Is Bill O’Reilly stupid, or is he one of the most clever personalities on television when it comes to parsing words? It’s hard to say, but I’m voting for the former.
On the March 16, edition of The O’Reilly Factor, Bill-O was joined by a real journalist, in the person of Univision and Fusion host Jorge Ramos. You probably know already who won the debate.
After his usual verbal diarrhea as he frames the conversation, O’Reilly starts the discussion by asking Ramos if Univision can cover Trump fairly, since the network has labeled him as “an anti-immigrant bigot.” Ramos defends Univision’s coverage, saying that the network has been tough on candidates from both sides, and O’Reilly agrees. But when Ramos says that “we can’t allow racism and discrimination to be normal,” this is O’Reilly’s reply:
But that’s a subjective thing.
Racism is subjective? It sounds like O’Reilly is getting ready to go to the “but Trump has black and Latino friends” argument when Ramos interjects:
When you say that Mexican immigrants are criminals and rapists that is, for many people, a racist remark.
This is when O’Reilly begins the spin. “But he didn’t say all of them were,” O’Reilly claims as he offers to read Trump’s quote. Ramos asks him to do so.
O’Reilly reads the now infamous Trump quote about Mexico not sending their best people to the United States. It is obvious to anyone who isn’t drunk and who has half a brain (which leaves out O’Reilly and a large portion of Trump supporters) that Trump was saying that Mexicans who come to the U.S. illegally are largely criminals. So in the scrambled thinking of Bill O’Reilly that proves that Trump isn’t a racist because he wasn’t talking about all Mexicans, just the ones who come to the United States.
Ramos calls BS on him. “That’s absolutely wrong. Because the vast majority of immigrants aren’t criminals or rapists,” he says.
“He’s not talking about all of them,” is O’Reilly’s reply.
Except that the quote he just read made it very clear that Trump was talking about all of them. At no point in that statement did Trump use qualifiers like “a large portion,” or “some.” He said, “When Mexico sends its people they’re not sending their best.” It seems pretty clear what Trump was saying, unless you are Bill O’Reilly.
When Ramos points out that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans O’Reilly blows him off. “You can use stats all day long to justify anything and you know it,” he chides. This is a popular tool used by many on the right when the numbers say things they don’t like to hear. Of course O’Reilly doesn’t explain how you would manipulate a statistic that says “Here is the overall crime rate. And here is the percentage of crimes committed by immigrants,” because he has no explanation for that.
Then O’Reilly comes back to the notion that it is Ramos’s “subjective opinion” that Trump is a racist. He just doesn’t see how Univision can cover Trump fairly, apparently because they report accurately on the things Trump says. Then Ramos hits O’Reilly with this bit of truth: “You and Sean Hannity, you let him [Trump] get away with anything.”
Watch the video and see if you think, as I do, that O’Reilly’s usual arrogance and condescending nature are in overdrive as he talks to Ramos. At times, when there is no crosstalk at all, O’Reilly seems to raise his voice in the old American tradition of speaking louder to someone who doesn’t speak your language, as if volume improves comprehension.
Bill O’Reilly can’t compete with the knowledge and intelligence of Jorge Ramos, so don’t expect to see Ramos on The O’Reilly Factor again any time soon.
Here’s the video, via Fox News:
Featured image via Fox News screen capture