THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Breaking Down Bill O'Reilly's Breakdown

Last Friday, Bill O'Relly was upset about a fictional TV character calling him out, along with Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and another fictional character Gordon Garrison.

Come, let us stroll down the lane and take a closer look at what he said. Perhaps we can make some sense of it.

"The NBC program "Law & Order" is run by a far-left guy named Dick Wolf who often uses the program to promote his progressive point of view."

As opposed to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly who often use their own programs every night to promote their conservative points of view.

"A recent 'Law & Order: SVU' featured a guy killing kids, children of illegal immigrants, and Wolf approved this piece of dialogue:

Now, mind you, we don't know if Dick Wolf actually did approve this piece of dialogue. However, taking Mr. O'Reilly at his own word, at worst that's what Dick Wolf did: approved the dialogue. He didn't write it, didn't act it, didn't direct it - he didn't even produce the episode. He just owns the company that makes three different TV shows.

Here's the dialogue that concerned Mr. O'Reilly, spoken by the fictional character, Randall Carver -

RANDALL CARVER: Garrison, Limbaugh, Beck, O'Reilly, all of them. They're like a cancer spreading ignorance and hate. I mean, they have convinced folks that immigrants are the problem, not corporations that fail to pay a living wage or a broken health care system.

And then, Bill O'Reilly went into high gear.

"That is simply defamatory and outrageous, and Dick Wolf is a coward for putting it out there."

Okay, well, actually, there's nothing "defamatory" about that. Among other things, you see, the character wasn't...well, real. He was fictional. Pretend. The writer of the episode was creating a dramatic situation where a fictional character was expressing a fictional thought that he, the fictional character, believed and stated for the dramatic, albeit fictional purpose of conflict in the fictional story. It was likely hurtful and offensive to those real people named; it may have been obnoxious and unfair -- or not -- though that's a totally different concept from being defamed...which also requires (among other things) showing that what was said was...well, false. And malicious. Which might not be the case -- even if it wasn't a fictional character talking. Especially since later in his complaint Mr. O'Reilly proudly takes credit for a border fence to keep those very immigrants out of America.

But further, there was nothing even remotely "cowardly" about Dick Wolf's actions -- he plastered his name right there on the TV screen for all the world to see. You couldn't miss it. Cowardly would have been leaving his name off. The closest thing to cowardly in all this was Bill O'Reilly claiming he was defamed and not backing up his anger by suing. But even that's not cowardly. Just more so than Dick Wolf.

"He's also a liar. I have consistently defended poor people who only want a better life:"

Except Dick Wolf didn't lie. Dick Wolf didn't write those words. Or even say those words. Whether Bill O'Reilly is closer to being a liar for stating that he has "consistently defended poor people," given his criticisms of government helping the needy with welfare - that's for someone with a video machine and lots of recording tape to determine. But of course, it's also academic: saying you have defended poor people doesn't mean you haven't also spread ignorance and hate. Those are two totally separate and not inconsistent actions.

But mainly, what's most noteworthy is what's missing: while Bill O'Reilly insists he is noble and good and true -- he doesn't say a word in defense of either Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck.

"I've always said if I were a poor Mexican, I would try to cross the border and earn money here and send it back to my family. I don't blame the illegal aliens. I blame the federal governments of both Mexico and the United States of America.

"I've said many, many times, and perhaps you've heard me say that if I were a poor person in Central America or Mexico, I would come here illegally to feed my family as well."

Actually, that was a very nice thought. Now, mind you, I don't know if it's remotely true, but let's give such a nice thought the benefit of a doubt. And it would be an even nicer thought if he didn't contradict himself about this. I don't mean contradicted himself months apart -- I mean, about 15 seconds later. So, hold on for a moment. You don't have long to wait.

"Most illegal aliens are good people. They are poor. They are Catholic. They have come to America to try for better lives. All compassionate people should sympathize with the downtrodden all over the world."

Okay, just seven seconds to go. One thing though before we get there -- what if they weren't Catholic? Would these illegal aliens still be good people? And what if those illegal aliens who aren't good people were also Catholic. Does that make them acceptable?

"It's hard to say that Jesus wouldn't want everybody to get health care. On a humanitarian basis, you don't argue with them."

I'm just going to guess that Bill O'Reilly will still find a way to argue with them. Wouldn't it be cool if that way overlapped with him contradicting himself? Who knows, though? We'll have to wait three seconds to find out...

"If you watch "The Factor" you know my beef is with the federal government not controlling illegal immigration and with violent aliens who wreak havoc once they get here."

