Bill O’Reilly cries foul over Bill Maher Quran comment

Fox News host suggests double standard in media's treatment of critical statements about Islam. Is he right?

Topics: Bill O'Reilly, Bill Maher, War Room,

Bill O'Reilly cries foul over Bill Maher Quran comment

The media can sometimes be very sensitive — and rightly so — about news pundits who openly disparage Islam and its adherents. (Just ask Juan Williams.) But when Bill Maher said on his program Friday night that the Quran is a “hate-filled holy book,” little controversy ensued. 

Bill O’Reilly dedicated a portion of “The Factor” last night to dissecting the media’s inarticulate response to Maher’s incendiary speech. He even brought Juan Williams onto his show to cry “double standard!” To O’Reilly’s credit, he qualified his own opinion on the matter by pointing out that the tragedy in Japan has overshadowed basically every other news story since Friday. (He also managed to sneak in a dig at Maher’s presumably mediocre viewership.) Still, the overriding tenor of the segment seemed indignant. Said O’Reilly:

If a conservative, or even a moderate, journalist criticizes the Quran, all hell breaks loose in the media. But a left-wing comedian can pretty much skate on that.

O’Reilly overlooked a couple of caveats, though. First, it’s not as if Bill Maher has free license to say anything he wants with impunity. Remember that in 2002, Maher’s former show, “Politically Incorrect,” was canceled after he disagreed with George W. Bush’s characterization of the 9/11 terrorists as “cowards.”



You Might Also Like

Fox has also taken its fair share of shots at Islam. Just look at the avalanche of anti-Islamic commentary that its pundits dished out during the “ground zero mosque” hysteria last fall. O’Reilly himself brashly insisted that the media was propagating a myth of “genteel Islam,” as if such an idea was ludicrous.

Maybe there would have been more of a firestorm if someone at Fox trashed the Quran, as O’Reilly suggests. But that risk hasn’t stopped Roger Ailes and his conservative posse in the past.

Peter Finocchiaro is the deputy editor of Salon. Follow him on Twitter @PLFino.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    jkrebs04, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 1

    Niagara Falls, U.S./Canada

    akvarog, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 2

    Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia

    iMAGICations, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 3

    Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, U.S.

    jhgraphicsusa, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 4

    Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

    Robert R., DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 5

    Colosseum, Rome, Italy

    Anythingoes, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 6

    Taj Mahal, Agra, India

    Sergio Coelho, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 7

    Siena Cathedral, Siena, Italy

    Anythingoes, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 8

    Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    iMAGICations,DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 9

    Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France

    iMAGICations, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 10

    Lost City of Petra, Jordan

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>