I grabbed this video clip from http://MediaMatters.org/ back in 2006 shortly after Mike Farrell was on Bill O'Reilly's show on Fox. I added a few bits of text to make a point or two. This is relevant in light of O'Reilly's recent comments about lynching Barack Obama's wife.
In case you missed it, O'Reilly said this: "I dont want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless theres evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If thats how she really feelsthat America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whateverthen thats legit. Well track it down."
Read more about it in the transcript to last Friday's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann".
I know everyone is overreacting the same way they did when Don Imus made his racist comments, but if we don't overreact things will never change.
Yes, it's obvious O'Reilly wasn't really talking about stringing her up from a tree-branch, but the comment is still racist. However, it's not the right exaggeration to use when referring to a black person.
Also, if you take O'Reilly's most recent comments, combine them with the examples in the clip and you'll see that this is a man who makes his career off of being a horrible person. Should this guy have a show on one of America's most popular "news" channels? I don't think so. I'm not saying he should be silenced nor am I saying we should somehow force Fox News to fire him.
All I'm saying is that he should SHUT UP!
Nooo, I'm kidding! Free speech is our most important right. However, what he was doing was threatening Michelle Obama's life figuratively for something she said--she was critical of the United States and O'Reilly threatened to figuratively hang her from a figurative tree.
That's quite an attempt to squash free speech in itself, isn't it?
So, do we shut the man up? No, not completely. If I were Fox News I'd have fired his ass a long time ago but this is a good straw to break the camel's back. He'll still be able to say what he wants on the Internet.
No one's censoring him--he'd just have his volume turned down.
And wouldn't everyone appreciate that?
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