Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

My Evening in the No Spin Zone

Last week, Fox News’ “No Spin Zone” host Bill O’Reilly went on air to say,

“Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead. And if al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we’re not going to do anything about it. We’re going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.”

Yesterday I appeared on O’Reilly’s show. Predictably, he tried to pass off his comments as “satire.” I told him that the people of San Francisco don’t think the war in Iraq is a laughing matter, and that’s why they voted by 60% to oppose military recruiters in our public schools. San Franciscans want our troops home now and don’t want to replace them with more of our young people to kill and be killed in Iraq. Curiously, O’Reilly insisted military recruiters had nothing to do with the war in Iraq. When I asked him where he thought the young people who joined the military went, he started to bluster.

O’Reilly is nervous because calling on Al Qaeda to blow up a monument to fire fighters (Coit Tower) is over the top. No doubt, if a professor at any campus in the country said something like this, O’Reilly would be calling for his or her job.

But O’Reilly has been exposed as a hypocrite before. What’s got him frightened this time is that polls show that the majority of people in the country do not agree with him when it comes to Iraq. Instead, most of the country agrees with the people of San Francisco. Even Senator Bill Frist is now calling on President Bush to report to Congress on his plans for getting out of IraqÖ someday, at least. O’Reilly is in a shrinking minority. And bullies are always uncomfortable when the odds turn against them.

O’Reilly’s Al Qaeda fantasies all by themselves are not that interesting. However, I believe that he is the canary in the coalmine of the Conservative Right. Scooter Libby is under indictment, Frist and Tom DeLay are in legal hot water, and the prosecutor’s sword is hanging over Karl Rove’s head. Both President Bush and Gov. Schwarzenegger’s approval ratings are so low that they had to fly 6,000 miles away to Asia to get some good press. O’Reilly’s heroes have had it their way for the past four years, and, while it’s been good for his ratings, it’s been bad for most of the American people. The Conservative Juggernaut is beginning to creak at the seams.

Unfortunately, the Democratic Party leadership seems content to sit by and watch as Bush and Co. to do as much damage as possible in the time they have left. But those of us who believe that the People of this country, and not the politicians, have always had to fight to expand our rights, from the Bill of Rights, to Abolition, to Suffrage to Civil Rights, ought not be so passive.

Towards the end of O’Reilly’s show, he began ranting that he wouldn’t back down from his comments about San Francisco. He took a swing at San Francisco because he believes we won’t swing back. He’s wrong.

I challenged him to come here and participate in a 60 minute, public debate, moderated by a neutral chairperson, to discuss two questions: should the United States withdraw our troops from Iraq and should military recruiters be allowed in our public schools. So now the ball is in his court.

Bill, either put your money where your mouth is and come to San Francisco for a fair debate. Or, as you so eloquently put it to guests on your show who get the better of you, shut up.

TODD CHRETIEN was one of the authors of Proposition I, the College Not Combat initiative. He can be reached at: toddchretien@comcast.net

 

More articles by:

TODD CHRETIEN writes for the Socialist Work.

May 22, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: Israel, Gaza and the Hamas Card
Andrew Levine
November’s “Revolution” Will Not Be Televised
Ted Rall
#MeToo is a Cultural Workaround to a Legal Failure
Gary Leupp
Question for Discussion: Is Russia an Adversary Nation?
Binoy Kampmark
Unsettling the Summits: John Bolton’s Libya Solution
Doug Johnson
As Andrea Horwath Surges, Undecided Voters Threaten to Upend Doug Ford’s Hopes in Canada’s Most Populated Province
Kenneth Surin
Malaysia’s Surprising Election Results
Kathy Kelly
Scourging Yemen
Dana Cook
Canada’s ‘Superwoman’: Margot Kidder
Dean Baker
The Trade Deficit With China: Up Sharply, for Those Who Care
John Feffer
Playing Trump for Peace How the Korean Peninsula Could Become a Bright Spot in a World Gone Mad
Peter Gelderloos
Decades in Prison for Protesting Trump?
Thomas Knapp
Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State
Andrew Stewart
What the Providence Teachers’ Union Needs for a Win
Jimmy Centeno
Mexico’s First Presidential Debate: All against One
May 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Gina Haspell: She’s Certainly Qualified for the Job
Uri Avnery
The Day of Shame
Amitai Ben-Abba
Israel’s New Ideology of Genocide
Patrick Cockburn
Israel is at the Height of Its Power, But the Palestinians are Still There
Frank Stricker
Can We Finally Stop Worrying About Unemployment?
Binoy Kampmark
Royal Wedding Madness
Roy Morrison
Middle East War Clouds Gather
Edward Curtin
Gina Haspel and Pinocchio From Rome
Juana Carrasco Martin
The United States is a Country Addicted to Violence
Dean Baker
Wealth Inequality: It’s Not Clear What It Means
Robert Dodge
At the Brink of Nuclear War, Who Will Lead?
Vern Loomis
If I’m Lying, I’m Dying
Valerie Reynoso
How LBJ initiated the Military Coup in the Dominican Republic
Weekend Edition
May 18, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Donald, Vlad, and Bibi
Robert Fisk
How Long Will We Pretend Palestinians Aren’t People?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Wild at Heart: Keeping Up With Margie Kidder
Roger Harris
Venezuela on the Eve of Presidential Elections: The US Empire Isn’t Sitting by Idly
Michael Slager
Criminalizing Victims: the Fate of Honduran Refugees 
John Laforge
Don’t Call It an Explosion: Gaseous Ignition Events with Radioactive Waste
Carlo Filice
The First “Fake News” Story (or, What the Serpent Would Have Said)
Dave Lindorff
Israel Crosses a Line as IDF Snipers Murder Unarmed Protesters in the Ghetto of Gaza
Gary Leupp
The McCain Cult
Robert Fantina
What’s Wrong With the United States?
Jill Richardson
The Lesson I Learned Growing Up Jewish
David Orenstein
A Call to Secular Humanist Resistance
W. T. Whitney
The U.S. Role in Removing a Revolutionary and in Restoring War to Colombia
Rev. William Alberts
The Danger of Praying Truth to Power
Alan Macleod
A Primer on the Venezuelan Elections
John W. Whitehead
The Age of Petty Tyrannies
Franklin Lamb
Have Recent Events Sounded the Death Knell for Iran’s Regional Project?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail