Bill O’Reilly, the first
entertainer propagandistnews analyst on Fox News to run the edited, out of context Breitbart clip of Shirley Sherrod, walked back his intense criticism of her today. He framed it as an apology. You decide if that’s what it really was, because frankly I call B*llsh*t on you Mr. O’Reilly for daring to call what you said an apology. Because by God it was worse than if you had done nothing at all:
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly offered a rare mea culpa Wednesday, apologizing for airing a controversial tape of a speech given by a black U.S. Dept. of Agriculture official that was edited to make it appear she was racist. […}
“I owe Ms. Sherrod an apology for not doing my homework, for not putting her remarks into the proper context,” he said on "The O’Reilly Factor," adding that his own words had been taken out of context by critics in the past. “I well understand the need for honest reporting.”
Sounds good right? Well until you get to this part:
On Wednesday, the host said that he “did not analyze the entire transcript, and that was not fair.” Still, O’Reilly called her a "longtime liberal activist" and said the language Sherrod used suggested that she “very well may see things through a racial prism." He said she belonged in the private sector, not working for the government.
It gets worse from there. Read the rest of Steven’s post for that.
Meanwhile, I was inspired.
So, Bill O’Reilly wants to continue to judge Sherrod what she said on two minutes of an old video? Never mind that the point Sherrod arrived at by the end of the speech is one that we’d all do well to strive for. O’Reilly sees fit to ignore that. Never mind that by the end of her speech Sherrod essentially admitted that her previous attitude was wrong. O’Reilly sees fit to ignore that.
And commenters on the right ignore the message Sherrod delivered at the end of her speech, focusing instead on how the audience "cheered" or laughed when Sherrod recounted how she thought the best way to help the man was to take him to a lawyer who was "one of his own kind." Just as they ignore the change Sherrod experienced because of the event she related in the speech, they ignore the lesson that Sherrod sought to deliver through the speech: that race exists, but there comes a point where we must be able to see past it (which is not the same as ignoring it, btw), to see one another as human beings who need each other.
At the end of the speech, Sherrod described how the experience taught her that the lawyer wasn’t the farmer’s "own kind" or one of "his own people." She discovered that she was "one of his people" and he was "one of her people."
But in the conservative worldview people don’t learn and the don’t change (or, at least, it doesn’t count unless people change by becoming conservatives). What Shirley Sherrod was during the experience she describes in the two minutes of her speech is all she is and all she will ever be. In fact, those two minutes are the sum total of her character and all that is needed to judge her. And nothing in that speech could have caused the people in the audience to change, or to rethink their own prejudice or bias? (After all, any real change would have made them conservatives like O’Reilly. Right?)
It’s time to pull this out.
There you have it, folks. The essence of Bill O’Reilly’s character in two minutes of video. That’s all you need to judge him by. Right? There’s nothing else you need to know about Bill O’Reilly. Right? What you see in that video is all of who he is and all he ever will be, and nothing that has happened to him since can change that. Right?
If that’s not enough, here’s a bit more.
Pick any two minutes of these videos. No, actually, pick the worst two minutes or less of any of these videos, and you have all you need to judge Bill O’Reilly’s character. Period.
That’s the way it works, right?