Bill O'Reilly tried to pull one of his patented tricks again. The one when he says he didn't do something, but he did it, only it doesn't count because he did it. Tricky, right? Here's what I mean. Bill really got worked up at Rep. Steve Cohen (D) because he had the audacity to compare the type of propaganda that the GOP used to demonize the health care bill with techniques used by Goebbels, which was called The Big Lie.
O'Reilly vilified Cohen for using the Nazi-like analogy. However, Bill never mentioned that he and FOX News have been doing the same thing for years. Crooksandliars.com called him out over his hypocrisy as did Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
Now we switch to a new day, but the same old song. This time Bill was all hot and bothered by a New York Times op-ed piece written by professor Akbar Ahmed that questioned the ethics and consequences of Peter King's Congressional hearings on Islamic radicalism and where he stated that O'Reilly had previously compared the Koran to Mein Kampf over a UNC Summer Reading Program controversy back in 2002.
Adding to their sense of being unfairly singled out were commentators in the news media talking as if it were open season on Muslims. Bill O'Reilly compared the Koran to Hitler's "Mein Kampf," and Tom Tancredo, a Republican who was then a congressman from Colorado, said the United States could respond to a future terrorist attack by bombing Mecca.
The furious Bill called Ahmed's piece misleading when it said that O'Reilly compared the Koran to Mein Kampf because he was not criticizing the religion and only meant "the books." Do you understand now?
O'Reilly: In July 2002 we criticized a professor who wanted to require incoming freshman to read a book explaining the Koran. In the body of that discussion I said this:
I wouldn't read the book and I'll tell you why. I wouldn't read Mein Kampf either. If I was going to UNC in 1941 I would have said with all due respect you professor said read Mein Kampf all do respect I would have said shove it. I ain't reading it. I looked at the Koran and I have nothing against it the Koran by the way. There are some things in it that are good and there are some things in it that aren't good. Same thing in the Old Testament...
So obviously I wasn't comparing Koran, the book to Mein Kampf, the book. What I did do was criticize the mandatory reading of a controversial book in the face of the war on terror. Professor Ahmed and the NY Times absolutely took the situation out of contextt.
That really was his defense. Bill, aren't they both books? Mein Kampf was a sick and twisted vision of Hitler that only the Nazis were required to read and forced to follow and the Koran is the Muslim equivalent to the Bible. How does that make any sense? And by the way, Carl Ernst was trying to help UNC students to better understand the Koran after the 9/11 attacks, but that was too much for the conservative group called the Family Policy Council and the FOX News right. They pounced.
PHD, Professor Ahmed joined The Factor after his Talking Points Memo and Bill actually asks him if he should be apologized to by the Professor. I'm serious.
O'Reilly: So professor, do you think you owe me an apology? (smiling)
Ahmed: Bill, you owe me one because I was brought up by some wonderful Catholic priests who taught me in my boarding school in Pakistan, something that they drummed into our heads was 'never say anything that will be painful or hurtful to anyone who thinks something is sacred and I think that's a lesson in life so you know even comparing or hinting at the Koran which is a sacred book to millions and millions of Muslims to this vile evil book Mein Kampf, written by an evil man really was very hurtful and upsetting. I'm glad you corrected the record Bill. I'm glad you said you did not compare the Koran to Mein Kampf and I am grateful.
Wow, the segment should be done, The controversy is over. Ahmed accepted Bill's apology so that should end the segment on a nice note, yes?
O'Reilly: But I'm not apologizing because I think you absolutely took the situation out of context and I think you're smart enough to know it and I'm not being condescending. I was actually saying, you heard my own words alright, that a mandatory reading of the Koran in the face of the war on terror, remember this is 2002, was akin to after WWII started a mandatory reading of Nazi propaganda. Again, it had nothing to do with the Koran itself, it had nothing to do with Mein Kampf itself.
It was the act of forcing students to read something that obviously was flying in the face of what the times were, you know that.
Oh, no. He just compared the Koran to Nazi war propaganda. Dammit Bill, you almost escaped unscathed and congratulated. Bill just couldn't help himself. He clearly compared the Koran to Mein Kampf and should have been the one to apologize to Prof. Ahmed.
Maybe Bill just doesn't understand the meaning of the word 'akin?" Nah, I don't buy that either. Bill is just being a typical conservative bully like Antonin Scalia has been for many years. I do know he's providing more good material for Stewart and Colbert at the expense of Muslims all across our nation and that's a truly sad thing.