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Bill O’Reilly “Sorry” for Nothing

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Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar were so disgusted with Bill O’Reilly’s anti-Muslim comments on The View that they walked off the set of their own show Thursday.

Unprofessional? Strictly speaking, sure. Principled? That too. It’s about time someone told off that despicable bigot in the strongest possible way. And what’s a stronger statement than declaring you can’t stand to be in the same room with someone?

O’Reilly’d had the gall to justify opposition to the Islamic center in lower Manhattan by saying “Muslims killed us on 9/11,” thus calling an entire religion murderers. Barbara Walters, with more control of her temper, told him off calmly after Whoopi and Joy had stormed off.

O’Reilly then “apologized” in the weaselly way politicians do, by saying, in essence, he was sorry if “anybody felt” he was demeaning all Muslims. That’s the same way New York’s laughable Republican candidate for Governor “apologized” for recent anti-gay remarks. It’s the cowardly, sleazeball way out: not “I’m sorry I was wrong or offensive” but “I’m sorry that you took offense.” In other words, it’s your fault, and I don’t have to deny a single word of the hateful nonsense I spewed, and why should I? No one’s gonna call me on it.

Well, for once someone called one of these hatemongers on it. On national television. More power to them.

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About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is a Publisher and Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Culture, where he reviews NYC theater; he also covers interesting music releases. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting at http://www.orenhope.com/ you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. Jon also writes the blog Park Odyssey at http://parkodyssey.blogspot.com/ where he visits every park in New York City. And by night he's a part-time working musician: lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado, a member of other bands as well, and a sideman.
  • Laugh or Cry

    Christians are not mobilizing the world over creating havoc using terrorism in order to impose their law on everyone. The people in the towers were everyday folk showing up to work (us). Dr. Tiller killed babies (not us).

  • Dillon Mawler

    Note the ever-moving goalposts from Baronius. Now they must be a team of shooters and they have to buy an abortion clinic and open a church.

    And the rank dishonesty: Of course the lowlife who killed Dr. Tiller was a member of a radical religious group, a Christian sect called the Army of God (just like the idiot who shot him in both arms a few years earlier) and committed a terrorist act because of his religion. It’s exactly analogous to 9/11, although of course it pales in scale.

    And I’m sure Alan Kurtz recognizes that by his stated standards, “Christians killed us in May 2009” is valid.

  • Sadder than the spectacle of your defending the ludicrous Bill O’Reilly, while insulting everyone who disagrees with you? I thought you had turned over a new leaf.

    And your own and Baronius’s outrageous “arguments” with Jon over O’Reilly’s provocative use of the word “Muslims,” and whether the terrorists are defined by their faith or by their willingness to murder innocents [or by their awful belief that their faith justifies the slaughter of innocents, an idea shared by the tiniest sliver of all Muslims], are deeply offensive and reprehensible.

    And, need I add, bigoted.

  • Baronius

    If a team of Christians gunned down Tiller and then bought his abortion clinic and turned it into a church, I imagine that his co-workers would be upset.

  • But it was an extremist interpretation of Islam. Generalizing from that particular is unfair and prejudiced. How about this analogy: that guy who murdered the doctor who performed abortions – in the name an extremist interpretation of Christianity. Should I say Christians murdered him? Or should I say a criminal inspired by radical Christian extremists murdered him? I think the latter.

  • Baronius

    Jon – That would be a correct analogy only if a group of Jews acted together to commit fraud in the name of Judaism. The terrorists’ interpretation of Islam wasn’t incidental to their act.

  • No, that’s a faulty analogy. A correct analogy would be if he had said, in reference to Bernie Madoff, “Jews ripped us off.”

  • Jon, like those showboating self-righteously indignant ladies on The View, you act as if Islamic extremists are not Muslims; as if their religion has nothing whatever to do with terrorism. It’s like saying pedophile priests are not Catholics.

  • Alan, where you’re wrong is on one key point. We did NOT say “Muslims killed 3,000 of us on 9/11.” We said, “terrorists.” Then when we knew who they were, we said “Islamic extremists.” Only a bigot reframes that as “Muslims.” There’s a world of difference, and I’m sure you can see it.

  • Baronius

    Doug, I’m sick of all this right-wing nonsense you keep spreading! Your wife has a flat tire? Is that supposed to be some kind of anti-woman statement? I don’t know what it means, but based on the things you’ve said before (or at least how I’ve interpreted what I remember about things you’ve said before) I think you’re being a male chauvinist. And I don’t care if your wife has a flat tire or not; that doesn’t change the fact that you’re discriminating against women.

  • El Bicho (#7), it was inevitable that some small-minded person would quibble over O’Reilly’s use of the word us in his statement, “Muslims killed us on 9/11.” I’m not surprised it was you.

    On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, which was then 2,500 miles from the U.S. homeland. Americans did not say, “Japs attacked them at Pearl Harbor.” We said, “Japs attacked us at Pearl Harbor!”

    On September 11, 2001, Muslims attacked two preeminently symbolic targets: the twin towers of NYC’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It was 60 years after Pearl Harbor, yet Americans similarly did not say, “Muslims killed 3,000 of them.” We said, “Muslims killed 3,000 of us on 9/11.”

    An American has to be pretty damned coldhearted–or a traitor to his country–to look at either Pearl Harbor or 9/11 and say, “Hell, they didn’t attack me personally. I’m unscratched. So fuck the 3,000 killed by Muslims on 9/11. They have no connection to me. I am El Bicho!”

    Where’s my can of Raid? I can never find that when I need it.

  • Jon (#15), again you’re being evasive and patronizing. I realize that “There, I Said It!” is more rant than research. But does that confer upon each contributing author a license to lie?

