In one of the most incendiary columns ever written, Race And The Presidential Election
," Bill O'Reilly sets the race-bait bar to record-breaking...depths. Short of saying that Barack Obama wants to sleep with your pearly-white daughter, O'Reilly uses just about every button meant to alarm his white fans to the fact that Barack Obama is BLACK and that just his running for, let alone becoming, president, could set off race-laced fireworks.
While there's no question, as he did on his TV Factor Friday night, Bill will say it's not race-baiting if you're just reporting the facts (despite the brilliant Prof. Dr. Marc Lamont Hill's protestations), here are just a few comments from Bill's column...
"Obama seems to be in. Now comes the hard part—convincing Americans that he is the best choice for president without all hell breaking loose on the race front."
Since when does convincing Americans that a candidate is the best choice lead to "hell breaking loose," unless you want your reader to believe it can?
"Thanks partly to Reverend Wright's now immortal ‘the USA of KKK' remark, the race factor has emerged big time in this election. If you don't believe me, just look at the vote in North Carolina and Indiana."
Reverend Wright, Reverend Wright, Reverend Wright. Remember, Bill's just reporting the facts, not reminding voters over and over that Obama was connected to someone who thinks you (white) Americans are haters.
"Also, as Al Sharpton told me, any kind of superdelegate shenanigans will lead to massive demonstrations at the Democratic Convention in Denver which, of course, would be disastrous for the party."
Hmm. Al Sharpton? Massive demonstrations? Disastrous? Nope. Move along, Folks. No fear-monger, race-baiting here.
"Obama's second dilemma is convincing skeptical white voters that he and his wife are sympathetic to their concerns. Let's be honest—few white Americans would tolerate a Reverend Wright for five minutes, much less 20 years."
While there's no mention that few whites would tolerate an anti-Christian, anti-gay, pro-McCain Reverend Hagee, convincing whites that a black man, who is married to a black woman, can have the same concerns as a white man or woman can? You have to admit. Bill's got us there. How could any white believe that blacks and white have anything in common? And, of course, just for some added brown sugar...Reverend Wright.
The best part of his commentary was when O'Reilly pretty much demeaned every newspaper who prints his column.
"A responsible newspaper would not have printed the lunacy. But in this hyper-partisan country, race-baiters will find a forum, and every time stuff like that gets exposure, racial animus comes back."
In actuality, in this case, he was referring to another race-baiter, but if the bait fits...
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But in one genuine stab at self-realization, Bill does literally condemn his own actions.
"I do not expect Obama or Senator McCain to dwell on race, but, surely, some of their surrogates and the media will exploit the issue to the fullest. That, of course, will be bad for the country and bad for the candidates. But it's coming. No question."
And with Bill, it's already arrived.
If there is some racist nut out there who's looking for a reason to chamber up, let's hope he doesn't get Bill O'Reilly's column delivered to his cabin. As Paul Reiser once said, "I'm just sayin...'"
Award-winning television writer and author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful," Steve Young' s "All The News That's Fit To Spoof" appears in L.A. Daily News opeds every Sunday on the same page with Bill O'Reilly's...really..