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Did anybody catch the O'Reilly Factor where he confronted

by Ziks511 / June 3, 2006 5:24 PM PDT

General Wesley Clark and apparently said the following?

"If someone else had done what Fox News star Bill O'Reilly did the other day - malign American troops who fought in the Battle of the Bulge and at Iwo Jima - it's hard to imagine how ugly the Fox News reaction would be.

"Think of how vicious the attacks from Fox News and right-wing commentators were on Sen. **** Durbin for citing FBI criticism of detainee abuse at Guantanamo, or the smears against Dan Rather and other journalists who helped expose the scandal at Abu Ghraib, or the ugly campaign to boycott the Dixie Chicks for criticizing George W. Bush.

"If one of those "usual liberal suspects" had said something one-tenth as offensive as O'Reilly's remarks, Fox News surely would have offered up one of its loaded questions, like "Is (fill in the blank) Anti-American or Just Blinded by Hatred of Our Troops?"

"But it's hard to imagine any comments as outrageous as O'Reilly's loose talk about war crimes supposedly committed by U.S. Army forces fighting in Belgium and by U.S. Marines in the bloody battle at Iwo Jima.

"On "The O'Reilly Factor" on May 30, O'Reilly floated the argument that the alleged murder by U.S. Marines of 24 unarmed men, women and children in the Iraqi town of Haditha in November 2005 was just par for the course in wartime.

" "In Iwo Jima, in the Battle of the Bulge, Malmedy, all these things," O'Reilly lectured his guest, retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark. "You're a military historian. You know these happened. It happened in every war. It's happened in every army. ..."

"When Clark protested - "you'll have to show me and prove to me that there were ever any American soldiers in Belgium and Normandy or in Iwo Jima who murdered civilians" - O'Reilly countered with a smirk and a shake of the head."

http://consortiumnews.com/2006/060306.html

Is this guy for real. The victims at Malmedy were Americans with their hands wired together behind their back.

Does anybody here support this sort of accusation against American forces? Though things have happened, nothing like what O'Reilly asserted, and on Iwo Jima, interpreters were begging the women and children to surrender as many committed suicide by jumping from a cliff.

What's the consensus here?

Rob

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No consensus..only opinion
by Mac McMullen / June 3, 2006 6:01 PM PDT

"Anyone" who wastes time listening to any of these talk shows, panels or individuals, on the radio or TV, usually get what they are looking for. Controversial HOGWASH from ego maniacs, including the "guests" who appear.

It's all just so much "Show Time". I doubt anyone is sufficiently naive to believe they will "learn" during these show. Some listen daily because they like what they hear. Others listen looking for something to take issue about.

Most of these productions have some sort of disclaimer absolving the sponsoring network.

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I got your "consensus" here in my....
by Jack Ammann / June 3, 2006 6:18 PM PDT

...household.

Those bad guys the RCMP just captured up there in Canada were in contact with some of their cohorts down here in Atlanta. The FBI picked up their confederates in Atlanta awhile back and fed the intelligence and telephone intercepts, COURTESY OF THE NSA, to the RCMP...RESULT: Canada got rid of some of those islamofascist.

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COURTESY OF THE NSA, to the RCMP..
by JP Bill / June 3, 2006 8:56 PM PDT

here's some more speculation

Last night's dramatic police raid and arrest of as many as a dozen men ? with more to come ? marks the culmination of Canada's largest ever terrorism investigation into an alleged homegrown cell.

The chain of events began two years ago, sparked by local teenagers roving through Internet sites, reading and espousing anti-Western sentiments and vowing to attack at home, in the name of oppressed Muslims here and abroad.

Their words were sometimes encrypted, the Internet sites where they communicated allegedly restricted by passwords, but Canadian spies back in 2004 were reading them. And as the youths' words turned into actions, they began watching them

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Sorry JP. Did you really mean that post to go here?
by Ziks511 / June 4, 2006 9:42 AM PDT

Seems like it belongs to another thread.

I was particularly interested in O'Reilly's blanket condemnation of the US Military and the current behavior as being business as usual. Yes: terrible mistakes occur in war. Yes: even atrocities occur in war. But since WW2 the idea has been: let's try to avoid this situation since we just tried a bunch of folks for War Crimes, hence Lt Calley's jail time. Additionally Bill O'Reilly is viewed as the voice of a certain segment of the conservative electorate, though it is clearly his agenda to push that conservative group farther to the right, at least that's how it looks to me.

