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Yelling ‘Allahu akbar’ defines a terrorist act, O’Reilly implies

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In the past week, Bill O’Reilly has joined his fellow Fox News hosts in condemning the “political correctness” that they see as blocking the public from viewing the Fort Hood massacre as an act of Islamic terrorism.

But now it appears O’Reilly may himself be pushing a different kind of political correctness: The notion that, to be labeled a terrorist, you have to scream “Allahu akbar” (“God is great”) as you launch your attack.

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That’s the gist of an exchange on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor last night between O’Reilly and the Washington Post‘s Sally Quinn.

“You have a hard time saying the words ‘Muslim terrorist,'” O’Reilly said to Quinn. “I don’t know why.”

Quinn protested and said: “You can call the guy who shot up the Holocaust Museum a terrorist.”

“Did he yell Allah[u] akbar?” O’Reilly retorted. “If he yelled Allah[u] akbar and emailed an Al Qaeda in Yemen, I’d call him that, Ms. Quinn.”

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Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the man now charged with 13 counts of murder in the Fort Hood shootings, reportedly cried “Allahu akbar” before opening fire on his fellow soldiers. On Wednesday, the FBI announced it believed that Hasan “acted alone in the Fort Hood shootings, and was not involved in terrorist activities when a joint terrorism task force crossed paths with him last year,” the San Antonio News-Express reports.

Quinn was referring to the case of James von Brunn, who was arrested and charged in connection with the killing of a security guard at Washington, DC’s Holocaust museum in June. Even though von Brunn was said to have connections to white supremacist groups, in that case, as in the Hasan case, authorities charged the alleged shooter with murder, and denied that it was an act of terrorism.

At the time of the Holocaust shooting, progressive commentators criticized O’Reilly and other conservative TV news personalities for having created an atmosphere where acts of right-wing violence can flourish.

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“Today, as in the early years of the Clinton administration but to an even greater extent, right-wing extremism is being systematically fed by the conservative media and political establishment,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote at the time.

Other media critics took O’Reilly to task for minimizing his show’s coverage of the Holocaust Museum shooting, even though he had earlier criticized other networks for not giving enough coverage to other acts of violence that may have been politically motivated.

The following video was broadcast on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, November 11, 2009, and uploaded to the Web by MediaMatters.

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2020 Election

‘I don’t care’: Watch Kamala Harris shut down Chris Hayes for asking a dumb question about Trump

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Sen. Kamala Harris shut down MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes during a post-debate interview on Tuesday evening.

Hayes questioned Harris about her call for Twitter to follow their terms of service and kick President Donald Trump off of the platform.

"Do you think he puts people’s lives in danger when he targets them in tweets?" Hayes asked.

"Absolutely," Harris replied.

"Do you think he knows that?" Hayes asked.

"Does it matter?" Harris replied.

"The fact is he did it. The fact is that he is irresponsible, he is erratic," she explained. "He is like a 2-year-old with a machine gun."

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2020 Election

Democrats blast Trump and demand his impeachment at CNN debate

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Democratic White House hopefuls united in searing condemnation of Donald Trump during their fourth debate Tuesday, saying the president has broken the law, abused his power, and deserves to be impeached.

From the opening moments, most of the dozen candidates on stage launched fierce broadsides against Trump over the Ukrainian scandal at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

"The impeachment must go forward," said Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is neck and neck with former vice president Joe Biden at the head of the 2020 nominations race.

"Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences," she thundered.

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2020 Election

Here are 3 winners and 4 losers from the CNN/NYT Democratic presidential primary debate

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Twelve Democrats took to the stage Tuesday night for yet another debate in the party's 2020 president primary hosted by CNN and the New York Times.

After only ten candidates qualified for the previous debate, an additional two — Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and wealthy donor and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer — made it to the stage this round for an even more crowded event.

The candidates discussed a range of important policy issues, but since the format was a debate, and they're all competing for the same nomination, it is ultimately most critical who won and who lost the night. Here are three winners and four losers — necessarily a subjective assessment, of course — from the debate:

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