The Conversation

Number 2

I mention this sometimes. I have a few conservative friends, not as many as I used to have. On Facebook I cultivate them, but often when I put the skewer to Donald Trump, supposed gun rights, science denial, any number of gods—then a conservative friend drops me like I was last year’s iPhone. Facing a dearth of headwind from Facebook conservatives, I have taken to drawing from conservative media outlets. Talk about striking pay dirt! If gold is where you find it, threadbare intellect is where they nurture it. Now I draw from sources as mainline as Trump News, Fox News, Breitbart, the Media Research Center, Pastor John Hagee, Pastor Robert Jeffress, author Ray Comfort, actor Kirk Cameron, and others. I obtained a Twitter account so I could follow President Donald Trump. Now I receive multiple daily notifications about postings by The Donald and also such conservative beacons of light as Sarah Palin and Bill O’Reilly. Hence this yesterday:

Who would believe it? Bill O’Reilly telling the President of the United States to tweet facts. That is, facts, as opposed to:

Yes, when you set out at the beginning of the day to tweet the truth, it’s best not to lead with blaming anthropogenic global warming on the Chinese propaganda mill.

If this exchange was less than amazing, what followed immediately upon was less than surprising. Start with this:

Here we have somebody posing as “Trump Train” and responding, “He does tweet facts!!!!!!!!!” I believe that is nine exclamation marks. Check me on that. “Trump Train” is saying Donald Trump does tweet facts. Such facts being:

“asad” (where do they get these names?) chimes in, “alternative facts.” I can’t tell if “asad” is attempting to be factual or sarcastic. “Trump Train” comes back with, “And considering how @Potus has been ABUSED-perfectly ok to tweet an insult here and there.” Insult away, Trump Train, whoever you are. It’s become the name of the game. Here’s more:

Tom Vail (a real name at last) has an avatar reflecting on Hillary Clinton, but I can’t tell the reference. Tom tells us, “The US deserves better from Media. The US deserves better from Hollywood. The US deserves better from Academia.” Besides the needless capitalization of a couple of words, this seems to be grammatically correct.

I can understand wanting better from the media. Conservatives since Richard Nixon have harped on bad reviews from reporters, all the while failing to consider that if they would quit screwing up, then reporters would quit telling everybody they’re screwing up.

“Better from Hollywood?” Better scripts? Better acting? Bigger boobs? He doesn’t say. Could it be that in movies conservatives are often portrayed as heavies? As in In the Heat of the Night? Yeah, this movie would have been a lot more believable if Police Chief Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger) had been portrayed as a civil right crusader.

“Better from academia?” Tom is reflecting the concern by a majority of conservatives that American colleges and universities are hotbeds of liberal activism. He could be right. My observation is that colleges and universities are populated by a bunch of smart people, and when people get smarter, they tend to get more liberal.

I will skip over “mari Trump” (with an emoticon?)…

… and some others and go straight to Marita Murphy, another real name, apparently.

According to Marita, “tweeting that CNN is fake news IS verifiable.” What really bums me about Twitter is the 140-character limit. Imagine if this restriction were lifted, then Marita would have a larger canvas, allowing her to pile example upon example, demonstrating conclusively that calling CNN fake news is verifiable. Fortunately, I am not so restricted, so I will advance those examples that eluded the unfortunate Marita. Here are some:

CNN reports Special Counsel Robert Mueller may investigate President Trump for obstruction. “The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said.”

CNN reports Robert Mueller expands special counsel office, hires 13 lawyers.Special counsel Robert Mueller is said to be building out his investigative team with some of the country’s best legal minds, in a development that speaks to the seriousness of the Russia probe but also is raising red flags on the pro-Trump side.”