Bingo! There it is. On the one hand, Bill O'Reilly says he has nothing against illegal aliens. That illegal aliens should try to come here illegally. He only blames government. And then comes the twist -- his complaint against the government is that they're not stopping those same illegal aliens from coming here! This is like saying, "I'm not against a Democrat being president. I'm only against there being no laws that prohibit a Democrat from being president." The disingenuousness of Bill O'Reilly could make even an unthinking man's head explode. On a humanitarian basis you don't argue with Jesus against health care. You just argue against it on a political basis.

"Again, Dick Wolf, the executive producer of "Law & Order," is a despicable human being for distorting and exploiting this very complicated situation."

This, of course, is as opposed to Fox News editing in footage of a different rally to try and suggest more people attended Michelle Bachman's anti-health care rally than actually did. Or Fox News editing in crowds of a Sarah Palin rally during the campaign to suggest more people were attending a book signing than actually did. Or Fox News allowing Glenn Beck to state that a university study he can't identify showed that 20 times more people attended his 9/12 rally than actually did.

Or Bill O'Reilly repeatedly claiming that during World War II American soldiers massacred unarmed German S.S. troops in Malmedy, Belgium...when it was the exact opposite - unarmed U.S. troops massacred by the German S.S.

Those factual distortions and factual exploitations on news programs about very complicated situations are not despicable to Bill O'Reilly. A fictional character on a fictional TV show, though, is. Got it?

"I mean, enough is enough with these network pinheads who shove propaganda down our throats under the guise of entertainment. Patriotic Americans can debate illegal immigration respectfully."

This, of course, is as opposed to network pinheads who shove propaganda down our throats under the guise of news. See above.

"No one on 'The Factor' has been allowed to demonize any innocent human being,"

From Bill O'Reilly's interview on February 4, 2003, with Jeremy Glick, the son of a worker killed during the 9/11 attacks.

O'REILLY: Because, no, I, I don't really care what you think.
O'REILLY: That's a bunch of crap. I've done more for the 9/11 families by their own admission -- I've done more for them than you will ever hope to do.
O'REILLY: So you keep your mouth shut when you sit here exploiting those people.
O'REILLY: I hope your mother is not watching this because you -- that's it. I'm not going to say anymore.
O'REILLY: Shut up! Shut up!
O'REILLY: Cut his mic. I'm not going to dress you down anymore, out of respect for your father.

And Bill O'Reilly went after Jeremy Glick the next day, as well - when Mr. Glick wasn't present - saying that Glick had "spew[ed] hatred for this program and his country using vile propaganda." Mr. O'Reilly continued his attacks on September 18, claiming that the not-present Glick "accused President Bush of knowing about 9-11 before it happened." (Which Glick didn't). And the next day, he went after him yet again. And even on July 20, 2004, Bill O'Reilly still continued attacking Glick, insisting that Glick said the two President Bushes "were responsible for his father's death." Which Jeremy Glick didn't. And not being present, couldn't defend himself.

Just to be clear, this is not demonizing an innocent human being. If you say something Bill O'Reilly doesn't like, you are no longer officially "innocent." This tactic conveniently salves his conscience, and is recommended to all.

"and it is partially because of this program that the border fence was finally put up so that there could be some kind of responsible regulation about who comes into America."

Wait, sorry, hold on a moment. Didn't Bill O'Reilly just say 20 seconds earlier that he understands Mexicans trying to come into America illegally, and would try to do so himself? But now he's saying he rallied to have a border fence put up - to stop those same Mexicans from coming into America illegally. You have to admit, that's pretty impressive, contradicting yourself twice within half a minute.

"I can't tell you how angry I am that this "Law & Order" thing happened, and it's no accident it happened on NBC, which is propaganda central in the USA. It's also the lowest-rated network."

Point of information. Bill O'Reilly's TV program averages about 3.5 million viewers. That particular episode of "Law & Order: SVU" had an audience of 7.9 million.

And it's no accident that this disingenuous, contradictory, erroneous propaganda appeared on Fox News.

"But again, enough is enough. I'm calling out Dick Wolf.

"And that's 'The Memo.' "

To be fair, it's understandable why Bill O'Reilly would be unhappy with the speech a TV character gave in a drama episode that slammed him. And being unhappy, he'd be well within his rights blasting that TV drama as thoughtless, obnoxious, mean, unfair, one-sided, even badly written, whether or not it was any of this. Fair enough.

But a despicable human being?

Someone who didn't write the lines, didn't deliver the lines, didn't direct the lines, or didn't even produce the lines. Of a fictional TV show. With a fictional character. With fictional dialogue.

A despicable human being?

What in the world would Bill O'Reilly do when having to describe a person who does...well, actual despicable things?

On the good side, though, it's probably now clear why Bill O'Reilly obsesses so much about NBC. He loves the strutting peacock.