Don’t smear O’Reilly with Tiller assassination

I see where some folks are trying to nail Bill O’Reilly for somehow inciting the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, a Kansas abortion provider, as Tiller was handing out programs at his church Sunday. See here, here and here.

I think O’Reilly is a pompous jerk, and the evidence demonstrates that he clearly went well overboard in his condemnation and demonization of Tiller.

But let’s be serious here. It’s irresponsible to link O’Reilly in any way to the crime in question. Even if you had evidence that the suspected killer was an O’Reilly devotee — and I have seen nothing to that effect — you would need a much stronger showing of cause and effect to justify such a serious accusation.

After all, Tiller was a controversial figure in his own right, the focus of protests and physical attacks and political grandstanding at the state and national level. This tragedy could have and probably would have happened even if O’Reilly had never mentioned Tiller’s name on the air.

O’Reilly, Limbaugh and others are symptoms of a problem, but for the most part they are not causes of the problem. If they did not exist, someone else would be sitting there doing what they do, because they are meeting a market demand. Look at Lou Dobbs and the schtick that resurrected his career; look at Michael Weiner, who laughably rebranded himself Michael Savage. They’re all playing roles for a profit, feeding off the paranoia and resentment of a certain type of American. (Although over time, they do seem to become the role they play.)

So yes, O’Reilly and the rest have a lot to answer for, and I wouldn’t want their jobs for a million dollars a week. I’d be dead of shame for doing what they do. But it’s too easy and simple to put the blame on their doorsteps — in fact, it smacks of the same demonization that they themselves indulge in so freely.

317 comments Add your comment

ty webb

June 1st, 2009
5:41 pm

Pot meet kettle.

getalife

June 1st, 2009
5:50 pm

Tiller Murder Suspect’s Ties To Right-Wing Extremism:

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/06/tiller_murder_suspects_ties_to_right-wing_extremis.php?ref=fpblg

Lock em up. They are terrorists.

I Report :-) / You Whine :-(

June 1st, 2009
5:52 pm

They’re all playing roles for a profit, feeding off the paranoia and resentment of a certain type of American.

Look in the mirror toady!

Casey

June 1st, 2009
5:59 pm

Just for once I would like my fellow countrymen to make rational, coherent arguments rather than partisan psychobabble. It feels good to demonize others and blame them for everything, but it does little to maintain the civility we think we have.

Curious Observer

June 1st, 2009
6:04 pm

No, O’Reilly can’t be blamed directly for Tiller’s assassination. He merely entertains and encourages the people who inflame the assassins, urge them on with heated rhetoric and hatred. But I seem to recall a guy named Julius Streicher. He never touched a Jew or a homosexual, and yet his readers included those who murdered millions of them, inspired by his rhetoric. I also seem to recall that he was hanged in 1946, in spite of his defense of “free speech.”

Bookman is being short-sighted if he is willing to ignore O’Reilly’s demonization of those who do not share certain political and social beliefs.

Frederick Douglass

June 1st, 2009
6:06 pm

You can’t kill it, until its sufficiently demonized—–Voltaire.

N.J.

June 1st, 2009
6:22 pm

The Nuremeberg trials made it illegal to “incite to violence”. You dont even have to directly call for violent acts. The main Nazi newspapers, never once called for direct acts of violence against Jews. It merely continually and repeatedly BLAMED Jews for everything wrong in Germany and so was held accountable for those acts.

You would have to go back 30 years to find acts of violence on the part of the left in America that caused any sort of deaths and in the majority of case, it was the left wing terrorist blowing themselve up by accident while trying to build a bomb. The LAST known radical leftist terrorist group that was intended to target people by a leftist group occured in 1975.

Since then pretty much all terrorism in or on the United States has been committed by groups that are conservative in orientation.

Like it or not, even Bin Laden and Al Qaeda are essentially right wing, conservative inspired terrorists

N.J.

June 1st, 2009
6:32 pm

And today, at a Yankees game, Bill O’Reilly was massively boo’ed by the crowds.

As a great American Supreme Court Justice once said “Freedom of speech ends at shouting fire in a crowded theater”. Of course he meant more than that. Once one person’s freedom of speech results in another person killing someone, that speech has exceeded the constitutional right.

In the last year, we have had a right wing,Fox News watching, maniac walk into a Unitarian Church, and slaughter members of the congregation because the message he got was that he lost his job because of liberals.

The event yesterday was instilled by groups like Operation Rescue, which started scrubbing their servers of all references of the murdered doctor and had their servers seized by the government because of the huge degree of hate speech directed at this doctor over the years by their website.

