On his Fox News show The Factor, Bill O’Reilly confessed that when he heard the news about the murder of Dr. George Tiller, his first thoughts were about himself and Fox News, I knew pro-abortion zealots and Fox News haters would attempt to blame us for the crime.” O’Reilly also continued to attack dead Tiller.
Here is the video from Media Matters:
O’Reilly said, “Now, it’s clear that the far left is exploiting — exploiting — the death of the doctor. Those vicious individuals want to stifle any criticism of people like Tiller. That — and hating Fox News — is the real agenda here. Finally, if these people are soooo compassionate — so very compassionate, so concerned for the rights and welfare of others — maybe they might have written something, one thing, about the 60,000 fetuses that will never become American citizens. Or am I wrong?”
O’Reilly claims that this isn’t about his biased one sided rants against Tiller, and the way that he exploited Tiller for ratings gain, no this is really about the far left, because in his mind, it was the left, not years of hate speech that helped fan the flames that led to a murder. O’Reilly focused blame on the suspect’s possible affiliation with the Freeman organization. He did at least say that people should condemn the murder.
I disagree with those on the left who want to blame O’Reilly and Fox for this murder. Fox News didn’t tell anyone to pull the trigger, but O’Reilly’s rants against Tiller certainly are the sort of thing that adds gasoline to a fire. O’Reilly’s egotistical response is no surprise. If he took a second to think about the consequences of spreading hate, then he might have to admit that he is wrong.
Only the shooter knows if he was influenced by Bill O’Reilly and Fox News, but O’Reilly is missing the point here. This isn’t about him. It is about murder in the name of a political position. It is about people on the fringe who think that it is acceptable to kill doctors who perform a legal procedure. It is about the darkest corners of our society. This isn’t about Bill O’Reilly or Fox News.