“Are you Robert Reich?” he asked.“Yes,” I said.“You’re a Commie dirtbag.” (He actually used a variant of that noun, one that can’t be printed here.)“I’m sorry?” I thought I had misunderstood him.“You’re a Commie dirtbag.”
Huh? Where’d the guy get that notion? “Fox News. Bill O’Reilly says you’re a Communist.”
True fact: On April 25, 2012, O’Reilly said pretty much just that. Some of the transcript:
O’REILLY: All right, Robert Reich — you know Robert Reich?
LOU DOBBS, HOST, “LOU DOBBS TONIGHT”: I do, indeed.
O’REILLY: He’s a communist. You know that, right?
O’REILLY: The guy secretly adores Karl Marx and is up there in Cambridge. But he’s just a communist.
DOBBS: Well, we’ll leave him at communist for this evening.
The other night on “The Factor,” O’Reilly and the always-lively Bernard Goldberg discussed the incident, with Goldberg saying that Reich is clearly overreacting: “His mistake is that he used your comment — your commie comment — as a jumping-off point. It was clearly a joke. I call my liberal friends commies all the time, and they know it’s a joke. Robert Reich, who is a smart guy, I have met him, I’ve interviewed him. He is a smart guy, yet as a progressive, like some other progressives he hasn’t progressed into the 21st century. He has said that this is a communist witch-hunt. These are not the 1950s, professor Reich. Bill O’Reilly is not Senator McCarthy. It’s a joke.”
Perhaps so — at least to folks like Goldberg and O’Reilly. Clearly not, however, to one guy watching at home.
(h/t Huffington Post)