We regard this as good news: Over the weekend, Cliven Bundy basically disappeared.
The kooky rancher was blown away by Donald Sterling, the pitiful NBA owner. On Monday evening, Bill O’Reilly opened his Fox News program with extended remarks about Sterling.
Below, we show you a large portion of what O’Reilly said. For background, see our previous post.
We regard it as good news that Fox News viewers have been hearing these remarks and quite a few others like them. You’ll never be told about this at Salon, where you’re constantly propagandized and trained in tribal hate. (In fairness, that’s probably good for the corporate bottom line.)
That said, here’s the bulk of what O’Reilly said on Monday night. There’s a lot of crap at Fox. But we regard this as good news:
O'REILLY (4/28/14): Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.As a courtesy, we left in the parts about Sharpton and Wright so we can find ways to maintain our sense of tribal division and hate.
Another racial controversy in the USA. That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo. Let's take it step-by-step:
Last week, Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy, who defied the U.S. government by not paying grazing fees for his cattle, made some ridiculous comments about black Americans and slavery. Mr. Bundy instantly lost any credibility he might have had.
A short time later, the billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, 80-year-old Donald Sterling, was embarrassed when his mistress released tape recordings of him insulting black people. Reaction was fast and furious, led by President Obama.
OBAMA (videotape): The United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race and slavery and segregation. That's still there—the vestiges of discrimination. We've made enormous strides but you are going to continue to see this percolate up every so often. And I think that we just have to be clear and steady in denouncing it, teaching our children differently.
O'REILLY: Well, that's right. American children have to be educated about why, why this stuff is happening. But so do adults. Sterling's comments are just despicable. There is no excuse. And like Mr. Bundy, he's finished in the court of public opinion.
But why would these men say these things? The answer is twofold.
First, both men are ignorant. Bundy has no idea what slavery was, and Sterling doesn't seem to understand that in America you cannot deny anyone anything because of race.
Second, both men have a sense of entitlement and that's the key. Cliven Bundy sincerely believes that he should be exempt from paying grazing taxes, an insane sense of entitlement when others in his circumstance have to pay them and are paying them. Sterling has too much money and thinks he can shoot his mouth off and say whatever he wants because he has bought his way out of past controversies.
In 2005, Sterling settled a discrimination suit brought by some of his minority tenants in Los Angeles. In 2009, he settled a federal discrimination lawsuit and had to pay close to $3 million. Also in 2009, the general manager of the Clippers, NBA legend Elgin Baylor, sued Sterling for racial discrimination among other things.
Mr. Baylor lost that one. However, there is no question that Sterling has a problem.
But here is the headline. It's primarily his problem, not the country's problem. He is shameful but does not represent anyone other than himself. However, Sterling has brought pain to other people.
The coach of the Clippers, Doc Rivers, is a fine man. How do you think he feels? His team is in the playoffs. Twelve of the 14 players are black. Mr. Rivers is a man of accomplishment and pride. You can imagine what this has done to him and his team, which has worked hard all season.
Other NBA legends have been insulted as well:
MAGIC JOHNSON (videotape): I met with Donald two or three times. He wanted to discuss the issues with his Clipper team. So I had a friendship with him. So for him to then make these comments or alleged comments, about myself as well as other African-Americans and minorities, there is no place in our society for it.
CHARLES BARKLEY (videotape): We cannot have an NBA owner discriminating against a league that—we're a black league, Ernie, we are a black league. I don't know the number. But I would probably say 80 percent of our players are black.
O'REILLY: Now, the outrage felt by those men and others is a positive thing. They have a perfect right to be angry and to demand that Sterling be punished and he will be. He will most likely lose control of his team. I can't imagine that he can hang on to the Clippers but not all the reaction to Sterling was appropriate.
The bigger picture, there are bigots in every country, there are bigots of every race. For example, what are we to think of the thousands of people who go to hear Louis Farrakhan to rant against whites and Jews? But those folks represent a very small portion of the African-American community.
Same thing with Reverend Jeremiah Wright who has made a number of anti-white comments and was condemned in his own country. The vast majority of black religious people are good and decent, so it's not fair to draw any general conclusions from Wright or Farrakhan or Sterling or Bundy. They are just misguided individuals.
