Dylan Ratigan let loose on Friday's "Morning Joe" with a highly impassioned monologue about what he saw as the widespread failure in America to distinguish between the small group of people who carried out the 9/11 attacks and all Muslims.
Ratigan's comments came during a conversation about Bill O'Reilly's infamous statement on "The View" that "Muslims attacked us on 9/11." Given the opportunity to talk about O'Reilly's comments, Ratigan broadened the scope of the discussion, excoriating politicians and the press for, in his view, failing to make a crucial distinction between the broader Muslim world and the Saudi-based Al Qaeda sect that carried out the 9/11 attacks:
"We are not at war with Islam, we are not at war with Muslims, Iraq, Iran, it's nonsense! They hold up signs, 'I hate America.' Have you seen the signs we hold up? The only people that have ever funded a terrorist attack from that part of the world on us...was this Wahabi sect. And it is an extraordinary failure of our politicians and our media and anybody else who has an opportunity to communicate information to fail o make that distinction, because to fail to make that distinction is to risk a scale of conflict and a scale of disenfranchisement and alienation on this planet that may be convenient for TV ratings and votes, but is an abomination for the human beings that will populate this planet and it's a lie."
Ratigan's comments went on for minutes more, including a final portion where he pointed out that most Muslims "don't even care about" Americans, and added that, for the relatively tiny number of Muslims who harbored violent sentiments towards Americans, "the religion has been used as a teaching mechanism as sure as Christianity or any other religion could be...it is not the fact that they are Muslim that makes them terrorists, it's the fact that they are terrorists that makes them terrorists."
Ratigan's takedown of O'Reilly was only the latest in a long line of commentary about the Fox News host's appearance on "The View." On Thursday night, Keith Olbermann called O'Reilly a "bigot and Islamophobe" for his comments. O'Reilly himself talked about the confrontation on his show. Joy Behar — who walked off the "View" set after the comments — also gave her side of the story on her HLN show.