Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Coming to Bill O'Reilly's Defense about Restaurant Comment: Ridiculous not Capital Media Offense

I think Bill O'Reilly's comments about eating in a Harlem restaurant - "There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more iced tea.'" - are regrettable and tasteless, but not a capital media offense.

Unlike Imus' remarks, which were directed at college students and were personally insulting to them, O'Reilly's remarks are at worst general, racist banter. They bespeak an antiquated, general bigotry - which many white people in my father's generation suffered from, which presumably far fewer do now, and which O'Reilly claims he was actually critiquing in his comments. Whatever his intentions, his remarks were inappropriate (if only because they could easily be taken out of context), but so general as to be laughable rather than really damaging to anyone.

Of far more concern are O'Reilly's statements and attitudes about many other things - including his ridiculing remarks about Andrew Meyer's taserng in Florida last week, in which O'Reilly said Meyer was hamming it up for the cameras when he was screaming in pain.

To use a metaphor from The Factor: O'Reilly's comments about the patrons of the restaurant would be The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day, not the lead Talking Point memo, or even close to it, which is the way some in the media are playing it.
Post a Comment