O'Reilly used Davis's op-ed to conclude "far left in America is dominated by haters"

››› ››› ROB DIETZ

Addressing "anti-Semitic stuff directed at [Sen.] Joe Lieberman," Bill O'Reilly stated that "the far left in America is dominated by haters, people who despise their own country," adding that "[t]he smear merchants are now all over the mainstream media and have spread like lice on the net."

On the August 8 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly stated that "the far left in America is dominated by haters, people who despise their own country," adding that "[t]he smear merchants are now all over the mainstream media and have spread like lice on the net." O'Reilly cited an op-ed in the August 8 edition of The Wall Street Journal by Lanny J. Davis, a former special counsel to President Clinton, which quoted from weblog posts that Davis characterized as full of "extremism, bigotry and intolerance." O'Reilly addressed "anti-Semitic stuff directed at [Sen.] Joe Lieberman [D-CT]" in his "Talking Points Memo" and read from two of the weblog quotes Davis had included in his Journal op-ed. But read in context, one of the quotations O'Reilly cited was clearly a parody of an anti-Semitic rant and both were from comments posted to the weblogs O'Reilly mentioned. Neither O'Reilly nor Davis cited any evidence that either commenter spoke for anyone in the progressive community or indeed that the commenter is actually a progressive.

O'Reilly and Davis simply misrepresented a comment by tomjones that appeared on the Daily Kos website on December 7, 2005. The initial comment, followed by tomjones's reply, went as follows:

Why Should Joe Care ... about a bunch of goyim dying in Iraq? It's not like anybody he cares about is suffering as a direct result of the war.

by greenskeeper on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 01:53:09 PM PDT

right ... because as everybody knows, jews ONLY care about the welfare of other jews; thanks ever so much for reminding everyone of this most salient fact, so that we might better ignore all that jewish propaganda about participating in the civil rights movement of the 60s and so on

by tomjones on Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 02:04:20 PM PDT

In context, tomjones's comment is clearly a sarcastic response to greenskeeper and apparently in defense of Lieberman.

The other comment O'Reilly referred to was made by a JeffDeVore and posted on Huffington Post.

Additionally, on the radio program, O'Reilly asked: "Why hasn't The New York Times reported about all the anti-Semitism directed at Joe?" The Times, in fact, purported to report allegations of a "growing tolerance" in the "progressive community" of a "perhaps anti-Semitic faction," but, as Media Matters for America noted, presented no evidence in support of Lieberman campaign "informal adviser" Dan Gerstein's accusation.

From the August 8 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight. The polls have closed in Connecticut, and as soon as we have information about the Lieberman-Lamont Senate primary, our hard news people will bring it to you.

The anti-Semitic stuff directed at Joe Lieberman is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." As you may know, some radical left Americans have been vilifying Lieberman for his support of the Iraq war. The usual suspects on the net have smeared the man, and now Lieberman's campaign is accusing radical bloggers of hacking into their website and damaging it.

But far worse are the anti-Semitic rants. This was posted on the far left Daily Kos website, quote: "... as everybody knows, jews ONLY care about the welfare of other jews ... we might better ignore all that jewish propaganda [by Lieberman] about participating in the civil rights movement."

And this was allowed on the Huffington blog, quote: "Leiberman [sic] cannot escape the religious bond he represents. Hell, his wife's name is Haggadah or Muffeletta or Diaspora or something you eat at Passover."

Nice. But the media has generally ignored the far left hatred directed towards the senator and his family. I wonder how [actor, producer, and director] Mel Gibson feels about that.

Writing today in The Wall Street Journal, former counsel to the President Clinton, Lanny Davis says, quote: "I came to believe that we liberals couldn't possibly be so intolerant and hateful, because our ideology was famous for ACLU-type commitments to free speech, dissent and, especially, tolerance for those who differed from [sic] us. Now in the closing days of the Lieberman primary campaign, I have [been] reluctantly concluded that I was wrong."

Well, Lanny Davis has learned what Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen learned, what Hillary Clinton has experienced, and what those of us who see things clearly have known for years. The far left in America is dominated by haters, people who despise their own country and want to injure those with whom they disagree.

The smear merchants are now all over the mainstream media and have spread like lice on the net. They are truly misguided and, in some cases, emotionally disturbed human beings.

So, how do you combat them? Exposition is the best way. My upcoming book, Culture Warrior, does that. It documents who these people are and what they're doing behind the scenes.

Secondly, condemn their behavior as Lanny Davis did today. This isn't satire or a free speech exercise. This is speech meant to injure; to defame; to demean.

As I wrote in my newspaper column a few months ago, Joseph Lieberman is a good man. He's honest, loves his country, and obeys his conscience. You may disagree with his politics, but he's a man of respect.

You can't say that for those who have smeared and slurred him. There's no place for their tactics in a country as great as America. And that's the Memo.

From the August 8 edition of The Radio Factor:

O'REILLY: Yeah, but Joe Lieberman's a decent man. I mean every -- any clear, sane person knows Joe Lieberman's a decent man even if you disagree with his politics. And to inject anti-Semitism into this situation? Come on. Why hasn't The New York Times reported about all the anti-Semitism directed at Joe?

DAVIS: Well, I think there is a quantity of anti-Semitism with or without Joe Lieberman running, and it's been manifested; and I did quote a few of them. But I don't think it's about anti-Semitism. I really don't, Bill. I think it's about intolerance of political differences. And I think it did happen during the Clinton years where he was demonized and attacked and tried to be destroyed personally by the right. It's now happening to George Bush on my side of the aisle, and I don't like it any more when it's done to George Bush than I liked when it was done to Bill Clinton.

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