If there's a through-line between any of these acts of terrorism and the right-wing rhetoric that abets it, of course, it's the one linking Bill O'Reilly to Scott Roeder, the man who murdered Tiller. O'Reilly more than demonized Tiller; night after night he called him a baby killer, compared him to the Nazis, and suggested that he must be stopped. Roeder stopped him, all right. If I were O'Reilly I'd feel terrible for putting a private figure in my public sights night after night, simply for doing his lawful job. But O'Reilly has no conscience, so he's proud of it.
So, O'Reilly invited Walsh on his show and Walsh agreed to go on. Here is the segment below:
What a mess! Things start out calmly enough but quickly devolve to a level that everyone knew we would get to eventually. O'Reilly is his normal bullying self (telling Walsh to "stop talking" at one point) raising his voice to yell at his guest and delivering this amazing statement:
"My constitutional rights say I can say what I say, you can say what you say, as vile as you say it, you can say it, and I would never condemn you for saying it. You are misguided, you have blood on your hands because you portrayed this man as a hero."
Of course he would never condemn her for what she says...except when he calls her vile and says that she has blood on her hands.
Now Walsh did get in some good points although the middle portion where they go back and forth about who has blood on their hands wasn't her finest moment, but it is clear that O'Reilly never had any intention of having an actual discussion with Walsh on this matter. He first states "you're wrong by the way" at 1:19 seconds into the clip and things go downhill from there. For those who are interested, Walsh posted a piece about her experience on the program that you can find here. Here is a portion:
His producers also helped by doing that thing they do: "Hey, Bill really respects you for coming on the show! He wants to have a conversation! It'll be fine!" (And they promoted my appearance on the show by identifying me on the Web site as "Joan Walsh of Slate.com.")
Well, it was so not fine. I think the high or low point was when he shrieked at me, "You have blood on your hands!" At one point he also either told me to "Shut up" or "Be quiet," I can't remember. (If I'm wrong about that, when I see the clip, I'll correct it. UPDATE: Actually, he shouted "Stop talking!") He called me "vile." I think I said he was vile, too. There were a couple of "I know you are but what am I?" moments that I'm not totally proud of. It was a kaleidoscopic nightmare, a TV acid trip, and I don't do acid. It almost seems like O'Reilly does, but I don't think so. The man is driven by demons. God bless him and save him.