April 26, 2013

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has declared war on what he terms “gibberish” in relation to the ongoing U.S. battle against terrorism. In last night’s edition of “The O’Reilly Factor,” he ran the incredible clip featuring Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the accused Boston bombers, spinning the theory that authorities damaged Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s voice because they didn’t want him to speak the truth to the world.

Next up for O’Reilly was this: “Now even a powerful institution like NBC News employs people who denigrate the serious issue of Islamic terrorism.” With that, O’Reilly turned to a clip of MSNBC’s Alex Wagner saying this:

I think that Krauthammer and O’Reilly going after the President and saying he is not being tough enough on Muslims smelled a little bit like a precursor to — is the President actually secretly a Muslim?

An outraged O’Reilly bounced right off of those remarks:

Hard to believe that person is given a national platform by NBC News, almost impossible to believe. I mean, what is Comcast thinking? The Factor’s second rerun at 4:00 in the morning now beats MSNBC’s 8:00 p.m. prime time broadcast. At least it did yesterday.

For the record, Charles Krauthammer and I did not say that President Obama is not, quote, “tough enough on Muslims.” We specifically analyzed why the President will not use the words “Muslim jihad” in describing the mode of the terror attack.

Correct. Looking at the transcript from the Tuesday night discussion between O’Reilly and Charles Krauthammer on “The Factor,” it’s clear that O’Reilly credited Obama for toughness:

But you can’t say, I think, fairly that President Obama is soft on the jihad. He hasn’t been soft on it; he uses the drones, which of course, Tom Brokaw is all upset about and we’ll get to that with Colonel Hunt in a moment. He is not soft on it; he doesn’t avoid killing them when he can. So you know, this is a — it’s a PR thing, I guess.

These guys, really, just want the president to use different words. Again, the transcript:

KRAUTHAMMER: Churchill did not speak about German extremists. He talked about the Nazi menace. He described it in detail. FDR didn’t speak about extremists in Tokyo. He talked about the Japanese imperialism and its threat to the whole region.

You have to be able to be honest with the people, if you’re going to get any support. Otherwise, you get an event here, an event there and you say we can’t jump to any conclusions? Within three days everybody understands that these brothers were jihadists.

(CROSSTALK)

O’REILLY: Yes, that was insane. Within three minutes — within three minutes everybody understood. As soon as they saw they were from Chechnya. As soon as they saw who they were everybody knew what it was.

More O’Reilly: “All right, so everybody else on earth knows it’s Muslim terrorism, but he won’t admit it because is he afraid they are going to be stigmatized. They are already stigmatized—this is crazy.”

Speaking of crazy, O’Reilly: What do ratings have to do with all of this?

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.