Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Fox's Bill O'Reilly Goes Obscenely Too Far On Michael Kinsley

There has been bad feeling between Fox News and the Los Angeles Times for a long time, but now Fox's Bill O'Reilly has committed a gross impropriety in suggesting that terrorists might "grab" Kinsley "out of his little house...and cut his head off."

This is hate speech, and should be repudiated forthwith by the network, as well as those of us who have been critical of Kinsley's work. Kinsley has every right to do his job without being subjected to what amounts to death threats.

In an editorial Tuesday, May 24, the L.A. Times concluded, "O'Reilly should be careful. Any further decapitation fantasies could get him in serious trouble with the Secret Service."

I don't know about the Secret Service, because Kinsley is not, thank goodness, President of the United States. But the FCC might well step in here, and fine Fox and O'Reilly for indecent speech. If O'Reilly doesn't withdraw his remark and apologize, he should be taken off the air.

Ir was Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes who once rightly observed that freedom of speech doesn't give anyone the right to shout fire in a crowded theatre.

And at a time when terrorists do roam the world, killing the innocent, we don't need such fools broadcasting in the United States.

Incivility is an increasing phenomenon both on the airwaves and certainly on the Internet. Just last week, it was revealed that the Ventura Star Free Press had removed an opportunity for readers to comment on public issues, after a wave of obscene, despicable remarks. Now, the paper has suggested it may restore the service, with an appropriate filter to prevent such observations from appearing.

I hope the Star Free Press is successful. A filter is definitely necessary on the Internet to prevent the scum of the earth from posting instructions on how to make a bomb, how to organize a suicide bombing, or how to decapitate anyone.

This is not freedom, it's license, and it is dangerous to civilization and to us all.

Attacks such as O'Reilly made against Kinsley are terrorist threats themselves. They are obscene. In the modern world, we should not, we must not, abide by them.


Blogger Matt Weinstock said...

Who would do the censoring?


5/25/2005 3:47 PM  
Blogger Big B said...

The shrill column by Robert Scheer, yesterday in the Times, denigrating the Catholic Church as a whole, was equally offensive to me.

5/25/2005 6:12 PM  
Blogger shelly sloan said...

I heard the O'Reilly rant; it was hardly a "death threat".

Kinsley is a loser as the Editor of the Editorial Pages. He needs to resign so that somene who lives in Los Angeles and has a feel for the pulse of Los Angeles is running that valuable part of the paper.

He doesn't have to die, just staying in Seattle is punishment enough.

Are you listening John Carroll?

5/26/2005 1:04 AM  
Blogger Patterico said...

The bit about the Secret Service was a joke. Kinsley was saying that Bush has said the same things O'Reilly criticized Kinsley for saying. Ergo, Bush would likely be the next subject of an O'Reilly decapitation fantasy, and that would mean the Secret Service would be involved.

5/27/2005 3:16 PM  
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