The Campaign to Blame O'Reilly for Tiller's Death
6:55 PM, Jun 1, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Minutes after news broke yesterday that George Tiller had been murdered in Kansas, The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan declared "O'Reilly's Target Shot Dead In Church." Sullivan wrote that "there is a Bill O'Reilly connection" to a "campaign of domestic terrorism" against Tiller and posted the video at right.
Sullivan is not alone in his effort to connect O'Reilly to the murder of Tiller. Today, Michael Tomasky writes in The Guardian that it's a "fair question" to ask, "Does O'Reilly have blood on his hands?" David Frum promotes an item at Gawker that accuses O'Reilly of waging "jihad against Tiller." A front-page Daily Kos blogger also alleges that O'Reilly "has waged jihad against" Tiller. "As you can see from these video clip samplings of O'Reilly's holy war, you don't have to actually pull the trigger to help sponsor terrorism," writes Kos's blogger.
So, Sullivan, Gawker, and Daily Kos say that Bill O'Reilly bears some responsibility for Tiller's death because the Fox News personality used overheated rhetoric when discussing the third-trimester abortionist (for example, O'Reilly called Tiller a "so-called baby killer" who ran a "death mill"). And yet these same bloggers say that O'Reilly is guilty of engaging in a "jihad" or a "campaign of domestic terrorism" against Tiller? Are Sullivan and friends trying to incite violence against O'Reilly?
Since it appears that the campaign to blame O'Reilly for inciting the murder of Tiller began with Sullivan's post, it's worth noting that The Atlantic blogger routinely compares those who support harsh interrogations of al Qaeda members to the Gestapo and the Khmer Rouge.
Does all of this amount to "incitement" against Sullivan's alleged "torturers"? I don't think so. As Rod Dreher writes: