I don’t normally talk about extremist media commentators on this site because I genuinely think they should be ignored — just flat-out ignored. Anybody who gets publicly upset over Ann Coulter’s latest controversial comments (I’m assuming she’s made some) is only playing her game. One way of putting out a fire is to deprive it of oxygen. The problem is, I can’t pipe up that we should ignore these people every time they make news, because then I am not ignoring them, am I?
Anyway, this one is too damn good. A couple of days ago, Bill O’Reilly took the Web site Hot Air to task over a comment some random schnook made on its blog regarding Sonia Sotomayor: “[She's] unqualified, militant, and socialist. The GOP has to block any of Hussein’s extremist picks.” However, he neglected to mention that this was a random comment from a random reader — he made it sound like this was Hot Air’s official editorial position.
Hot Air is undoubtedly a right-wing Web site, and occasionally they can become quite feverish. But bloggers who jumped on this story are correct to call O’Reilly assertion a smear: The editors on that Web site may disagree with Obama 99% of the time, but they are not insane enough to refer to him as “Hussein.” (I doubt they would even call Sotomayor “unqualified,” though I am sure they are not happy about her as a choice for the Supreme Court.)
Last night, Bill O’Reilly apologized, as only O’Reilly could. He agreed that Hot Air editors didn’t write the inflammatory comment and he should have said so, but Hot Air is nonetheless responsible because they should be policing and editing all the comments made on the site… as Bill O’Reilly does on his own Web site.
(This is the first time in ages that I’ve watched more than three seconds of the man, and, my God, the sanctimony just flows off the screen. I don’t understand how anybody watches these people. My wife used to occasionally watch Keith Olbermann, and also Lou Dobbs, and I had to barricade myself in another room with sound-cancelling headphones until their smug pronouncements and self-congratulation at never ever being wrong came at last to a stop.)
Patterico, who I’ve linked to above, thought this apology smelled rank, and went and gave $4.95 to join billoreilly.com. And there in the agreement you must click on is the following:
BillOReilly.com does not control or pre-screen the files, information, or messages (referred to collectively as “Information”) delivered to or displayed in the Message Boards, unless otherwise noted therein, and BillOReilly.com assumes no duty to, and does not monitor or endorse Information within the Message Boards.
(My emphasis.) Now, we all know that O’Reilly and his ilk will happily commit hypocricy if it helps them make a short-term point, but I’ve never seen it demonstrated quite as baldly as this.
So now Patterico is posting choice comments from the O’Reilly site — he may as well get his five bucks worth. So far we’ve seen Mary Cheney marrying a goat! and NO MARRIAGE FOR HOMOS! — and like Patterico, I can only assume that O’Reilly agrees with both the sentiment and tenor of these outrageous comments, and we may as well attribute them to Bill O’Reilly himself. Not that my opinion of him could get much lower.