Monday, December 08, 2008

Quote of the Day

"The thuggery O’Reilly mentions was contemptible, but the rest of it was just normal democratic protest. (O’Reilly himself frequently asks his viewers to boycott businesses that offend him, such as department stores whose employees wish customers “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”) None of it comes anywhere near “fascism,” let alone some sort of fascist “movement” that could plausibly threaten to take over the government. I don’t think it was at all unreasonable for me to infer that the targets of Mr. Gingrich’s “fascism” remarks were the mainstream gay-rights movement in general and the opponents of Proposition 8 in particular.

"One more thing. O’Reilly said last night that I “refused to come on ‘The Factor,’” as he calls his program. This is simply a lie. Neither he nor any of his staff asked me to appear on his program, either directly or through anyone else at The New Yorker. I’m puzzled that O’Reilly said otherwise, since he has to know that we know he was lying. I guess he just doesn’t care. He’s got his base."

Hendrik Hertzberg, on Bill O'Reilly's bogus invitation to be on his show.

Hertzberg was ambushed interviewed by an O'Reilly Factor staffer. O'Reilly came after Hertzberg after the New Yorker columnist Hertzberg dared to print Newt Gingrich's own words against gay marriage.


Like a polluted swamp, anti-gay bigotry is likely to get thicker and more toxic as it dries up. Viciousness meets viscousness. “Look,” Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker, said the other day (on the air, to Bill O’Reilly), “I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence. . . . I think that it is a very dangerous threat to anybody who believes in traditional religion. And I think if you believe in historic Christianity, you have to confront the fact.” For diversity’s sake, he added that “the historic version of Islam” and “the historic version of Judaism” are likewise menaced—which is natural, given that gay, secular, fascist values are “the opposite of what you’re taught in Sunday school.”


Words matter. Gingrich's choice of words was to call Hertz berg "a total jerk." Gingrich still has the same charm that forced him to give up his congressional seat.

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