This set the talking heads in motion, and Keith Olbermann took the chance tonight to call O’Reilly a “bigot.” (Where have I heard that before?) I don’t agree, and for the same reasons that Mediate points out. Take a look:
The source of the consternation on The View was O’Reilly saying, “Muslims killed us on 9/11″ in voicing his opposition to the so-called Ground Zero Mosque. Is that enough to reasonably call him a “bigot and Islamophobe”? Of course not. As we said before, unless you’re a truther, the statement “Muslims killed us on 9/11″ is literally technically true at a basic, and yes, dangerously oversimplified level.
O’Reilly’s sentence lacked nuance, but it wasn’t bigoted, nor did it prove Islamophobia. Behar walked out precisely because of such blanket statements – she thought O’Reilly was making one himself, but at least she didn’t level such a serious accusation as personal bigotry at him. And in doing so, Olbermann made himself more worthy of a “Worst Persons” spot than the man he gave that “Worse” title to tonight. Video of the segment below.
Spot on. It was Muslim extremists who killed Americans on 9/11, and usually a more general category—Muslims—is unfair and dangerous. It may not be Islamophobic, but it certainly can reinforce Islamophobia.