“Papa Bear” Bill O’Reilly, of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor fame, is generally not seen as the most even-tempered individual, going all the way back to the vulgar YouTube clip of him absolutely losing it on his staff, and has never been too kind to people who disagree with his ideas, often devolving to bullying and name-calling to demean them.
This week, his sights are set on Stephen Colbert and any of the “voices on the left” who tore apart his idea to assemble a 25,000-strong mercenary force tasked with eliminating terrorism worldwide. According to O’Reilly, the mercenaries would be well-paid, English-speaking, and trained by top NATO and U.S. officials in accordance with the Geneva Convention.
“You know these mercenaries will be good guys because only the best people kill whoever you want for cash. It’s quality, folks, is what I’m saying — unlike those suckers who do it for love of country.”
Further trashing of the idea came from Fox News’ own Charles Krauthammer, who described the force as a bunch of “desperados”, lacking accountability and oversight, a point he made directly to O’Reilly himself.
O’Reilly went on to slam those dismissing his idea, lamenting on its poor reception and even lumping in fellow Fox News right-leaner Krauthammer, among other Fox News contributors, with “the left wing” during his segment titled, “How to Deal with Dumb People”.
“Well, the left wing’s having none of that. People like Stephen Colbert, mocking the plan. But here’s the tip: Mr. Colbert and others of his ilk have no bleeping clue how to fight the jihad. They don’t know anything. And when someone gets beheaded their reaction is ‘Oh, that’s bad.’ But by being completely vacant, it doesn’t stop these people from mocking ideas that might have some value, might solve some complex problems. Because in the world of the ideologue, where Colbert lives, solutions don’t really matter. It’s how you feel about things.”
This is hardly the first time O’Reilly has faced criticism for his statements. As recently as July, he took heat for his rant on President Obama’s remarks about Trayvon Martin, blaming “problems within the black community,” “the drug situation,” and “an increased focus on ‘gangsta’ culture in entertainment” on what he called the “disintegration of the African-American family”. MSNBC host Chris Hayes tore into O’Reilly and his “super racist rant”, dismissing the entire thing by saying that his arguments could easily be debunked by “20 minutes of Googling.” Other pop culture celebrities, like singer Beyonce and comedian Russell Brand, lined up to publicly denounce O’Reilly’s fervent hate-speak.
Of course, the speculation continues that O’Reilly is using these tactics to get eyes on the screen and boost his ratings, a tactic that appears to be working. According to reports, The O’Reilly Factor has topped the ratings charts for the 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. time slots. Likewise, ratings for The Colbert Report have also seen an increase since the additional coverage of the O’Reilly/Colbert spat.
What are your thoughts on O’Reilly’s comments?