Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bill O’Reilly: “Out Damned (Advertising) Spot”

Before Dr Tiller was even buried, journalists and pundits weighed-in on whether ‘alleged’ murderer Scott Roeder was aided or abetted in his actions.

Conservative opinion insisted Roeder was an internally-driven lunatic “lone wolf”.

Liberal opinion charged that conservative-dominated media rhetoric encouraged Tiller’s killer, and that Bill O’Reilly appeared to be the most obvious enabler.

O’Reilly was not-surprisingly outraged at the accusation that the 28 episode segments of his show over the past 4 years devoted to Dr. Tiller---in which O’Reilly variously described Dr. Tiller as a “baby killer”, that he was guilty of “Nazi stuff”, that the doctor was the moral equivalent of NAMBLA and Al-Qaida and that Tiller “destroys fetuses for just about any reason right up until the birth date for $5,000."---might have provided ANY motivation for a fervent anti-abortion demonstrator to kill his philosophical and ‘moral’ opposite.

(Above "photoon" by 5thEstate).

O Reilly 'debunked' the accusations in his June 3rd Talking Points Memo:

"Monday night we told you about the murder of George Tiller, the late-term abortion doctor in Kansas shot dead by an anti-government militant while he attended church last Sunday. We also told you that NBC News and other ultra-liberal outlets were blaming me and FOX News for inciting the killer.

"Now we have the murder of 23-year-old William Long, an Army private allegedly murdered by a Muslim militant in Arkansas. Police say 24-year-old Abdulhakim Muhammad, aka Carlos Bledsoe, a convert to Islam, told the cops he killed Private Long and wounded another soldier because of what the military had done to Muslims.

So here is my question: Is NBC News complicit in the murder of Private Long? After all, that network has relentlessly branded the United States as a torture nation, a country run by human rights violators. Didn't NBC News incite Mr. Muhammad to kill the soldier?

The answer is no. The killer is a loon. The media had nothing to do with it. That is the truth.”

Bill O’Reilly was absolutely correct! Of course NBC had nothing to do with Private Long’s murder, because NBC didn’t spend 4 years and 28 episode segments specifically accusing Private Long of mass-murder as O’Reilly did with Dr. Tiller.

Of course by exonerating NBC with regard to Private Long’s murder, O’Reilly also exonerates himself of culpability too (by the power invested in him by,…umm…him) under the collective innocence of “the media” whose only supposed responsibility is to report, and then let the viewer decide---“We Report, You Decide!

Unfortunately this pat corporate phrase only helps to undermine Bill’s argument of his innocence; as he said himself in the New York Post on June 3rd:

"Even though I reported on the doctor honestly, the loons asserted that my analysis of him was "hateful." Chief among the complaints was the doctor's nickname: "Tiller the baby killer." Some pro-lifers branded him that, and I reported it”

Well Bill, the exact charge against you (and your ilk) is that you did indeed “report” and Shroeder decided, based open what you ‘reported’---which weren’t all facts, by the way, but overwhelmingly hyperbolic distortions and lies. .

Now, granted O’Reilly didn’t directly tell Shroeder to kill Dr. Tiller, but as a self-appointed moral authority figure Bill did say on June 12th 2007:

“If the state of Kansas doesn't stop this man, then anybody who prevents that from happening has blood on their hands as the governor does right now, Governor Sebelius."
And three days later Bill revisited his bloody theme and his demands for action:

"No question Dr. Tiller has blood on his hands. But now so does Governor Sebelius. She is not fit to serve. Nor is any Kansas politician who supports Tiller's business of destruction. I wouldn't want to be these people if there is a Judgment Day. Kansas is a great state, but this is a disgrace upon everyone who lives in Kansas, is it not?"

Now what ‘right-thinking’ citizen, listening to Bill’s ‘reports’, wouldn’t want to avoid the moral stain of having “blood on their hands” from failing to “stop this man” that Bill repeatedly described as a “baby killer”?

And then, apart from Bill’s insistence that his particular four-year long rhetorical campaign against Dr Tiller couldn’t possibly have encouraged Shroeder’s violence, is the contention that the constant repetition of a particular message in the media as a whole has no impact on human behavior.

If that were the case, why does anyone advertise? Why does any place multiple ads? Why do corporations make adverts that appeal to emotions rather than simply reporting the factual details of their products? Why do politicians have advertising campaigns to persuade people to vote get elected?

O’Reilly’s multi-million dollar salary is based not on the actual intellectual superiority, practicality or moral rectitude of his opinions, but on the fact that around 2 million people a night are persuaded to constantly buy his philosophical product, and can also be persuaded to buy whatever crap is advertised along with it.

O’Reilly (and his ilk) advertised that stopping “Dr. Tiller, the baby-killer” would wash off the guilty “blood on their hands” from anyone who was the “first on their block” to buy the moral outrage that was being sold and act upon it. .

Now he’s claiming his promotions and advertising have no effect. So why does he advertise his own merchandise, and why does anyone advertise on his show?

Because promotion and advertising DOES motivate people, and Bill damn well knows it.

Like Lady Macbeth, Bill O’Reilly “doth protest too much” and try as he might, he can’t wash the blood off his hands.



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