Operation Rescue is already preparing for international trials against them. While in the United States, there will be little stomach for putting these people on trial for crimes against humanity, The World Court has had no problems with putting people like this on trial internationally and finding them guilty of high crimes.

N.J.

June 1st, 2009
6:40 pm

O Reilly frequently compared Tiller to a Nazi, and repeatedly called him a “baby killer” Tiller was first mentioned by O Reilly on February 25, 2005 and O’Reilly had an additional 28 segments focused on Tiller,the last one being on April 27, 2009. Each episode basically has shown a photo of Tiller with the title under it “Tiller, the Baby Killer”

Its time to make such statements illegal and consider them incitement to violence. As the law stands abortions are neither murder NOR can someone who performs them be considered a “killer”

Killing a doctor who performs them, whether you agree with the law or not, is murder. Right now under the law, abortion is not, and we are a nation of laws, not the right to take the law into one’s own hands if we dont agree with them.

When O’Reilly puts up a photo of this doctor with a subtitle that names him a “Baby Killer” he is in fact engaging in both hate speech and incitement to violence. He should be held accountable for those actions in every court in the land, and held as accessory to murder.

AmVet

June 1st, 2009
6:52 pm

“And today, at a Yankees game, Bill O’Reilly was massively boo’ed by the crowds.”

That is awesome! Someone needs to stick a BoSox cap on that SOB’s fat head and get rid of the security guards for awhile!

robert m. simonr

June 1st, 2009
6:55 pm

Mr.Bookmaan is more a cause of the sorry state of America than any one he mentions…It is the type of morally inverted nonsense that passes for liberal “wisdom” that got us into this state where unborn children are valued less than trees.Dr. Tiller should not have been shot.We can not allow anarchy to reign.HOWEVER….the morally blind that supports a stupid legal decision are almost as responsible as the assassin himself…Dr.Tiller meanwhile, deserves no honor.His tiny victims do.

jewcowboy

June 1st, 2009
6:58 pm

N.J.,

“The Nuremeberg trials made it illegal to “incite to violence”. You dont even have to directly call for violent acts. The main Nazi newspapers, never once called for direct acts of violence against Jews.”

I would have to agree with your line of reasoning. Those who incite violence against others are arguably equally or even more culpable than those who commit the acts themselves. Many nations are enlightened enough to see this, like G.B. who has refused entry for the Phelps clans and Weiner, for hate speech.

Freedom of speech ends when your speech provokes violence against others. Hence, the need for hate crime legislation in this nation.

ty webb

June 1st, 2009
7:00 pm

“Its time to make such statements illegal and consider them incitement to violence.” hmmmmm. How progressive. What a joke.

booger

June 1st, 2009
7:01 pm

Jay, you’ve got their job. You come in every day, throw out a bunch of provocative topics smeared heavily with your liberal bias, and throw it to the dogs. soon as that topic gets cool, you are off to another. I see no difference other than the political leaning.

robert m. simonr

June 1st, 2009
7:02 pm

The comments of the silly peopleabove reflect why we will probably end up in a civil war over this issue.The failure to be fair,just and rational on the subject of the subjagation of unborn children will only make it worse…..

getalife

June 1st, 2009
7:03 pm

A pro lifer murdering in church is just more blatant hypocrisy like loving to blow up babies.

Murder and war are not pro life hypocrites.

say what?

June 1st, 2009
7:05 pm

O’Reilly was recently crying like a baby about being labeled a bigot over his Sotomayor bloviations, but he has no problem labeling a doctor performing legal medical procedures “a killer”. What a tool.

If the left wing of this country was as easy to incite to violence as the right wing, gays, blacks and mexicans would have offed O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Hannity years ago. Then you would have all those wingnuts clamoring for prosecution of Michael Moore, Al Franken etc.

ty webb

June 1st, 2009
7:09 pm

We’ve got one calling for the criminalization of speech, and another justifying the criminalization of thought. What a blog. “oh Danny, this isn’t Russia…is this Russia?”

say what?

June 1st, 2009
7:10 pm

Robert, there will be no civil war. The most unbalanced among you crazies will commit violent temper tantrums, and the sane among us will put them in jail, and continue on with our lives..

robert m. simonr

June 1st, 2009
7:10 pm

Amazing…the people who claim to be “pro-choice”won’t allow the victim to decide their own fate….And why is the pro-abortion movement suddenly pro-life when one of their’s is killed?

AmVet

June 1st, 2009
7:12 pm

HEY! I’ve got an idea!

Let’s make abortion illegal again! That way it can be dangerous and sometimes fatal again!

That should solve everything! Again…

say what?

