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November 15, 2005

Fire Bill O'Reilly

Remember how Bill O'Reilly decided to write off San Francisco because local voters disagreed with him about military recruiting?

"If Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it," he continued. "We're going to say, 'look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead." [November 8, 2005]

Listen to O'Reilly's tirade at Crooks and Liars.

Bill O'Reilly on why Ward Churchill, the controversial ethnic studies professor, should have been fired:

One more thing. I have, or, I'm revising my opinion based upon this new information that he thinks more 9/11s are necessary, but last week I said, look, don't fire him, because the message it sends to the enemies is, we oppress people we disagree with. Our country is strong enough to put up with even him, but now he seems to have gone over another line. You know, if he is calling for the murder of American citizen, you simply can't have him. [February 18, 2005]

Thankfully, talkshow hosts don't have tenure. Help fire Bill O'Reilly.

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--Thankfully, talkshow hosts don't have tenure--

And neither should phony professors with falsified backgrounds like Ward Churchill who claim that the victims were " little Eichmanns " who deserved what happened to them.

Should I bother to see if you did a rant against this fraud?

---

O'Reilly is a blowhard. What he said was hyperbole, a word that you hopefully understand.

San Francisco's wrong action led to his hyperbole.

And your lack of commitment to free speech is showing.


I said Ward Churchill didn't deserve to be fired for his essay, however offensive it was. In that case, the issue was academic freedom, not free speech in the narrow sense.

In the great USA, you can get fired for saying or writing stupid, offensive stuff. That's not an infringement of free speech. However, if you have tenure, you've got a special agreement with your boss that you can't get fired for voicing your opinions on your area of academic expertise. Ward Churchill had tenure, so it was really straightforward.

If he falsified his qualifications or his data, then he deserves to lose his job.

I think you're unclear on the free speech issue, Phatom. Nobody is violating Bill O'Reilly's right to free speech. He has the right to say whatever he wants, the question is whether he's doing a good job as a talkshow host.

His job is to entertain us, the viewers, in between SUV commercials. If he's not doing a good job, his bosses can fire him. I'm just telling his bosses what I think of his work, like a lot of other people. Nobody's calling on the government to remove Bill O'Reilly or censor Fox News.

Thanks for pointing that out, Grumpy. I can't believe I wrote brother-in-law. D'oh. Well, it's fixed now.

Ward Churchill has represented himself as a Native American Professor and as an activist in the Indian movement. But it somewhat recently came out that he does not have an ounce of Indian blood in him.

His entire loathsome career has been spent masquerading as an Indian, as an " ethnic studies " professor.

He is an open fraud. The American Indian community regards him as an enemy for what he's done over the years.

---
On O'Reilly
--the question is whether he's doing a good job as a talkshow host. --

His tv ratings are through the roof, so he is by definition doing a good job. I can only take so much of him, as he is a blowhard. Who speaks the truth most of the time.

Bill O'Reilly is such an idiot... I even called in one night to let him know that's what I thought:

http://saveapple.blogspot.com/2005/05/im-famous.html

He talks about retiring, then says something even stupider than his last pronouncement. On the other hand, if he left, could they find anyone as ignorant to replace him?

And your lack of commitment to free speech is showing.
Free speech is fine. Calling for an attack on a city is not - you can't yell fire in a crowded theater. As I've written, there's a hole in the ground down here in lower Manhattan that O'Reilly should see.

Bill has been crusading against the "wild sex parties" of my alma mater of late, which is admittedly less offensive. I think I'm going to have a wild sex party that excludes military recruiters and see how he reacts.

Lindsay:

Last night Crooks and Liars posted this story regarding Billy boy's response to his critics of his San Francisco remark:

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2005/11/14.html#a5866

Bill: I'm glad the smear sites made a big deal out of it. Now we can all know who was with the anti-military internet crowd. We'll post the names of all who support the smear merchants on billoreilly.com. So check with us.

So I hope you don't mind, but I included your blog's address in the following e-mail I sent to Falafel Bill:

I like all these weblogs, which means you will hate them. Please list them on your show and on your website, and thanks in advance for giving all of them free advertising.

http://www.crooksandliars.com/
http://billmon.org/
http://blondesense.blogspot.com/
http://www.boomantribune.com/
http://www.correntewire.com/
http://driftglass.blogspot.com/
http://www.dailykos.com/
http://www.dcmediagirl.com/
http://atrios.blogspot.com/
http://firedoglake.blogspot.com/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/
http://www.jameswolcott.com/
http://patriotboy.blogspot.com/
http://www.streetprophets.com/
http://www.liberaloasis.com/
http://majikthise.typepad.com/
http://superfrenchie.com/
http://thatcoloredfellasweblog.bloghorn.com/

Thanks again, and keep up the bad work!

Not clever at all, but I believe it communicated my point. I probably should have asked ahead of time but I hope that was okay with you.

--Free speech is fine. Calling for an attack on a city is not - you can't yell fire in a crowded theater. As I've written, there's a hole in the ground down here in lower Manhattan that O'Reilly should see. --

Reading his comment in context, he was not calling for an attack on anywhere. He was expressing his righteous outrage at the San Francisco authorities for the disrespect that they show to the US military. You know, that organization whose members put their life on the line to try to keep us safe.

I know the hole in the ground in Manhattan very well. I worked in the World Trade Center.

And O'Reilly, blowhard that he is, has a considerably better record on the subject of fighting terrorism than you do.

Lindsay, congratulations on attracting a quality troll like the Phantom. Many sites toil in oblivion without being able to attract a mind capable of thinking Bill O'Reilly has a "record on the subject of fighting terrrorism."

Or that attacking Iraq, perhaps the one Muslim country in the world that posed the _least_ terrorist threat to the US, and turning them into an annex for Iran-backed, soldier-killing terrorists, was a good idea to keep us safe. Though of course, that's not the military's fault, it's their commander-in-chief's. No soldier made that stupid decision, and many disagree with it.

Which is, I think, San Francisco's main issue: not that they would mind recruitment to defend America, but that the recruitment has nought to do with that at all.

John Protevi
Congratulations on being half-right. The Phantom is an apparition of excellent quality.

I am not a troll. The Trollis the troll. Please amend your records.

1984
Since the conclusion of Gulf War One and the start of this war, Saddam's Iraq a) attempted the assassination of a US President b) funded suicide bombing in Israel c) fired repeatedly at US planes in the no fly area, d) thwarted the efforts of the arms inspectors e) led the US/French/British/German/Israeli/other intelligence services to believe it had or was developing WMD, f) stole most of the money gained in the Oil for Food program, with the full connivance of the Russians, French, the Germans, and Kofi's United Nations.

He was a geopolitical menace. And because the UN was effectively paid off, the UN was not an option to do anything. Leadership had to be exercised and the US did the right thing in implementing it. The war sure as hell could have been prosecuted better, but it was necessary. Period.

---

The San Francisco element that opposes recruiting now opposed the military on September 10, 2001. They spit in the face of those who would protect them with their lives. Their actions are wrong.


On September 10, 2001 the Commander in Chief didn't see the need for military recruiting in the schools of San Francisco. Or on September 12, for that matter.

In fact military recruiting crisis only emerged under his watch because he committed over 100,000 troops to Iraq on trumped up charges of WMD and/or crackpot theories about his cabal's ability to spread democracy in the world, and/or false and preposterous claims that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 9/11.

Sorry about the sloppy html up there, but the information's visible.

Not really, because I thought there probably were WMD at the time, too. I still didn't understand why we had any reason to rush to war ahead of the UN or the weapons inspectors.

There was no immediate threat to our security. Even if you believed the more fevered intelligence, we had all the time in the world to make a solid, legal case for invading Iraq. If we'd made the case, the US would have gotten support.

The only rationale for invading right away, even on the most dire assumptions, was to flout international law, or to preempt suspicions that what was good for George W. Bush's ego wasn't justified by American security interests.

--There was no immediate threat to our security--
Easy to say now. Not so easy to say then.

--If we'd made the case, the US would have gotten support--
No we would not have. That's the point. The French were on the take, as were the Russians. Each had veto power at the Security Council. They never would have backed an invasion or anything close to one.

Saddam's Iraq had made a mockery of the inspections. Blix and the inspectors were sincere and competent, but...Iraq is a big country, where it is easy to hide things

I don't think its impossible that the " WMD " we speak of did exist and are similarly underground, in Iraq. Or in Syria.


--There was no immediate threat to our security--

Goodness, that's funny--I remember quite a few people saying that then. Me, for one. I also remember Joe Wilson saying, "hey! I was the guy sent to find out about the yellowcake, and it was a false claim." For his exercise of his free speech, which was vitally important to warn Congress that the Bush administration was lying, he was punished by having his wife, a CIA agent, outed. You're outraged by that, I presume.

Also, I notice you skipped over the fact that Iraq had nothing at all to do with 9/11, and we all knew it?

The important thing to remember, Phantom, is that the administration has taken every single action you desire, judging from your happy approval of them, from their handling of Katrina, to their invasion of Iraq. Unfortunately, these acts and others (like saying "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job!", or appointing him in the first place) have convinced a great many of us that this administration has absolutely no thought of "defending" anything but their own private interests. So be happy with the spoils you have: half the country thinks Bush's crew are full of bullshit, and there's no changing that with any amount of advertising, but on the plus side, you've got 8 years of getting your way with Bush. Celebrate. Congratulations, you've got war in Iraq. Maybe Syria and Iran soon, too.

