Bill O'Reilly (Credit: Fox News)

Bill O'Reilly: Conservative rhetoric no more responsible for Planned Parenthood shooting than I am for George Tiller's murder

When mass-killers have conservative leanings, count on O'Reilly to defend the GOP against claims of association


Scott Eric Kaufman
December 1, 2015 7:24PM (UTC)

On Monday's edition of "The O'Reilly Factor," the esteemed host used his "Talking Points Memo" to distance his anti-abortion rhetoric -- as well as that of the Republican Party -- from Robert Dear's attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in the oddest way possible: by reminding viewers of his complicity in the 2009 murder of Kansas abortion-provider George Tiller.

Dear's actions, O'Reilly noted, are simply a function of the fact that he was "a long-time malcontent who had problems wherever he has lived," and because in a free society such "disturbed individuals run unchecked, we have to report murder after murder after murder."

Advertisement:

He complained that Planned Parenthood's President Vicki Cowart is "blaming the killings on harsh criticism directed at the organization after undercover videotapes exposed the sale of aborted baby body parts," which is utter nonsense, because "Planned Parenthood is in the baby body parts business and deserves much of the harsh criticism directed toward it."

O'Reilly likened Cowart's attempt to call attention to "hateful language, hateful speech, [and the] environment created around the work Planned Parenthood does" to criticism of him following the 2009 murder of George Tiller by Scott Roeder.

"I reported extensively on Tiller and after he was assassinated by a man named Scott Roeder, some far left loons blamed me," he said, adding that the doctor "was nicknamed 'Tiller the Baby Killer' by organizations who objected to his grizzly practices." He failed to mention that the "organizations" in question were actually just "guests on 'The O'Reilly Factor'" who picked the witticism up from the host himself.

Beginning on June 8, 2005, O'Reilly devoted 28 segments to George Tiller -- segments in which he compared the doctor's practice to NAMBLA, al Qaeda, Mao's China, Hitler's Germany, and Stalin's Soviet Union. On June 12, 2007, he said that "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." Three days later, he stated that there is "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."

In other words, the entire state of Kansas -- from the then-governor down -- was complicit in the "crimes" committed by George Tiller, but despite raising Tiller from obscurity and regularly shining a spotlight on his practices, O'Reilly is without culpability in Tiller's death, because he merely "reported accurately on Tiller." Because as you well know, any "report" in which the reporter invokes "Judgment Day" is as accurate as it is objective.

O'Reilly's motivation here is so self-serving and obvious it almost need not be mentioned -- he doesn't want people to blame violence against abortion providers on those whose rhetoric incites it. "The big picture is the assassin Roeder and the Colorado killer represent their sick selves, nothing more," he said.

Advertisement:

Watch the entire "Memo" below via Fox News.


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

MORE FROM Scott Eric KaufmanFOLLOW scottekaufmanLIKE Scott Eric Kaufman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Bill O'reilly Fox News George Tiller Robert Dear The O'reilly Factor Video

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••






Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •