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.