CNN reports Russian hackers tried altering US election data. “Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before President Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed … In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data … As many as 90,000 records were ultimately compromised … Illinois became Patient Zero in the government’s probe, eventually leading investigators to a hacking pandemic that touched four out of every five U.S. states … In many states, the extent of the Russian infiltration remains unclear. … The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database … According to the leaked NSA [National Security Agency] document, hackers working for Russian military intelligence were trying to take over the computers of 122 local election officials just days before the Nov. 8 election” … in October 2016  “the White House contacted the Kremlin on [a] back channel to offer detailed documents of what it said was Russia’s role in election meddling and to warn that the attacks risked setting off a broader conflict …”

CNN reports No obstruction case against Trump so far.Former FBI Director James Comey’s written statement, which was released in advance of his Thursday testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, does not provide evidence that President Trump committed obstruction of justice or any other crime. Indeed it strongly suggests that even under the broadest reasonable definition of obstruction, no such crime was committed.”

And so on. Keep plugging away, Marita. I will keep looking for the fake news.

And I will continue to stay hooked into my favorite conservative sources. There’s plenty more where this came from.

Down for the Count

Some more of this

The title came naturally, and it was hardly a surprise when I noticed it’s been used before, twice. So, who’s down for the count today? But you knew that already. ABC World News Tonight with David Muir has the story:

Bill O’Reilly is leaving the Fox News Channel, the network’s parent company announced today.

“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” 21st Century Fox said in a statement.

The star host has been dogged by misconduct claims — some sexual in nature — since an April 1 story in The New York Times detailed alleged settlements made between the host and five women who accused him of harassment and sexual misconduct.

An internal 21st Century Fox memo obtained by ABC News said that the “decision follows an extensive review done in collaboration with outside counsel.” The memo was signed by Rupert, Lachlan and James Murdoch, the company’s top executives.

“We want to underscore our consistent commitment to fosteri

And that’s too bad. Really. My liberal friends are tooting horns all over Facebook, but remember you heard it here first—we are going to miss having Bill O’Reilly as the focus for conservative foibles. For pure audacity in the face of fact, few could compete. Start with O’Reilly’s tag line — “Caution. You are about to enter the no-spin-zone.” Ha!

On the face of it, O’Reilly’s no-spin was 100% spin. For example:

Saddam Hussein… I believe is involved with this World Trade Center and Pentagon bombing. I believe that you’re going to find out that money from Iraq flowed in and helped this happen.

And this:

I don’t know of any government leaders that are killers.

Never having met Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Saddam Hussein.

Anyhow, liberals will no longer enjoy watching Bill O’Reilly make  a mockery of conservative ideals on  Fox. Maybe somewhere else, but not courtesy of the Murdoch empire. Nor is this due to any sense of public decency. The story seems to be money down the line. As ABC and others point out, at least 83 sponsors have bolted the show since O’Reilly’s settlements became public.

Is it an illusion that conservative grandstanders accept as a given that women were put on this planet to  be exploited by the powerful? John and Ted Kennedy, also Bill Clinton, gained notoriety for their sexual escapades, but a pernicious theme has run through the conservative hierarchy of late. Fox chief Roger Ailes exited last year due to scandals that rival O’Reilly’s. And O’Reilly gets his highest level of support from none other.

Yes, it’s the Groper-in-Chief, who seems to have been created by and for O’Reilly. And O’Reilly may have put his finger on the critical point. There is a conservative regard that good manners are a manifestation of weakness:

There is a point where political correctness becomes an acid that erodes freedom.

There is a point at which righteous conduct has been denigrated in the quest for power.

O’Reilly Speaks

OReillyTalkingPoints

Yes, he does. But it’s what he says that gets my attention. Particularly what he said last night:

“The Jihadist are threatening millions of people,” Bill O’Reilly said. “Iran is close to having a nuclear weapon. Working Americans are still struggling to make money in the marketplace and out traditional American values are under siege nearly everywhere. If you are Christian or a White man in the USA, it is open season on you.”

This is significant. Here’s what I noticed. Actually, here is the first thing I noticed:

  • Bill O’Reilly is a Christian (I think).
  • Bil O’Reilly is a white man (that I can see).

