It seems that O'Reilly didn't like it that San Franciscans exercised their constitutional rights and passed a non-binding ballot measure urging high schools and colleges to ban military recruiting on campus. So does he criticize them? Call for a boycott? No. He says that the the American armed forces should not defend San Francisco and that Al Qeada should go ahead and attack.
His named target? The landmark Coit Tower, a monument dedicated to the heroic firefighters who fought to save San Francisco after the great earthquake a century ago.
O'REILLY: Hey, you know, if you want to ban military recruiting, fine, but I'm not going to give you another nickel of federal money. You know, if I'm the president of the United States, I walk right into Union Square, I set up my little presidential podium, and I say, "Listen, citizens of San Francisco, if you vote against military recruiting, you're not going to get another nickel in federal funds. 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."
San Francisco City Supervisor Chris Daly responded on the KRON 4 Morning News:
"Coit Tower's a monument to San Francisco's firefighters. They put out the fires in San Francisco after the great quake. American heroes -- they were there on Sept. 11 and now you want al-Qaida to blow up Coit Tower? Give us a break. You are out of line."
John Hanley, president of the San Francisco Firefighter's Union Local 798, was incensed.
"Coit Tower is a monument to the bravery of the men and women of the San Francisco Fire Department," Hanley said. "When Bill O'Reilly makes an attack on Coit Tower, he's attacking us and our bravery."
He added, "Mr. O'Reilly, maybe we should bring you into some of our burning buildings and see how brave you are."
O'Reilly's tirade has set off a firestorm of criticism that is unlikely to let up anytime soon. Nor should it.
"It's harder still," writes Daly on his blog, "to miss that
Bill O'Reilly is full of hate. It's fine to disagree with San Francisco's majority opinion for gun control, against the war and military recruiting, or for gay marriage. But to green-light another terrorist attack on American soil crosses way over the line. We are a diverse city with people from all walks of life. Families with children live here, Mr. O'Reilly. Your comments are chilling, un-American and make you little better than the terrorists.
Fox News and Westwood One have a great responsibility as broadcasters to the American public. Both should take immediate action to terminate their contracts with Mr. O'Reilly."
Media Matters for America has the contact info for O'Reilly and his syndicators, as well as the transcript and audio tape of the broadcast.
Over at The Daily Kos, people are talking about contacting O'Reilly's advertisers. Good idea.
O'Reilly is a anti-democratic demagogue. He is a digrace to the broadcast industry, and he should be fired from Fox News.
O'Reilly should apologize to the nation.
And then he should go away.
[Crossposted from FrederickClarkson.com]
KEYWORDS: Bill O'Reilly, Fox News, San Francisco
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