June 7, 2009

(h/t David)

Oh poor, put-upon Bill O'Reilly. Those mean old "liberals" in the media are just itching to blame him for the assassination of Dr. George Tiller. Never mind that the only "liberal" cited is Olbermann, who flatly rejects the label and those who did actually call attention to the inciting rhetoric of O'Reilly in regards to Tiller were bloggers like C&L, who of course, were not invited by Howard Kurtz to give their point of view.

Kathleen Parker has the unenviable job of defending O'Reilly, though it's made easier by Kurtz's framing, which shows clearly where his sympathies lie:

KURTZ: Some liberal commentators couldn’t wait to accuse O’Reilly of inciting the violence that led to George Tiller’s murder. Fair or unfair?

PARKER: Irrelevant. I mean, yes, of course, it’s unfair. You can’t blame anyone for a crime except the person that commits the crime. Clearly, people on the far left are always looking for an excuse to attack Bill O’Reilly. And Keith Olbermann and O’Reilly tend to bounce off each other a good bit. So I’m not sure who this argument is really between.

Um, news flash to Parker, you absolutely CAN blame someone who incites violence, even if they don't actually commit the act. Ask Charlie Manson.

Parker's viewpoint is a little morally troubling, as she tries to play false equivalencies in the abortion debate and pooh-pooh the violent rhetoric as an "all's fair as each side tries to defend their stance":

KURTZ: What George Tiller was doing was legal, although many people did not like what he was doing, but I also want to mention he was shot in 1993 when there was no “O’Reilly Factor”, like there was no Fox News. Do you think, Kathleen, that the people pointing the fingers at O’Reilly with varying degrees of fervor are politicizing this tragedy?

PARKER: Well, of course they are. This is…this is the Topic du Jour anyway, because of Obama’s recent address to Notre Dame. It’s on everyone’s mind. And you know, any opportunity for the pro-choice people to make their case more strongly is going to be taken advantage of, and same…and vice versa. I mean, we’re always listening to the extremes on either side. They’re the squeakiest wheels, the loudest voices and they get the attention.

So denouncing organizations that foment violence like Operation Rescue is the equivalent of shooting women's health providers? Defending the rights of women to make a legal choice is an extreme position? Really? Ugh, the morality of the "Moral Majority" is enough to make you sick.

But here's where it gets funny. After denouncing the media for going after Bill O'Reilly, Parker actually agrees with all those liberal talking heads (seriously, someone point out to me where these multitudes of liberals are, I need to do some DVR programming) that this tragic event should illustrate how important it is not to broadcast such violent rhetoric:

PARKER: I would love for the outcome of this to be that O’Reilly—and all of these talking heads who become so completely over the top so many times—just to say look, this is a teaching moment. We’re not gonna do this anymore. We’re not …we’re gonna make our cases as strongly, we’re going to be passionate, but we’re going to tone down the rhetoric. I mean, wouldn’t that be a great result?

Well, yes, it would, Kathleen...and that's why we're saying that Bill O'Reilly should take responsibility for that kind of violent rhetoric. Is that so hard to understand?

PARKER: The media followed the fire, clearly. You know, wherever the heat is, that’s where—and I’m part of the media, I know how this works, I’ve done this for a long time—where the action is. But there is, I think, the media are always going to defend the pro-choice position. They’re less likely to portray sympathetically the pro-life position, that’s just a fact.

Damn, and just when I thought you were getting it, Kathleen. The media (which is neither monolithic nor particularly liberal-leaning) is not defending the pro-choice position, you nimrod. That's the law of the land, whether you like it or not. Violating laws--like murder and terrorist acts--and trying to disrespect civil rights of others is not a sympathetic position for anyone to advocate.

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