O’Reilly jokes: Kidnap top Dems, waterboard Speaker Pelosi

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 21:59 EDT
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During a recent stop of the Bold & Fresh Tour with fellow Fox News personality Glenn Beck, right-wing talker Bill O’Reilly couldn’t help but to spin a hypothetical.

In his fantasy world where Obama hires him as a presidential adviser, O’Reilly explained the first thing he’d do is lavishly decorate his office. Thing two would be having the CIA director kidnap top Democrats and “waterboard” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

He was, of course, “joking” during the Jan. 23 appearance. The audience roared with laughter, even as O’Reilly had cautioned, “Don’t tell anyone I said this, please.”

Watchdog group Media Matters published audio of O’Reilly’s statements on Tuesday.

His talking point, however, is undermined by his own rhetoric some months ago.

When fellow right-wing talker Michael Weiner, also known as Michael Savage, was banned from entering the United Kingdom due to the violent, hateful content of his broadcasts, O’Reilly flew into a snit. A ban list, he reasoned, is risky because everyone’s definition of hate speech is different.

“The truth is that protest is sometimes defined as hate, but that definition can be wrong,” he wrote in a May 8 “Talking Points” column. “There are often two sides to the story, thus a hate speech list is risky business because there are so many contentious points of view in this world.”

“So I say the list should be narrowed to people who advocate or incite violence,” O’Reilly concluded. “That should be the standard.”

By his own logic, O’Reilly would seem to argue for his own name to be added to Britain’s list.

During the angry tea party protests that hallmarked the summer of 2009, Speaker Pelosi cautioned conservatives against inciting violence, carefully wording her statement to exclude Republicans specifically.

“I think we all have to take action and responsibility for our words — we are a free country and this balance between freedom and safety is one that we, um, have to carefully balance,” she said, according to Politico.

This audio was published by Media Matters on Jan. 26, 2010.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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