On his FNC program The O’Reilly Factor host Bill O’Reilly debunked CNN’s Lou Dobbs birther talk about Barack Obama, but argued that Dobbs should not be fired. First Coulter and now O’Reilly, the Republican is media is running full sprint away from the birthers.
Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:
O’Reilly said, “Impact segment tonight all has to do with the call for CNN commentator Lou Dobbs to be fired. It has to do with Mr. Dobbs allowing conversation on his program that alleges President Obama is not a U.S. citizen. Now this theory has been around for a while. The Factor investigated and found this theory bogus but Mr. Dobbs is still engaged…Again we found that President Obama was born in Hawaii. We sent the documents, what do you got to do. I don’t know why it’s still around that was more than a year ago.”
O’Reilly said that Dobbs isn’t a racist, “Look, I don’t mind you coming on and saying that you disagree with him. It’s totally absurd. It’s wrong to exploit it. He’s playing on fears. There might be a racial component, although I don’t think Lou Dobbs is a racist at all. Cohen asked when is enough, enough? O’Reilly answered, “It’s never enough. In a freedom of speech society, it’s never enough is enough. Freedom of speech allows you to go over, up to the line. If Lou Dobbs was causing danger to someone then you would be legitimate in calling for his firing. All he is doing is bloviating. That’s all it is.”
The FNC top dog took at shot both CNN and Dobbs’ ratings, “The marketplace takes care of it. Lou Dobbs’ ratings are not very good. CNN is having a very, very hard time. The folks are deciding, and for you to get on there and demand CNN fire him, number one you help Lou Dobbs, because the people who don’t like you and like that approach will probably go watch him and see how he responds, so you’re helping him, and CNN is never going to fire him you know that, so you’d better off in my humble opinion to make your case, say you don’t believe it’s fair, you believe it’s exploitative, possibly dangerous and walk away.”
I wish O’Reilly’s love of the First Amendment expanded beyond his fellow conservatives. I don’t believe for a second, either that CNN will fire Dobbs. He would have to make a remark on their air that was so toxic that they would have no choice, but to dismiss him. O’Reilly is also probably correct in assuming that Dobbs jumped on the birther train for ratings. I don’t think Dobbs should be fired, but if enough people stop watching him, he will be replaced.