June 1st, 2009
7:14 pm

Ty is right. We would be much better calling for the criminalization of sex, birth control and medical care.

jewcowboy

June 1st, 2009
7:14 pm

robert m. simonr,

“Amazing…the people who claim to be “pro-choice”won’t allow the victim to decide their own fate….And why is the pro-abortion movement suddenly pro-life when one of their’s is killed?”

This is your way of being “fair,just and rational on the subject of the subjagation of unborn children”?

Good to know.

jewcowboy

June 1st, 2009
7:18 pm

AmVet,

“Let’s make abortion illegal again! That way it can be dangerous and sometimes fatal again!”

One upside, Al Sabah Industries and the Guilin Harvest Company would see their stock go up.

say what?

June 1st, 2009
7:19 pm

AmVet, I think you are onto something. The wealthy and upper middle class will still be able to take vacations out of the country, and have their “little problems” taken care of safely by medical personnel in appropriate facilities. Meanwhile , only the poor will have to face the danger of illegal abortions. Whats one more poor person dead really matter anyway?

demwit

June 1st, 2009
7:22 pm

It’s too bad that Tiller got aborted but at least it gives us something else to discuss besides what a total disaster Obama is.

AmVet

June 1st, 2009
7:23 pm

Personally, I abhor the thought of abortions. Especially as a means of convenience to “resolve” irresponsible sexual behavior.

But being a pragmatist automatically excludes me from the modern day Republican Party.

Who still inanely try to force a “cure” that is worse than the disease…

jewcowboy

June 1st, 2009
7:23 pm

ty webb,

“We’ve got one calling for the criminalization of speech, and another justifying the criminalization of thought.”

Yes, when that speech incites others to violence, and when those thoughts lead to violence based on nothing more than another’s existence.

Voyzov Reesin

June 1st, 2009
7:26 pm

No one blames him for the shooting, there’s obviously no evidence to support such an assertion. However, you attempt to absolve him of any and all culpability without any evidence yourself. You say “probably” would have happened even if he never mentioned his name because you know there is no evidence to support your claim. You are manufacturing support for your opinion just like the people you decry.

booger

June 1st, 2009
7:32 pm

Was just watching ABC nightly news. One segment was about Tiller, and the commentator stated that some experts believe their will be an increase in this kind of violence since we now have a pro life administration.

I want to be very clear though, I do not blame this act on Obama.

jewcowboy

June 1st, 2009
7:32 pm

How many of those that are all for overturning Roe V Wade and outlawing abortion have adopted a child? How many are willing to forgo having children themselves in order to adopt those children who need homes?

Midori

June 1st, 2009
7:38 pm

screw O’Reilly.

where’s the wingnut vapors and outrage over Obama taking his wife out on a date Sat. night?

you guys are slacking off on your outrage meter.

A mother in ATL

June 1st, 2009
7:39 pm

Abortions are legal, killing a doctor is not!! Why doesn’t the pro-life movement go after people that do executions? That’s killing a life as well. What about a child that is raped and becomes pregnant, is that irresponsible sexual behavior? Should the child suffer having the baby just because of someone’s faith? The bottom line is abortion is a right and it is legal!!

DebbieDoRight

June 1st, 2009
7:39 pm

From Booger:
Jay, you’ve got their job. You come in every day, throw out a bunch of provocative topics smeared heavily with your liberal bias, and throw it to the dogs. soon as that topic gets cool, you are off to another. I see no difference other than the political leaning.

Booger: Jay is different because he’s actually a professional journalist — he’s been trained to ferret out, condense, and write the facts on a subject. For Example let’s say Jay is a gourmet Chef. Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly, Anne Coulter, etc.; are entertainers. Their job is not ferreting out facts, their job is mostly just entertainment. For Example let’s say they’re like short order cooks at Waffle House.

Midori

June 1st, 2009
7:39 pm

Booger,

and we won’t blame you for mental retardation.

GOP is gone

June 1st, 2009
7:44 pm

Hey all you men out there, IT IS MY BODY NOT YOURS.

I for one am for mandatory castration of all baby rapist and perverted male sex offenders.

Why not, I have ovaries and it won’t effect me.

DebbieDoRight

June 1st, 2009
7:47 pm

Jewcowboy: How many of those that are all for overturning Roe V Wade and outlawing abortion have adopted a child? How many are willing to forgo having children themselves in order to adopt those children who need homes?

JC: Probably NONE. It seems that people who want to force others to have children, aren’t that keen on the idea of taking care of them once they’re out of the womb. In a nation as great as the US there should be no instances of childhood hunger, yet Appalachian mountains and the surrounding areas are rife with instances of childhood hunger.