However, that said, I agree with Mac. Its all sensationalist journalism, my personal pet hate.

Rob

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(NT) (NT) He made no such blanket statement.
by Evie / June 4, 2006 10:31 AM PDT
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Jack, that all related "really closely" to the statements by
by Ziks511 / June 6, 2006 9:23 AM PDT

Bill O'Reilly, and his wild accusations regarding US behavior in armed conflict. The one thing he actually missed was My Lai, or Song My 4 depending on your preference. Everything else he cited was wrong, and your reply was incoherent, though I'm sure CSIS and the RCMP are glad of any help they may have received from the NSA. But are you sure they're just trying to pump up their credibility with somebody else's work?

"In Iwo Jima, in the Battle of the Bulge, Malmedy, all these things," O'Reilly lectured his guest, retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark. "You're a military historian. You know these happened. It happened in every war. It's happened in every army. ..."

"When Clark protested - "you'll have to show me and prove to me that there were ever any American soldiers in Belgium and Normandy or in Iwo Jima who murdered civilians" - O'Reilly countered with a smirk and a shake of the head."

To reiterate. American Interpreters begged the Japanese in the caves on Iwo Jima to surrender. They chose to jump. At Malmedy, 89 GI's had their hands wired together by SS troops and were executed with a bullet in the head. I just love Bill O'Reilly's we report you decide if I'm on the same planet.

As for your reply Jack. It failed to address in any particular, the questions posed by Bill O'Reilly's idiotic diatribe. Perhaps you're correct about the NSA, but that wasn't the question asked. It was about Bill O'Reilly's bad-mouthing and mistakes about the American Military in WW2. Couldn't you figure that out?

Rob

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Did you read the whole transcript yet?
by Evie / June 6, 2006 9:31 AM PDT

Wanna say OOPS?

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Need to check your history.

The civilians, and Japanese soldiers, who jumped off the cliffs were in Okinawa or Saipan. Can't remember, looked it up a couple of days ago.

Tom

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War sucks
by dirtyrich / June 3, 2006 11:01 PM PDT

people die, including innocents. I'd say yes, that plenty of civilians die, but there's not much you can do about it. War is messy, and focusing on the small numbers of civilians who will unintentionally die will simply paralyze the military.

There was nothing outrageous about O'Reilly's statement... he simply stated that ciilian death is a common occurence and cited battles that his listeners would be aware of.

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"civilians who will unintentionally die"
by grimgraphix / June 6, 2006 12:56 PM PDT
In reply to: War sucks

You really didn't mean to say it that way... tell me you didn't mean to say that!

As opposed to "intentionally"?

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That's what he's paid for.

It's his job to be arrogant, rude and accusatory. Some people like to watch somebody give somebody else "what they have coming!", especially if they share the same views.

His statements about Malmedy illustrates historical revision, as well as the Iwo Jima ones. He forgot that a Japanse soldier hid out on an island for years aafter the war ended, and when found, could not believe the war was over. He forgot that the Japanes were fighting for the Emperor they considered a god, and to surrender was to lose face.

My objection is his feeling the need to "blunt" the recent events in Iraq. IMO, most thinking people know how sodiers can react in battle and sometimes "lose it". (That was clearly shown in our recent conversation about them here.) Apparently he doesn't consider his audience to be an informed one.

I agree - it is theater. And he won't cry on the way to the bank.

Angeline
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email
semods4@yahoo.com

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If you read the transcript I provided ...
by Evie / June 4, 2006 10:44 AM PDT

... you can't help but see that O'Reilly is sticking up for, NOT slamming, our military.

BTW, I don't particularly care for O'Reilly's personality and way of "interviewing", but I do take exception to him being falsely portrayed. He may not do it 100% of the time to someone's 100% satisfaction, but WHEN he is in error in something he says he corrects it on air more than any other commentator I've ever seen.

Wonder if Olberman and Parry will retract their libelous accusation that Fox doctored the transcript?

Evie Happy

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For starters ...
by Evie / June 4, 2006 10:31 AM PDT

... it would be helpful if Parry quoted a more reliable source than Keith Olberman regarding

(Olbermann reported that Fox News later doctored the May 30 transcript to substitute ?Normandy? for ?Malmedy.?)

You can see for yourself that this is FALSE:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,197635,00.html

I don't see how anyone that reads this ENTIRE transcript can come away with the idea that O'Reilly was bashing our military.

