Monday, June 01, 2009

With Abortion Doctor's Murder, Eyes Turn to O'Reilly

The murderer of George Tiller has been identified as Scott Roeder, a 51 year old white man. Roeder was an anti abortion rights fanatic who posted scary comments at anti abortion websites, including Operation Rescue. Police found Operation Rescue's phone number in the fanatic's car.

Bill O'Reilly is getting lots of press. O'Reilly didn't pull the trigger but he certainly played a huge role in portraying George Tiller as a worthy target for an insane assassin from the Christian fundamentalist camp of terrorists.

Brad at Bradblog writes:

Tiller was better known to Fox "News" viewers as "Tiller the Baby Killer", as he's long been described by Bill O'Reilly who has spent years targeting Tiller on the most-watched show in cable news. O'Reilly has long demonized him with allegations of performing illegal late-term abortions, characterized as murder by O'Reilly and his guests.

And over at Salon, Gabriel Winant writes that Bill O'Reilly is uniquely responsible:

... for the characterization of Tiller as a savage on the loose, killing babies willy-nilly thanks to the collusion of would-be sophisticated cultural elites, a bought-and-paid-for governor and scofflaw secular journalists. Tiller's name first appeared on "The Factor" on Feb. 25, 2005. Since then, O'Reilly and his guest hosts have brought up the doctor on 28 more episodes, including as recently as April 27 of this year. Almost invariably, Tiller is described as "Tiller the Baby Killer."

. . . [T]he Fox bully repeatedly portrayed the doctor as a murderer on the loose, allowed to do whatever he wanted by corrupt and decadent authorities. . . O'Reilly's language describing Tiller, and accusing the state and its elites of complicity in his actions, could become extremely vivid. . . "No question Dr. Tiller has blood on his hands. But now so does Governor Sebelius. She is not fit to serve. Nor is any Kansas politician who supports Tiller's business of destruction. I wouldn't want to be these people if there is a Judgment Day. I just -- you know ... Kansas is a great state, but this is a disgrace upon everyone who lives in Kansas. Is it not?"

O'Reilly didn't tell anyone to do anything violent, but he did put Tiller in the public eye, and help make him the focus of a movement with a history of violence against exactly these kinds of targets (including Tiller himself, who had already been shot). In those circumstances, flinging around words like "blood on their hands," "pardon," "country club" and "judgment day" was sensationally irresponsible.

Suspect in Tiller's death supported killing abortion providers, friends say