Midori: Too funny!!!

jewcowboy

June 1st, 2009
7:48 pm

GP is gone,

“I for one am for mandatory castration of all baby rapist and perverted male sex offenders”

I would make an exception for this man as well.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1189232/Desmond-Hatchett-fathers-21-children-11-different-women–hes-29.html

Ray

June 1st, 2009
7:48 pm

Abortion is still the only way of committing legal murder in the US. Happened 1.25M times last year. The swine flu has killed about 2200 people in this country and the CDC makes a pandemic announcement to scare the hell of us. What if the swine flu had killed 1.25M people in this country. We would be scared to death that it might happen to us and the public indignation would be without equal. But it’s OK to kill the population of pretty fair sized city….. EVERY YEAR…. and all America can talk about is American Idol and that Susan chick from England or some black guy beating up his girlfriend. Boy, do we have our priorities screwed up.

oldmac

June 1st, 2009
7:49 pm

Jay: for the record, if you were on O’Reilly’s radar (and I seriously doubt you rise to that level)-he’d say you are a pompous “jerk” also.

NK

jewcowboy

June 1st, 2009
7:50 pm

DebbieDoRight,

“In a nation as great as the US there should be no instances of childhood hunger, yet Appalachian mountains and the surrounding areas are rife with instances of childhood hunger. ”

That is compassionate conservatism at work.

jewcowboy

June 1st, 2009
7:52 pm

Ray,

“Abortion is still the only way of committing legal murder in the US. Happened 1.25M times last year.”

And 0 ways of legally killing a doctor.

@@

June 1st, 2009
7:52 pm

Hey jay, this piece must’ve been ginned up by DB’s post downstairs.

Speaking of ignoring facts, @@, here’s what Bill O’Reilly did to gin up hatred of this doctor.

Have you found evidence of payment to Mr. Roeder yet, DB?

Evidence of payment to Dr. Tiller was presented at trial:

Disney said Tiller “feels so justified in what he does that he crossed the line.” Flashing on the screen evidence that Tiller had earned $575,000 from the 19 late term abortions, Disney told the jurors, “I’m not saying he does this only for money, but that being said, you can’t ignore the financial aspect of what he does.” — Kansas Liberty.com

BTW, The Guttmacher Institute did a survey a couple of years back — it’s a very small percentage of abortions that are performed out of concern for the health of the mother or the child. The greater majority are performed for social and/or financial reasons.

One too many. Not ready to be a mother. Career comes first. Can’t afford. Relationship in jeopardy.

Who knew babies could be such a burden?

GOP is gone

June 1st, 2009
7:53 pm

oldmac,

Oh you forget about O’Reileys ambush of Cynthia Tucker after she called him out

DebbieDoRight

June 1st, 2009
7:54 pm

The failure to be fair,just and rational on the subject of the subjagation of unborn children will only make it worse…..

Websters Definition:
Subujugate: 1. to bring under complete control or subjection; conquer; master.
2. to make submissive or subservient; enslave.

Robert: How can you “subjugate” a fetus?

jewcowboy

June 1st, 2009
7:58 pm

GOP is gone,

Just yell “falafel” at O’Reilly and he’ll tuck tail. But what ever you do, don’t come at him with a loofah.

J.T.

June 1st, 2009
7:58 pm

O’Reilly uses, shall we say, indelicate language from time to time, but let’s face it. When you’re talking about the surgical dismemberment and removal of a human being from a mother’s womb, you run out of dulcet euphemisms. Is the term “baby killer” a tad brusk? I don’t know. What else would you expect a pro-life person to say about a doctor who performs late-term abortions? Maybe all the pro-abortion folks out there could explain to me how a short trip down the birth canal makes one baby priceless while another of the same age could be considered so perfectly worthless that aborting it doesn’t even raise an eyebrow. There’s a term for this kind of short-circuited logic–it’s called cognitive dissonance or in layman’s terms, stupidity.

DebbieDoRight

June 1st, 2009
7:58 pm

GOP — I usually like your comments; but Cynthia McKinney is a NUT, fruitcake, cookoo; imbecilic, crazy as a loon, one short of a six pack; bonkers, insane, arrogant and condescending, AND she has a problem with PRIDE coming before the fall!!!

OOPS re-read that……….you said Cynthia TUCKER!! Oh my bad!! :oops:

booger

June 1st, 2009
7:59 pm

Debbie,

Sorry, but I stand by my statement. Opinion pages are not journalism, they are opinions.

I do agree Jay has to be a bit more civil, but he is certainly no less partisian nor provacitive.

Ray

June 1st, 2009
8:00 pm

O’Reilly has out rated every major network on TV. He has beat out NBC, CBS, MSNBC and PBS.
Get over it, libs, America is listening.