O’Reilly watch: Tracking the anti-Semites!


Mr. O plays Rachel’s card: Last evening, Rachel Maddow helped us see that the other tribe seem to be racists (click here).

One hour earlier, Bill O’Reilly had played a similar card. Throughout his program, he teased a segment about all the anti-Semites in the Occupy Wall Street movement. "Those people" must be very bad:
O’REILLY (10/17/11): The O’Reilly Factor is on! Tonight...Anti-Semitism on display at some of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Bernie Goldberg on that.


O’REILLY: Later, Bernie Goldberg says there is an anti-Semitic component to the protests. Bernie will lay it out for us.


O’REILLY: Plenty more ahead as The Factor moves along this evening. There is an anti-Semitic element, as we said, among the Occupy Wall Street crowd. And Bernie Goldberg is not happy about it.


O’REILLY: When we come right back: Bernie Goldberg on anti-Semitism within the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Mr. O teased the shit out of the topic! But once Bernie finally arrived on the set, the indictment wasn’t really that bad. Mr. O had tape of one woman making a comment! Here’s how the segment began:
O'REILLY: In the Weekdays with Bernie segment tonight: Two hot topics, beginning with anti-Semitism in the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Recently, a protester in Los Angeles said this.

MCALLISTER (videotape): Patricia McAllister. I'm here representing myself, but I do work for the Los Angeles Unified School District. I think that the Zionist Jews who are running these big banks and our Federal Reserve, which is not run by the federal government, they need to be run out of this country.

O'REILLY: With us now, the purveyor of BernardGoldberg.com, Mr. Goldberg.
O’Reilly had tape of only one anti-Semite! But as he and Bernie started to chat, an unfortunate theme did emerge:
O’REILLY (continuing directly): So as I said to Marc Lamont Hill, I mean, all organizations have these fringe people. Do you think this is a theme?

GOLDBERG: I don't know how widespread this is. I'm not suggesting that it is. But I do know this: that there are others who echo her views. There were signs out on Occupy Los Angeles that were clearly anti-Semitic. So she—while I don't know how widespread it is, she's certainly not the only one, as you can see from these signs.
Uh-oh! The boys hap tape of signs in the crowds! And we remember the use our side made of those tea party signs!

Bill and Bernie sure did remember. It’s hard to dispute what they said:
GOLDBERG (continuing directly): But this I do know for sure. You could have had ten million people at a Tea Party. If there was one racist sign, it was going to get on the air.

O'REILLY: Absolutely.

GOLDBERG: It was going to get on the air.

O'REILLY: Right.
We liberals had a good old time with all the racist tea party signs. Now, the other side will be going to town with these anti-Semitic placards!

Mr. O was really quite fair last night—when he discussed this situation. First with Marc Lamont Hill, then with Bernie, he stressed that there are a couple of nuts in every large group. But all through the evening, he teased the shit out of this topic, playing the anti-Semitic card—the same general type of card Maddow would play a bit later.

Rachel implied that those people are racists. Bill implied an equal but opposite line. According to Bill’s many teases, those people are anti-Semitic.

In such ways, the two warring tribes are trained to hate each other. That 99 percent disappears real fast as these cards keep getting dealt. Just like that, we’re back to a 50/50 nation. In that world, the one percent wins.

Your assignment, if you should choose to accept it: Explain that Rachel’s approach was moral and good, Bill’s was verrrry bad.


  1. You don't have to love Rachel Madow, or want to cry "racist" at every opportunity (it's damn dumb as a tactic, whatever the truth of the charge), to see that anti-Semitism, real or imagined, is swiftly punished in American society, and that racial antagonism towards blacks and Hispanics definitely is not.

    Rush Limbaugh can say virtually anything about blacks and Hispanics - much of its startling for its cruelty (and idiocy). Equivalent slurs about Jews would get him canned in a day.

    So O'Reilly and friends are being very clever. Unlike Madow & Co., O'Reilly and Fox understand how propaganda works.

    Again, you need to look at policy, for these discussions to have any meaning. Do the OWS people promote an anti-Semitic program? Do the Tea Party types promote a racist policies?

    To the extent these questions are interesting or meaningful, it's policy where you need to look. OTOH, there should be no difficulty in saying Rush Limbaugh is a racist, or at least exploits racial prejudices -- he's supplied plenty of evidence. How important that is, in the ongoing implementation of the "Southern strategy" is another question. But to pretend that appealing to racism is not a conscious calculation on the part of right-wing elites is downright delusional.

  2. O'Reilly and Bernie Goldberg offered only one taped example of anti-Semitism (although Goldberg also mentioned others he said had seen). Bob Somerby says they had an insufficient number of examples to prove their point, and I agree.

    But, then, what should we make of Anonymous's post above? It smears Rush Limbaugh based on zero taped examples and zero alleged specific comments.

    I'm not a big Limbaugh fan, but I have heard his show from time to time. I never heard him denigrate blacks or Latinos as a group.

  3. I can't. As long as the media is allowed to frame what amounts to divisive issues and nobody calls them on it we will remain 50/50. Class war is not about similarities. Likewise, corporate "news" isn't about truth but message.

