Bill O'Reilly's 'Bloody Shirt' Factor: How To Turn Perpetrators Into Victims

Bill O'Reilly was in rare form last night as he was simply outraged from all the criticism that was heaped on the RWNM after the Giffords shootings. And the extreme right wing rhetoric that Paul Krugman talked about in his piece was directed at poor l'il BillO. So Paul, be afraid -- you'll never be forgiven for writing this:

And there’s a huge contrast in the media. Listen to Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, and you’ll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery aimed at Republicans. But you won’t hear jokes about shooting government officials or beheading a journalist at The Washington Post. Listen to Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, and you will.

Of course, the likes of Mr. Beck and Mr. O’Reilly are responding to popular demand. Citizens of other democracies may marvel at the American psyche, at the way efforts by mildly liberal presidents to expand health coverage are met with cries of tyranny and talk of armed resistance. Still, that’s what happens whenever a Democrat occupies the White House, and there’s a market for anyone willing to stoke that anger.

But even if hate is what many want to hear, that doesn’t excuse those who pander to that desire. They should be shunned by all decent people.

This was too much for BillO, who complained last night that Krugman did the most damage of anyone over the weekend, and then devoted almost a full hour standing on his soapbox and whining away.

Paid stooge Juan Williams was there to back him up as were almost every other guest he had on. Bernie Goldberg was furious too. Hey, how many people used Keith Olbermann's book to go out and murder people, Bernie? None of course, but I guess he forgot about Jim David Adkisson, who murdered two people in a Knoxville church after reading Bernie's book.

The manifesto he composed before his murderous rampage was just released; you can read the whole thing here [pdf file], and it's worth reading in its entirety for a number of reasons. But I especially took note of Part III:

This was a symbolic killing. Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book. I'd like to kill everyone in the mainstream media. But I know those people were inaccessible to me. I couldn't get to the generals & high ranking officers of the Marxist movement so I went after the foot soldiers, the chickenshit liberals that vote in these traitorous people. Someone had to get the ball rolling. I volunteered. I hope others do the same. It's the only way we can rid America of this cancerous pestilence.

That seems to sum up Adkisson's thinking: He wanted to be the spark in a wave of similar fed-up-niks taking their anger out on liberals.

I guess Bernie and BillO simply forgot to mention that violent episode.

O'Reilly even went as far as to say that MSNBC is far worse than anything on right wing talk radio even though there are a few kooks and he needs body guards to protect himself from the network because they attack him so much.

Fox always uses their ratings to try and prove how right they are about everything. You see, we have good ratings so we can't be fermenting hate. Riiiight. I was interviewed on Al-JazeeraTV Sunday night and the host asked me how the Right would react on Monday. I said that they would never take any responsibility for their words and in the end blame the Left , just as they have always done.

In fact, this was a classic case of the Right complaining that their critics were "waving the bloody shirt" -- an act they perfected after the Civil War and have been rinsing and repeating ever since, whenever anyone has tried to hold them accountable for the violence they foster. As Dave explained awhile back:

To Bill O'Reilly and Juan Williams and the rest of the Fox crew, the outrage is never the atrocities they actually uttered, only the effrontery of having those atrocities held against them. They all want to make a victim of the bully and a bully of the victim. Their narrative is that the real story is not the atrocities that Rush Limbaugh utters but only the attempt by his political enemies to make political hay out of it.

But then, they're working out of a long and storied tradition when they do.


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