I say "unfortunately," because after this spoiled brat of a president has had three more years of breaking the country like a sandbox toy, we may be faced with a threat more serious than Iraq ever was, even before we broke them completely in the 90s. (Perhaps in Asia.) At that time, I'm going to _wish_ the people of San Francisco, and the 48% of the country that voted for Kerry, and the Republicans Bush will alienate by then, would bury the hatchet and rally behind him against the threat. Because then the boy who cried wolf _will_ be trying to defend us, but no-one will be listening. San Francisco isn't listening now, but the boy who cried wolf can only say, "why don't they pay attention anymore?"

--Joe Wilson--
This situation is still unraveling. I wouldn't be quite so sure on any comments on this.

Wilson was completely unqualified to go on this verification mission, and he was probably sent on it on his wife's recommendation.

And by the way--British intelligence stands by their assessment that the Iraqis attempted to buy yellowcake in Niger. They may know that part of the world, and verification of this type, a little better than Joe Wilson, star of Vanity Fair magazine.

--Also, I notice you skipped over the fact that Iraq had nothing at all to do with 9/11, and we all knew it?--
I agree that there is no evidence that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11. No, we did not all know it, people like us had no way of knowing so lets not get silly. But I agree that there's no evidence that they had anything to do with it.

It was still a good thing to execute Regime Change, though, for reasons already stated.

---

I'm not a knee-jerk supporter of Bush, whose nomination 5 years ago I opposed. ( I'm a McCain man ) It is just as stupid to be a knee-jerk supporter of this guy as it is to be a moveon.org know-nothing opponent of his.

You are dragging in the kitchen sink here with Katrina. The Fed response was not good, but the problem in New Orleans was made a billion times worse by the fact that the proper first responders in NO and Louisiana did not effectively do any of their jobs. The school buses that never moved, etc etc. The mayor was incompentent, the governor was incompetent and emotional in an hour of need( yes, she was ) ; they were products of a dysfunctional system in a corrupt city in a corrupt state.

Compare to the response of Mississippi's Barbour or Florida's Jeb Bush. No excuses from them, they gritted their teeth and did the best they could. The Louisiana problem was larger, but the local authorities did very little in the early days. When the responsibility is always with the locals.

---
Syria and Iran war

My, aren't we over the top?


>Syria and Iran War

>My, aren't we over the top?

I sure hope so.

Pardon me for mentioning Katrina, too--I mentioned it only to point out that things don't happen in a vacuum, and there was a lot of bullshit thrown around about how Bush is still perfect, at the time. Though I see that you're not the one saying that, enough other people have that leftists feel they can't trust a word. And my God, man--a McCain man who's in favor of Gitmo?

>It was still a good thing to execute Regime Change, though,

It was indeed. Just not now. You won't agree with me now, I understand, but just remember that I said: being in Iraq now is exhausting troops that we're going to need later, for more pressing matters. I'm afraid I can't buy the idea that there was much of any danger to the US from an Iraqi assassination attempt, or from one of their flak batteries, crack shots though I'm sure they are, accidentally landing one on one of our jets.

In 2002, I said we shouldn't go into Iraq now, because it will destabilize the region and lead to civil war, and a mire we can't get out of. I feel that events have proved me right.

As to the Wilson affair, even the Economist (which has unceasingly supported Bush's Iraq initiative, though not his Katrina effort) said, "the bogus documents purporting to show that Iraq was trying to buy yellow-cake uranium were allegedly forged in Italy." (November 5th, 2005, p. 54)

Though the most imminent danger is that of twirling waaay off-topic. I am not in favor of having Bill O'Reilly fired, because of the free speech issue. But it alarms me very much that Joe Wilson was punished for exercising that very right. Also, to sum up, San Francisco has good reason to mistrust this President's use of our military.

>No, we did not all know it, people like us had no way of knowing so lets not get silly.

Excuse me, I meant "we" as in "we leftists." But of course we had a way of knowing: Osama bin Laden was an Islamist. Saddam Hussein was a socialist, secular (that is, Non-religious) dictator, whose party, the Ba'ath, was begun by an Arab Christian promoting Arab unity among all the religions, and was never an Islamist. He only added the legend "Allahu Akbar" to the Iraqi flag as a desperate attempt to rally support, after the Gulf War. So this is the _last_ Arab country that would have had anything at all to do with Osama bin Laden. No way of knowing?

--Also, I notice you skipped over the fact that Iraq had nothing at all to do with 9/11, and we all knew it?

Excuse me, I meant "we" as in "we leftists."--

That goes under the category of ( probably ) guessing correctly. Hussein tried to kill a President Bush Sr. He attacked US allies. He had his people fire on US military aircraft.

Yes, he was clearly not an Islamist --he's more Charles Manson than Osama Bin Laden --but who says that a pan-Arabist Manson-type can't ally with a religious maniac?

The US, for Allah's sake, gave OBL types aid when they fought the Russians in Afghanistan, and it would not be impossible to think that Saddam could have a marriage of convenience with OBL to go after the common enemy.

It was not a crazy idea.


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