[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Look, it's not as though we didn't already know that Fox News ambush specialist Jesse Watters is a major-league wanker. I mean, c'mon: Stalking bloggers on their vacations? Really?
But this takes the cake.
Priscilla at Newshounds digs up a clip from last week's O'Reilly Factor on Fox in which Watters shows off his right-wing brand of humor [hint: Mallard Fillmore is funnier] with clips he brought back from the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, where he obviously was stalking the hallways in search of liberal celebrities to harass.
But his key clip moment in Charlotte came when he decided to harass the mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, about Menino's opposition to allowing a Chick-fil-A in Boston because of its owners' anti-gay politics -- linking it, a la Tony Perkins, to the attempted shootings at the Family Research Council offices in Washington.
Here's how Watters put it:
“Do you feel bad about the fact that you've created all this controversy that this crazed gunman went up and shot up this conservative outfit?”Just roll that one around and enjoy the delicious, though bizarre, hypocrisy of it all.
First of all, as Priscilla observes:
Mayor Menino did not engage in incendiary rhetoric which would have, in any way, motivated the shooter. He said that he would block the chicken franchise, Chick fil-A from coming to Boston because he objected to what he felt were intolerant views against gays by the president of Chick fil-A. It does not appear that Menino ever mentioned the Family Research Council.Nor, might we add, is there even a whiff of evidence that the FRC shooter was inspired to act by anything that Mayor Menino said. Nothing, except the conjecture of right-wing jackasses like Jesse Watters and Bill O'Reilly.
Now let's compare and contrast that to a case in which someone actually was murdered: the assassination of Dr. George Tiller. And in that case, there is a mountain of evidence connecting the incendiary eliminationist rhetoric of Bill O'Reilly, fueled by the grotesquely afactual "reporting" of Jesse Watters, to that killing.
Three years ago, O'Reilly and his ambush-crew specialist, Jesse Watters, went hard after Tiller, accusing him of wantonly murdering babies because he performs late-term abortions:And then there was O'Reilly's notorious radio attack on Tiller:
Bill summarized in a heartfelt Talking Points Memo on Friday, November 10th: "If we as a society allow an undefined mental health exception in late-term abortions, then babies can be killed for almost any reason... This is the kind of stuff that happened in Mao's China and Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union... If we allow this, America will no longer be a noble nation... If we allow Dr. George Tiller and his acolytes to continue, we can no longer pass judgment on any behavior by anybody."Including, evidently, murderous extremists. And, as you can see in the video above (from 2006), O'Reilly similarly accused anyone who refused to buy into his accusation of coddling killers:
I don’t care what you think. We have incontrovertible evidence that this man is executing babies about to be born because the woman is depressed…if you don’t believe me, I don’t care…You are OK with Dr. Tiller executing babies about to be born because the mother says she’s depressed.
And if I could get my hands on Tiller -- well, you know. Can't be vigilantes. Can't do that. It's just a figure of speech.Moreover, the killer, Scott Roeder was heavily involved in the radical anti-abortion group Operation Rescue (whose propaganda was promoted regularly and featured prominently as "factual" on O'Reilly's show) and avidly read its newsletters -- which featured weekly pieces from Bill O'Reilly, including several attacking Tiller as a "baby killer" -- and its website, which liked to feature O'Reilly videos attacking Dr. Tiller. Indeed, O'Reilly had indulged a high-profile and unusually obsessive (not to mention vicious) jihad against Tiller, resulting in 42 such attacks on Tiller, 24 of which referred to him generically as a "baby killer."
But despicable? Oh, my God. Oh, it doesn't get worse. Does it get worse? No.
Even to this day, O'Reilly insists he did nothing wrong: after all, sure, it was wrong to shoot the guy, but "what Tiller was doing was murder."
And who was O'Reilly's chief facilitator in this lethal media attack? Why, Jesse Watters, of course; here's his notorious "confrontation" with Tiller's attorney.
Of course, Tiller was hardly alone. Watters has made a career out of harassing liberals. ThinkProgress has a list.
And he's obviously proud of it, too. His breathless account of his and O'Reilly's attacks on Tiller are still available at the Fox website.
A word to the wise to gross hypocrites like Jesse Watters: Karma is a bitch.