Bashir: The Zimmerman trial, the president’s comments, the attorney general’s speech — they all opened up a conversation on profiling, social context and stand-your-ground laws. But Mr. O’Reilly doesn’t want to have that conversation. He wants to have a conversation about single-parent families and the lyrics in hip-hop. Why does he want to have that conversation rather than the one that we’ve all been directed to have?Touré: Well, that’s a simple question, ’cause he’s an idiot. …Bashir: Well, you gotta give me a more serious answer than just that he’s an idiot.
Following that request, an informative discussion of race ensued.
Even so, Bashir comes off as an ideal puppet of the state: As if we, as vassals of the White House, should follow instructions as to precisely what conversation we should be having. It’s fine that O’Reilly, on his own program, addresses a set of issues that don’t happen to be dominating the shows on MSNBC and elsewhere in cableland. That’s his prerogative as cable-news host and American citizen.
None of this is to endorse a single word that O’Reilly has uttered in regard to the racial issues on his show this week. That’s for another post.