Bill O’Reilly on His Mother

Bill O'Reilly appears on NBC News' "Today" show, 6 June 2014.  (Photo: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire)

One of the infamous jokes of the nineties was the occasion when President Bill Clinton, back to the wall in a scandal that was itself scandalous for having come about, decided to parse the meaning of the word “is”.

Bill O’Reilly of FOX News is taking so much damage in the rising scandal of just how much he lies that he has resorted to trying to argue what it means “to see”.

While in El Salvador, reporters were shown horrendous images of violence that were never broadcast, including depictions of nuns who were murdered. The mention of the nuns on my program came the day of the Newtown massacre. The segment was about evil and how hard it is for folks to comprehend it. I used the murder nuns as an example of that evil. That’s what I was referring to when I say, ‘I saw nuns get shot in the back of head.’ No one could possibly take that segment as reporting on El Salvador.

(qtd. in Benen)

This is the latest response from the FOX News host best known for inflammatory exaggeration lies. But compare his explanation with the statement in question:

Soon after the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, O’Reilly spoke on the air about the nature of evil. “I don’t think a lot of people understand,” he said. “My mother, for example, doesn’t understand evil. When I would tell her, ‘Hey, mom, I was in El Salvador and I saw nuns get shot in the back of the head,’ she almost couldn’t process it. She couldn’t process it.”

(Emphasis added)

One strange aspect of O’Reilly’s explanation: By his own standard, his mother likely saw the nuns get shot in the back of the head, too. So did I. So did anyone who was alive and aware enough of the news in December, 1980.

In other words, to take O’Reilly at face value still isn’t worth much; he wants to be special for being just like everyone else, well, except for his mother who was apparently entirely clueless about what was happening in the world.

Which, in turn, seems like a problematic thing to say about one’s own mother.

Then again, maybe it’s true.

And that, in turn, would explain a few things about Mr. O’Reilly’s nearly delusional conduct.

____________________

Benen, Steve. “Fox’s O’Reilly parses the meaning of the word ‘see'”. msnbc. 26 February 2015.

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