Saturday, September 29, 2007


I loathe Rush Limbaugh, but I'll give him credit for one thing: Now that he's under attack, he's defending himself. When he was criticized for his "phony soldiers" comment, he posted a transcript of the segment on his Web site, and yesterday, on the air, he tried to defend himself again (new transcript here.)

Bill O'Reilly is doing things a bit differently.

He's under attack for saying he "couldn't get over" the fact that black people at a Harlem restaurant were behaving in a civilized manner -- and what is he doing? He's letting Juan Williams defend him.

First he brought Williams on his show to fight his battle for him. Now Williams has an article in Time defending him.

To those of us who are familiar with the rhetorical tricks of the right, it's obvious what's going on: O'Reilly and Williams know that if Williams does the talking and we refuse to back down, we can be accused of racism -- i.e., of not wanting to allow blacks such as Williams to leave "the liberal plantation." It's an utter crock, but it's clever -- if you haven't heard it a thousand times.

But it still doesn't answer the question: If Bill O'Reilly is the tough guy he pretends to be, why does he have to hide behind Juan Williams? Why can't he fight his own damn battles?

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