeed a war criminal. And whatever might be said about Rove or Limbaugh pales in comparison to their own daily foul emissions.
But when you're backed into a corner and exposed for the hatemongers you are, you grasp for whatever straws you can. Sorry, Laura. That was an Epic Fail.