    Moreover, BC comments are practically unlimited as to size. You could easily rant in your blog and follow up with a comment giving us an example of how O’Reilly’s history justifies your absurd inference that he meant Islam is “an entire religion murderers.” That’s all I’m asking for, Jon. One crummy example. You can’t be bothered. Or you can’t back it up. I suspect the latter.

  • Alan, the name of this Feature is “There, I Said It.” It’s for opinionated and usually short rants, not researched articles. Sorry to disappoint.

  • Jon, your replies #9 and #11 are evasive. You fail to give us even one example of how “O’Reilly’s long history of bigotry” specifically justifies your inference that by saying “Muslims killed us on 9/11,” O’Reilly actually meant that Islam is “an entire religion murderers.”

    You evidently take for granted that Blogcritics readers are conversant with O’Reilly’s long history of bigotry or have the time and wherewithal to search for it. We don’t.

    It therefore behooves you as the author to fill in that gap. You don’t. Instead, you condescendingly tell us to do the research ourselves. That is a lazy writer’s response, which I as a fellow BC writer cannot respect.

  • Paul Roy

    Jon, if you find this particular statement by O’Reilly bigoted, then I’m sure the rest of your documented history of O’Reilly bigotry is about as equally credible. Why couldn’t these two View retards stay and debate O’Reilly over the issue like adults. As much as I disagree with O’Reilly on most important issues, the reason his show is so successful is that he actually has guests with opposing viewpoints whom he has lively debates with – unlike his much less successful competetors.

  • Doug Hunter

    Am I going to find real bigotry, or just more of him telling the uncomfortable truth? I will look it up when I have a chance, gotta go now, wife has a flat tire.

  • There’s no need for me to document O’Reilly’s long history of bigotry, others have done it, all you need to do is search.

  • Doug Hunter

    So what you’re saying in essence Jon, is that although what he said is technically true you know he must be a bigoted hatemonger because your liberal buddies told you so. How about we treat each issue objectively on it’s merits instead of making assumptions. Are you too dense to understand that your stereotypes, political bigotry, and hatemongering are just as damaging as those of whom you claim to despise?

  • Funny how none of the commenters actually address my point. Except Kurtz, who calls into question my interpretation of O’Reilly’s comment. I based my interpretetaion on a well-documented history of his bigotry of which this was only one small example. Blatant ongoing bigotry from a leading “talking head” is the very definition of hatemongering.

  • derek ball

    who writes this blog???? why dont you look up the anti-catholic and christian statements behar has made over the years and you sit here and say its anti-muslim to say they attacked us on 9/11

    are you serious

    you should stop writing about serious issues since you are about as delusional as keith olberman who led his show off saying

    “most of the view walk off set rather than sit with bill O”
    what a farce that guy is

    did you hear the audience applaud oreillys statements?

    the fact that behar doesnt know the 70 percent poll of americans AND MORE IMPORTANTLY NYC citizens have said no to the idea of the mosque shows her ignornace on the issue

    whoopi saying 70 muslims died on 9/11 as well means they should be allowed to put a mosque there is BS!!!!

    so please stop writing about serious issues you are way over your head

  • “And Muslims did indeed kill us on 9/11”

    Wrong. Near as I can tell you weren’t killed and neither was O’Reilly.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Apparently fairy tale princesses side with right-wing talk moguls. You really do learn something new every day.

  • Sleeping Beauty

    Go Bill, go! O’Reilly is the man! “Hate monger”? That’s absurd.

  • praying_for_sanity_in_an_insane_world

    This entire issue is so immersed in muck and mire that it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. There is a basic premise here which is widely disputed by some pretty heavy people. That is that the terrorists responsible for 9/11 were muslims. If you’re interested, please see this website; the best one I’ve seen on the subject: http://patriotsquestion911.com.

    We believe in “innocent until proven guilty” but these people were declared guilty by the same people who started a war over WMDs that didn’t exist. Only Tony Blair backed them up. The rest of the world refused to endorse this idea until it became popular rhetoric. Follow the money. Who has really benefited from the US debt? Then see whether there is any justice under the muck and whether O’Reilly has a leg to stand on.

    I just wish Joy and Whoopi would have stood for their principles rather than run from a bully.

  • Cinderella

    Joy and Whoopi clearly had an axe to grind with Bill, and took advantage of it by walking out. O’Reilly baited them just a bit because he knew it would tick them off. It worked, he is hero, they are the zero’s for their lack of professionalism and polish. Sadly, they acted like school children having a fight in a sand box.

  • Jon, you neglect the role of perception in this dynamic. Or more to the point, in this particular instance, misperception.

    “O’Reilly,” you write, “had the gall to justify opposition to the Islamic center in lower Manhattan by saying ‘Muslims killed us on 9/11,’ thus calling an entire religion murderers.”

    The first two parts of your sentence are beyond dispute, since they are factual. O’Reilly does relate the Ground Zero Mosque to the 2001 terrorist attacks two blocks away. (So do millions of other people.) And Muslims did indeed kill us on 9/11. (Surely you don’t deny that all 19 hijackers were Muslims.)

    But your final clause is open to question: “thus calling an entire religion murderers.” That, Jon, is your willful misinterpretation. O’Reilly said no such thing. He therefore had nothing to apologize for.

    The behavior of the two ladies who walked off the set was grandstanding, just like your smear of O’Reilly as a “hatemonger.” Cheap shot, Jon.

  • Volvox

    Like him or not, O’Reilly made an accurate statement. Muslims did kill us on 9/11. He did not say all Muslims killed us. Nor did he say all Muslims are the same. Those two yentas over-reacted because they don’t like O’Reilly to begin with. Their politically correct sanctimonious attitude is laughable. O’Reilly is a douche but those cackling hens are no better.