If what Bill O’Reilly said yesterday is true, then both of us are in a heap of trouble. Except for me, since I don’t seem to be a Christian. Oops! I may be white. Like Bill O’Reilly. We could both be in a heap of trouble. It’s open season on us.

And that got me to thinking: what are they going to do to us? Are they going to shoot us. Is their a bow season on Christians and white men? I need to check with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. I recall they are the people who regulate hunting Christians and white men in Texas.

Then, maybe Bill O’Reilly is mistaken. No! Can’t be so. Bill O’Reilly is known for getting his stuff right. Right?

In March of 1977 a young television reporter at WFAA in Dallas began looking into the Kennedy assassination. As part of his reporting, he sought an interview with the shadowy Russian college professor who had befriended the Oswalds upon their arrival in Dallas in 1962. The reporter traced George de Mohrenschildt to Palm Beach, Florida, and traveled there to confront him. At the time, de Mohrenschildt had been called to testify before a congressional committee looking into the events of November 1963. As the reporter knocked on the door of de Mohrenschildt’s daughter’s home, he heard the shotgun blast that marked the suicide of the Russian, assuring that his relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald would never be fully understood.

By the way, that reporter’s name is Bill O’Reilly.

O’Reilly, Bill; Dugard, Martin (2012-10-02). Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot (p. 300). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

Maybe not:

Bill O’Reilly has repeatedly claimed he personally “heard” a shotgun blast that killed a figure in the investigation into President John F. Kennedy’s assassination while reporting for a Dallas television station in 1977. O’Reilly’s claim is implausible and contradicted by his former newsroom colleagues who denied the tale in interviews with Media Matters. A police report, contemporaneous reporting, and a congressional investigator who was probing Kennedy’s death further undermine O’Reilly’s story.

With conflicting accounts it’s hard to unravel what actually occurred. CNN has posted a copy of the audio from a telephone recording between (supposedly) Bill O’Reilly and Gaeton Fonzi, a congressional investigator. This is my own transcription:

Bill O’Reilly: Hi, Gaeton. Bill O’Reilly.

Gaeton Fonzi (Investigator): Yeah.

O’Reilly: Look, something definitely did happen.

Fonzi: Yeah, I got it.

O’Reilly: What is it?

Fonzi: He committed suicide up here in – where I was trying to locate him.

O’Reilly: OK, where’s that?

Fonzi: It’s a place called Manalapan. M-A-N-A-L-A-P-A-N. Palm Beach County.

O’Reilly: OK. So, he committed suicide, he’s dead?

Fonzi: Yeah.

O’Reilly: OK, what time?

Fonzi: Late this afternoon. I don’t know.

O’Reilly: OK, gun?

Fonzi: I think, yeah, I think he said he shot himself.

O’Reilly: OK. Ah, Jesus Christ.

Fonzi: Isn’t that something? Jesus.

O’Reilly: Now, I’m gonna get this guy Epstein. I’m coming down there tomorrow. I’m coming to Florida. We gotta get this guy. He knows what happened.

Fonzi: Well, I’m gonna be up there probably trying to secure the papers.

O’Reilly: Yeah,, OK. All right, I’m gonna be in there tomorrow. I’m gonna get a car.

O’Reilly: Is there a number – will you leave a number at your house where I can reach you?

Fonzi: The only way, call the magazine.

O’Reilly: OK.

O’Reilly: OK. Now,, OK, I’m gonna try to get a night flight out of here, if I can. But I might have to go tomorrow morning. Let me see.

[March 29, 1977]

The account from Media Matters can be dismissed out of hand, because in his talk yesterday Bill O’Reilly cautioned us in this manner:

Mrs. Clinton would be well advised—well advised—to distance herself from Media Matters and the other guttersnipe organizations that use despicable and dishonest tactics to attack opponents.

“Media Matters and other guttersnipe organizations.” You heard it straight from Bill O’Reilly. Who could ask for anything more? As a supposedly white man I’m feeling safer already.

Keep reading.