  4. Ah, the good 'ole racist code words. Every True Liberal's ear is well-trained to hear them miles off. Helpful hint: they're words coming out of the mouths of people we dislike.

  5. I'm happy to learn that when Limbaugh gleefully sings "Barack the Magic Negro!", or refers to Obama as a "halfrican", or wonders aloud why it is that police sketches so often resemble Jesse Jackson, or demands that an African-American caller "take the bone out of your nose" and call back later, and affirms that slavery had its good side, and besides, the streets were safer after dark, there's no conceivable attempt to exploit racist attitudes.

    Glad to hear that My Liberal Ear is over-sensitive!

  6. Having a Stroke in BklynOctober 18, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    >>>I'm not a big Limbaugh fan, but I have heard his show from time to time. I never heard him denigrate blacks or Latinos as a group.

    This is Howlerum-ad-absurdum. I don't know where to begin. Try Google, I guess.

    This is what happens when we wish away racism. This is where it leads.

  7. Ebon Krieg has nailed the truth.
    We are all being suckered with wedge issues, designed to misdirect us and split us up. Divide and conquer.
    Our media goes along with it because it is easier and more profitable for them to push our hot buttons than to make us reflect on the real problems we face. (And more fun and less effort for us, too!)
    Race, Religion in politics, Abortion rights, Family values, Birth Control, Foreign aid, Illegal Immigration/Amnesty, Wars of choice, Supply-side economics, Keynesian economics, American exceptionalism, Government employee’s unions, Universal Healthcare, Global warming action, Same sex marriage, Gays in military, Welfare, Gun control, Embryonic Stem cell research, Separation of Church and State, School nutrition programs, School sex education programs, Tax the Rich , Ethnic studies, Affirmative Action, Offshore Drilling, Ground Zero Mosque, Strict constitutionalism, Medicaid, Legalizing marijuana/war on drugs, Bank bailouts, Auto company bailouts.

    The list goes on. While some of these are legitimate concerns, most political commentary on them is empty posturing, and the media spends very little time discussing facts, consequences, or solutions.

    It reminds me of the old joke about the convicts deciding it was a waste of time telling the same jokes over and over, so they assigned numbers to them. Someone would shout a number, and the rest would laugh.

    Someone shouts a wedge phrase, and we react with the appropriate emotional response. This saves time and mental effort.

    The joke’s punchline? A guy shouts out a number and no one laughs. His cellmate says, “You never could tell a joke.”

  8. "the media spends very little time discussing facts, consequences, or solutions."

    As always seems to be the case here at the Howler, We the People get a free pass.

    Imagine, if you will, the ratings on any program that discusses facts, consequences, or solutions.

    The media will discuss these if We the People tune in. Good luck with that. Much easier to blame Rachel Maddow, Maureen Dowd, and Gail Collins for the evils of the plutocracy and the ignorance of the populace.

    If only MoDo wrote better columns, her vast fan base in Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama would be won over to the progressive cause.

  9. I would add that Limbaugh has worked with a black sidekick for many years. He chose a black man to officiate at one of his weddings. He sometimes has black economist Walter Williams substitute for him on his show.

  10. David in Cal
    You appear to be unclear on the concept. Although this is as good an explanation of the why-for, "Limbaugh calls him "halfrican" because he's half African", it doesn't excuse or diminish the racism of Mr. Limbaugh's comment. And, please keep up with the some-of-his-best-friends excuses that is always effective in showing why you aren't racist.

  11. It't great to hear that promoting the "Barack the Magic Negro" moniker on a nationally syndicated talk show can't be racist, because the folkloric notion is mentioned on wikipedia! Man, Rush is doing us a public service, by introducing this idea!

    And when Rush complains that he couldn't tell if the Hispanic major of L.A. was a secret service agent or a shoe-shine "guy" (""I thought it was a Secret Service agent, maybe a shoeshine guy. Turns out he gives me his card, I said, 'Oh, my gosh, it's the mayor of Los Angeles.'"), it's just an honest confusion!

    Here's a suggestion for David: make yourself a sign which reads "Eric [Cantor], the Magic Jew", and parade in front of the House of Representatives with it. iI challenged, you can always explain that the notion comes from Yiddish folklore, you mean nothing at all unkind. And see how it goes for you.

  12. Here's another one, Bob.
    Why do you think it is that Tea Partiers wrongly believe it was the Community Redevelopment Act which caused the 2008 economic crisis, as opposed to say wrongly believing it might have been caused by sun spots?


  13. I think many of you have done a fine job of demolishing Somerby's thesis here. In case he missed here's the short version: Bob, get back to us when an anti-semitic version of the Southern Strategy among liberals becomes documented fact.

    Until then, quit pretending that successfully playing off of white anxieties about undeserving minorities hasn't been the primary means through which a party that represents the interests of, at best, 15% of the population has somehow made itself into a viable national force. And maybe, since you're all about cutting through the bullshit, you could also explain how that party's rise neatly coincided with the other national party's embrace of equal opportunity for theretofore disenfranchised black Americans.


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