Nevertheless, the anger they engender is real. I believe when most Americans see and hear racism in their own lives, they get furious. One of the strongest scenes ever in a movie was this upcoming sequence in Mississippi Burning when FBI agent Gene Hackman confronts a racist deputy:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GENE HACKMAN, Mississippi Burning: I've got a question for you, Clinton. You don't mind if I call you Clinton, do you? I feel like I know you so well.
On the night of the murders, you made a short speech as the bulldozer buried the kids in the dam. How does Lester tell it? "Mississippi will be proud of you. You struck a blow for the white man." Is that what you said, Clinton?
You've got a stupid smile, you know that? Can you see it? Good!
Did you smile when the bulldozer ran over the black kid's body? Did you? Did you smile when the bodies were covered over? Did you? Did you smile that same stupid smile? Did you?
Make no mistake about it, Deputy. I will cut your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) head clear off and not give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) how it reads in the report sheet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Now, that scene epitomizes how most decent people want to confront individual racism. But we can't. We can't. We have to leave it to the authorities. And understand that this country has come a very long way from the days when denying Americans opportunity because of their skin color was acceptable in some places.
Now, racists pay a huge price. For the rest of his life, Donald Sterling will be a pariah. He will not be celebrated anywhere or welcomed anywhere other than the lunatic fringe precincts.
Finally, there will be people who seek to exploit Sterling and Bundy. Right away, Al Sharpton began threatening to boycott if Sterling wasn't dealt with the way he, Sharpton, thinks he should be. Instead of allowing the National Basketball Association to investigate, then issue a ruling, which it will tomorrow, Sharpton exploited the situation immediately, trying to bring attention to himself. Really sad.
In the end, racism will never be wiped out. It's a neurosis, a mental deficiency, it will always be around. But America is a place that no longer tolerates it in the public arena, as Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy have learned the hard way.
And that's the Memo.
Next on the rundown, reaction: Mary Catherine Ham, Juan Williams, Charles Krauthammer. The Factor will be right back.
We think it’s a very good thing that Fox News viewers heard that commentary. O’Reilly has continued pounding Sterling; Hannity’s critique of Sterling has been similar.
Some viewers haven’t agreed with what they’ve heard. On Wednesday, this was the start of O’Reilly’s letters segment.
First, O’Reilly reads a letter, then he replies:
O’REILLY (4/30/14): Now the mail.In our view, his answer to the woman from Frisco doesn’t really make much sense. But we think it’s good that Fox News viewers are hearing this type of discussion.
Madeline Norton, Frisco, Texas: I can't believe after all the years of watching you, Bill, you're not standing up for Donald Sterling and his rights as an American citizen. His comments were reprehensible, but he has a right to his opinion.
Not if his opinion denies opportunity, Madeline. Sterling clearly told the woman that taped him not to take blacks to the Clipper games. That's a civil rights violation because he has power in the marketplace, Sterling does. He's not just some clown spouting off.
Dave King, Fort Worth, Texas: Bill, you don't speak for everyone. The man makes a mildly racist statement. Shame on him, but he did not bomb a church.
So what, Dave, so what? He brought shame to his industry and the league has a right to hold him responsible, a legal right.
Ed McNulty, Bridgeport, Connecticut: Bill, why did you call Jim Gray “Gray” and [former NBA player] Cuttino Mobley “Mr. Mobley?” You treated the black man differently and that is called discrimination.
Hard to believe Ed—hard to believe. I've known Jim Gray for years. He is a friend, and I call many friends by last names. I don't know Mr. Mobley. So he got the “Mister.”
Now let me ask you a question. Do you think you qualify for pinhead status?
Jim Gregson, Calgary, Canada: When Snoop Dogg makes vulgar racist comments, is he banned from the music industry for life?
No, he is not Jim, because that industry doesn't care what rappers say. But Mr. Dogg has no power over anyone and that's the big difference legally between him and Sterling.
(Last night, O’Reilly said that about ten percent of his mail is defending Sterling. He sighed as he said it.)
Hannity’s comments have been similar, though less extensive. You will never be told this on MSNBC or at Salon, where you’re constantly propagandized and urged toward tribal hate.
(In fairness, these are sound business decisions.)
Is it true? Have Americans “come to an overwhelming consensus that racism itself is evil?”
In the end, we don’t know how to answer that question, which involves several hundred million people. But we think it’s good that viewers of Fox are hearing these analyses.
We think it’s bad that people like Saint Joan Walsh don’t want us liberals to know about this. We’re glad to see these views broadcast on Fox.
Why can’t we liberals know?