I wonder what Weasley Clark would have to say if we did things his way in Iraq. Warn them to get out, then bombs away!

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(NT) Where's your apology?
by Evie / June 5, 2006 1:46 AM PDT
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Anyone making a comparison
by Dan McC / June 5, 2006 1:50 AM PDT

between WWII and Iraq, or any other war, for that matter, is digging themselves a rhetorical hole that is most difficult to get out of.

Dan

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Nonsense...
by EdH / June 5, 2006 1:57 AM PDT

Any war can be compared to any other war for some purposes.

The point being made is that atrocities have occurred in every war and by every nation in human history at one time or another. No one is excusing anyone or pointing fingers; it's just a fact of war.

Outrage over O'Reilly's statement is misplaced.

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Any effort to downplay civilian deaths is wrong
by grimgraphix / June 5, 2006 2:48 AM PDT

let alone saying "it happened in other wars so lets not make a big deal".

In a modern day and age with better trained and equipped troops there should be less chance of civilians being killed. Unfortunately... it is going to happen. But any effort by pundit, politician or general to try to soften the reality or say it is inevitable is just wrong. O'Reilly's efforts to spin reality - and let us face the fact that he does spin things despite his "no spin" hyperbole - is nothing more than a "feel good" op/ed piece to dilute the issue.

Whether O'Reilly maligned WWII troops is not the issue. The real issue is that O'Reilly was just wrong to try spinning the issue in the first place. In a confusing battleground where combatants and civilians are difficult to tell apart innocent people are going to die. This is a sad fact that should never be downplayed or justified... which is exactly what O'Reilly tried to do with his comparison.

grim

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I watch the big guy
by WOODS-HICK / June 5, 2006 4:15 AM PDT

he is 6'4" as he has reminded us often enough, of course less than his lie about winning some peabody awards. yeah, he grew up in the mean streets of levittown, n.y. that's a post wwII suburb of nyc where folks moved to leave the city crime behind. just a regular one of the 'folks'. private academy education, private college education, harvard also private.
my favorite part of this episode was watching clark restrain himself from slapping the big O and snapping his fragile ego. clark might have learned some tricks from going to war. his west point background was highly evident; gentlemen, scholar, soldier.
the big O whines when other 'folks' criticize him. he is a mudslinger who never got his hands dirty. his mommy I think still wipes his but I think he may cut those apron strings someday. maybe he needs a couple of days in paris. island not france. he did teach me how to bloviate, I don't think that's a french word.

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"it happened in other wars so lets not make a big deal".
by EdH / June 5, 2006 5:14 AM PDT

Is that what he said? Can you quote where he downplayed or trivialized this kind of behavior?

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to the letter Ed?
by grimgraphix / June 5, 2006 6:45 AM PDT

play the "quote that exactly or not at all" angle all you want... If O'Reilly wasn't trying to say civilians being killed in the heat of the moment was common place and inevitable by bringing up WWII then why make the comparison to begin with? Of all the perspectives he could have brought to the issue he tried to say that civilian deaths can't be avoided and thus should not be examined too harshly. How else would you interpret Bill's statements?

I rather liked a retired military officers point of view raised on NPR the other day. He said that we should not compare this to other wars because our military holds itself more accountable today than in any other time in history. Let the politicians and political pundits spin all they want.

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O'Reilly wasn't trying to say civilians being killed in ...
by EdH / June 5, 2006 6:56 AM PDT
In reply to: to the letter Ed?

the heat of the moment was common place. He didn't say anything like that. He said it happens in every war and with every nation. Which is true. Not an interpretation; that is what he said.

So what's your issue with the truth?

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Your correct...

What can I say Ed... if you want to stick to the exact wording that O'Reilly used then he did not say that "civilian" deaths were commonplace ... more the reason to shine a spot light on any suspicion of such IMO. All the examples O'Reilly does site are examples of military infractions (if I can use the word "infraction" without being too flippant) against the contemporary rules of war (circa 1944). Why did Mr. O'Reilly even go there then?

At best, O'Reilly's siting these examples is inaccurate when addressing the issue of civilian deaths in Iraq. At worst it's a lame attempt to avoid close examination of a possible crime committed by an isolated group of soldiers... A crime that is not typical of the common american soldier on the ground in Iraq. You will note that I said POSSIBLE... I am not eager to call any of our troops villains. I am not shy to invite examination either. That is why I questioned Mr. O'Reilly's comments to begin with.

grim

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