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Wednesday, January 05, 2005


My Civil Conversation With Bill O'Reilly
For those of you familiar with this blog, you know that I really, really, really don't like Bill O'Reilly. I have called his Radio Factor and insulted him (though I've USUALLY tried to deal with substantive issues whenever I've called; SEE SIDEBAR).

On today's Radio Factor, the first hour's topic was political character assassination. O'Reilly attempted to be even-handed and accuse the right and left of being equally vicious--which is, in fact, biased to the right because the right has been the overwhelming villain when it has come to political character assassination.

I had many things I wanted to say to O'Reilly about political character assassination. Examples: O'Reilly's vilification of Media Matters for America as well as O'Reilly's associations with Roger Ailes, Christopher Ruddy, and Joseph Farah--three of the main characters of the eight-year long ratfucking campaign against the Clinton White House.

I finally got through to the screener at the end of the first hour and decided that the egregious omission of Karl Rove's name during the first hour's discussion should be noted. The screener was familiar with the recent Atlantic Monthly article by Joshua Green and put me in the queue. Here's my conversation with O'Reilly (I posed as James from Santa Monica):

O'REILLY: Santa Monica, California. James, What say you?

SCOOBIE: Yes, I was amazed by your discussion of political [character] assassination. You were discussing it for an hour without mentioning Karl Rove. That's like discussing the play Hamlet without-- [note: I was going to finish the sentence with, "without mentioning the character Hamlet."]

O'REILLY: Let's walk through it. Let's walk through Karl Rove. You want to talk about him? I'd be happy to talk about him.

SCOOBIE: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: Alright. What is it about Karl Rove that has offended you? What has he done specifically?

SCOOBIE: Specifically, when he was working in Alabama for the Supreme Court [clarification: Rove was working for Republican Supreme Court candidates], they had a Democratic opponent who was a big advocate of protecting children. So [Rove], along with the University of Alabama law students, did a whisper campaign that this guy was like Michael Jackson and that he was molesting--

O'REILLY: When did that happen?

SCOOBIE: This happened in the 1990's. There's an article by Joshua Green in the Atlantic Monthly a couple months ago. He [Green] is a respected journalist.

[O'REILLY DISCONNECTS SCOOBIE]

O'REILLY: Alright. Well look. If that's true--and I don't know the case. If that's true, then Karl Rove is to be chastened. If that's true. I'm not going to stick up for Rove. I don't know him. I talked to him twice in my life for less than 30 seconds each. But if that Atlantic Monthly article is true. . .I mean, I can't accuse Rove of doing anything at this point in my career, because I don't know. I know they were very nasty to McCain in South Carolina--that was horrible. I don't know who did that. I don't know whether that was Rove or that was the South Carolina Bush people. Whoever did that was disgraceful. But alright it is a legitimate point of discussion. [O'REILLY GOES TO NEXT CALLER]


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