Bill O'Reilly again denied that he endorsed an Al Qaeda attack on San Francisco.
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On the February 1 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly again denied that he had endorsed an Al Qaeda attack on San Francisco. As Media Matters for America has noted, however, O'Reilly did, in fact, invite Al Qaeda to "blow up" Coit Tower, a San Francisco landmark, in response to a successful San Francisco ballot measure that called on public colleges and high schools to ban military recruiting on campus. On the November 8, 2005, edition of his radio program, O'Reilly said:
O'REILLY: Listen, citizens of San Francisco, if you vote against military recruiting, you're not going to get another nickel in federal funds. ... And if Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. 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.
During his February 1 show, after reading aloud a viewer's letter that referred to O'Reilly's remarks, O'Reilly replied: "Wrong, sir. I gave Al Qaeda your address. That's just a jest." He then added: "But here's some serious advice: Stay away from the far-left web sites. They do not make you look smart."
On the November 14, 2005, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly claimed that his comments had been "satirical," although in playing an audio clip while defending them, he omitted his remarks that "if Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it" and "You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead." On the December 5 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, he misrepresented his remarks and the controversy that followed them, claiming that "San Francisco pinheads wanted me to be fired because I criticized their anti-military vote" and omitting mention of his endorsement of a terrorist attack on the city.
In the "Talking Points Memo" segment of the February 1 O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly again focused on San Francisco, when he decried the ballot measure on military recruiting, Mayor Gavin Newsom's 2004 decision to let the city issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and a petition calling for the impeachment of President Bush presented to the city Board of Supervisors at its January 31 meeting. O'Reilly said he "deplore[d] the actions of Congresswoman [Lynn] Woolsey [D-CA] and Congresswoman Barbara Lee [D-CA]" -- both of whom represent districts in the San Francisco Bay area -- for, he suggested, facilitating the attendance of anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan at Bush's January 31 State of the Union address. Woolsey had invited Sheehan to the speech as her guest, but O'Reilly asserted that "both [Woolsey and Lee were] in on the Sheehan episode." Before the speech began, Sheehan was arrested and removed from the Capitol building for wearing a T-shirt that stated: "2,245 Dead. How many more?" O'Reilly asserted that "the San Francisco area ... is now actively undermining the war on terror and indeed, the law itself," and went on to add: "It's clear the City by the Bay has uncoupled itself from the rest of the USA and is bent on establishing a quasi-far-left nation within city limits." Concluding his statement about Woolsey and Lee, O'Reilly declared, "There is a good chance that California Congresswoman Woolsey and Lee intentionally tried to sabotage the State of the Union address in order to embarrass the country. Now, that kind of destructive action may be acceptable in San Francisco, but it shouldn't be in the rest of the country."
From the February 1 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: Today, charges against Ms. Sheehan were dropped, but she says she's suing. Now, "Talking Points" deplores the actions of Congresswoman Woolsey and Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who were both in on the Sheehan episode. These lawmakers should be investigated by the House and reprimanded if the evidence dictates. Cindy Sheehan is, of course, a militant bent on embarrassing the president. If she had not been confronted by police, anything could have happened during the speech. This is simply unacceptable. Miss Sheehan and the congresswomen are entitled to protest anything they want in the appropriate place, but this was a setup, pure and simple.
Both Lee and Woolsey represent the San Francisco area, which has become increasingly radicalized and is now actively undermining the war on terror and indeed, the law itself.
San Francisco voters by a 60-40 margin told the military it's not welcome to recruit in city schools. The mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, married scores of homosexuals in violation of state law. He only stopped when the California Supreme Court demanded it. And next week, the San Francisco board of supervisors will discuss a call for the impeachment of President Bush.
"Talking Points" could go on and on. It's clear the City by the Bay has uncoupled itself from the rest of the USA and is bent on establishing a quasi-far-left nation within city limits. Now, it's actually interesting to watch this process, but it's also disturbing in the middle of a terror war. There is a good chance that California Congresswoman Woolsey and Lee intentionally tried to sabotage the State of the Union address in order to embarrass the country. Now, that kind of destructive action may be acceptable in San Francisco, but it shouldn't be in the rest of the country. And that's the memo.
O'REILLY: And finally tonight, the mail. A virtual potpourri this evening.
Anthony Memisovski, Malmo, Sweden: "O'Reilly, why do you slander Cindy Sheehan for comparing the Iraqi insurgents to freedom fighters? You called for an Al Qaeda attack on San Francisco."
O'REILLY: Wrong, sir. I gave Al Qaeda your address. That's just a jest. But here's some serious advice: Stay away from the far-left websites. They do not make you look smart.