Ever since an episode of Law & Order: SVU stepped into partisan politics last week with a character’s declaration that right-wing news hosts like Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck “spread ignorance and hate,” the right-wing blogosphere and talk radio-sphere have been up in arms about the politicization of a prime-time staple.
“Limbaugh, Beck, O’Reilly — they are like a cancer spreading ignorance and hate,” says a character on the show, played by TV veteran John Larroquette. “And they’ve convinced folks that immigrants are the problem, not corporations that fail to pay a living wage, or a broken health care system.”
In his reaction, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly pulled no punches.
“That is simply defamatory, and [Law & Order producer] Dick Wolf is a coward for putting it out there,” O’Reilly said on his show. “He’s also a liar.”
On Countdown Monday night, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann ignored O’Reilly’s evident assertion that everything any character says on a TV show is a reflection of the producer’s personal beliefs, and instead dared the Fox News host to sue NBC.
“Well, sue,” Olbermann said. “Come on, tough guy. That’s defamatory and outrageous? Sue. … Or are you afraid you can’t prove that you don’t spread ignorance and hate?”
Olbermann then played a series of clips in which O’Reilly repeatedly referred to assassinated abortion doctor George Tiller as “Tiller the baby killer.”
“So if that isn’t Bill O’Reilly cancer-spreading ignorance and hate, and if you aren’t a coward, sue,” Olbermann quipped.
The news host ended the segment with a bit that echoed the famous preamble to Law & Order.
“In the right wing dominated media system, the people are represented by two separate but equally important groups: the right wing media who instigate crime, and the right wing media who prosecute the imaginary liberal media,” Olbermann quipped.
This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast Dec. 14, 2009.
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Iran probes seized UK-flagged tanker — Britain to hold emergency meeting
ran warned Sunday that the fate of a UK-flagged tanker it seized in the Gulf depends on an investigation, as Britain prepared for an emergency security meeting on Tehran's action.
Iranian authorities impounded the Stena Impero with 23 crew members aboard off the port of Bandar Abbas after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized it Friday in the highly sensitive Strait of Hormuz.
Video footage released by Iran showed the Stena Impero tanker being surrounded by speedboats before troops in balaclavas descend a rope from a helicopter onto the vessel.
In an audio recording of a radio exchange, an Iranian officer can be heard ordering the tanker to change course "immediately".
For Cubans — a day at the beach is no easy task
Cuba's constitution guarantees its people access to its beaches, but many locals are unable to enjoy the island's pristine white sands and crystal clear blue waters.
While foreign tourists flock to such paradisiacal Havana sites as Varadero, which was this year named the second most-beautiful beach in the world by American travel website TripAdvisor, Cubans are typically found elsewhere.
"Not many tourists come here," said 43-year-old Rey Gonzalez, who was enjoying a day at Guanabo, a beach east of the capital.
Guanabo's sand isn't as white and the water not quite as clear as Varadero's, but that mattered little to Gonzalez, who was there with his family.