[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Bill O'Reilly thinks it's just shameful that liberals are calling out the Birthers for their racism so last night he brought on Margaret Hoover and Alicia Menendez to talk about it.
Of course, Hoover thought it was entirely "predictable" that people would decry the innate racism of the Birther theories and their progenitors -- which is like saying it's "predictable" people would be distraught by a terrorist attack.
Then Menendez sort of agreed with Hoover, but added:
MENENDEZ: There are big conversations we need to be having about the fact that there are so many racial tensions and anxieties in this country.
O'REILLY: Well, let me stop you there.S'funny: Do any of you remember Bill O'Reilly getting all outraged and denouncing Glenn Beck when he called President Obama a racist who hates white people? Hm? No, I seem instead to recall him launching a multi-city "speaking" tour with Beck.
MENENDEZ: When you start calling people racist...
O'REILLY: Let me stop you there. I don't see all of these racial confrontations in this country, and I do this every day. What I see is Barack Obama elected president with 43 percent of the white vote. He got something like 67 percent of the Hispanic vote. I don't see it. And unless you can show it to me, Alicia...
... Look, wouldn't you both agree that calling somebody a racist, anybody, without proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a vicious, hateful thing to do? Would you agree?
MENENDEZ: As vicious as suggesting that the president of the United States is not a real American.
O'REILLY: No, no, no. Just answer my question, Alicia. Calling somebody a racist without proof beyond a reasonable doubt, a vicious, hateful thing, yes or no?
MENENDEZ: I agree.
O'REILLY: OK, you agree.
MENENDEZ: I think that part of the reason you see that rhetoric...
O'REILLY: Now we have a cadre of people on national television doing a vicious, hateful thing. Yet...
MENENDEZ: But Bill, they're doing it in response to what was a vicious and hateful thing coming out of the right. And there were very few people like you who are being honest and calling it what it was.
O'REILLY: No. 1, you don't commit bad behavior and point to other bad behavior. And what came out of the right -- that's true, Alicia. Write it down. Don't justify bad behavior by pointing to other. Wait a minute. And the second thing is what came out of the right and was absolutely blown apart on this broadcast was the birth certificate might be
phony. I didn't think that had any racial overtone at all. It was a birth certificate deal.
MENENDEZ: So you think -- you think it's just coincidental that the first president to have this type of public questioning of his land of origin of being a real American happens to be our first black president? That's just a weird coincidence?
O'REILLY: It's born out of hatred for the man. They'll get -- the people who hate Barack Obama will latch onto anything.
Strange how O'Reilly's rather selective outrage works, isn't it?
What's especially noteworthy is that he and Margaret Hoover seem to believe that we're long past the days of naked racism and bigotry and that racial tensions don't really exist. Let me point them first to Baratunde Thurston's reply to Donald Trump on that score. Or, for that matter, to those little ol' jus' folks Tea Partiers who strangely seem unable to avoid racist outbreaks.
And nevermind that the Birthers are still going strong, even on Fox.
And seriously: Does O'Reilly believe that these nutcases continue to cling to their Birther beliefs, even after Obama has gotten out his long form too for them, simply because they hate Obama? And that their hatred of Obama has no basis in his race? And he expects the rest of us to be that naive? Really?
He better rename his show's motto "The New Spin Zone".