Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Archive for January 19th, 2007

O’Reilly Loses This Conservative

Posted by Mike on January 19, 2007

Many people believe that conservatives are fans of Bill O’Reilly. That’s not always true. Although I agree with O’Reilly’s political positions more often than not, I always saw him as a blowhard who often feigns expertise on subjects he knows nothing about. This tired act was once merely annoying. It is now inexcusable. I’m done with the Factor.

This story began about a week ago when a miracle happened in Missouri.  Two abducted children, Ben Ownby and Shawn Hornbeck, were discovered alive after having been missing for four days and four years respectively. The elated families of both boys held separate press conferences to share the wonderful news that their children were alive.

Shawn Hornbeck had been missing for over four years and never tried to escape despite having some freedom of movement.  Admittedly, it is pretty difficult to understand why he didn’t try to escape.  However, those who have never been in such horrific circumstances cannot imagine what Shawn Hornbeck went through or what he was thinking. Unfortunately, ignorance of such circumstances did not prevent Bill O’Reilly from asserting that Shawn Hornbeck enjoyed the four years of captivity with his abductor. The following excerpt from the True Crime Blog of O’Reilly’s discussion with Greta Van Susteren is just a sample of O’Reilly’s comments.

BOR: Let me answer your question. This is what I believe in the Hearst case and in this case. The situation that Hearst found herself in was exciting. She had a boring life, child of privilege. All of a sudden she’s in with a bunch of charismatic thugs and she enjoyed it. The situation here with this kid is looks to me to be a lot more fun then when he had under his own parents. He didn’t have to go to school, He could run around and do what he wanted.

GVS: Some kids like school —

BOR: Well I don’t believe this kid did. And I think when it all comes down what’s going to happen is there was an element here that this kid liked about his circumstances…

O’Reilly later claimed he was merely “asking questions” because Stockholm Syndrome is rare. Even assuming this to be true, a child should at least be given the benefit of the doubt that his abductor threatened him in such a way that he was too terrified to make a break for it.  Hornbeck later stated this was the case. No one, including O’Reilly, can understand the fear this child faced. Even if Hornbeck had offered no explanation for failing to escape, O’Reilly’s “questions” were questions which should never have been asked.  Hornbeck deserves the benefit of the doubt. Period.

On a related note, O’Reilly and others have questioned the family’s decision to allow their son to appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show. I don’t understand the decision, but again, I have never faced such circumstances.  Unlike most people,  Hornbeck’s family has worked very closely with families of other missing children for years. Tragically, they know the agony endured by the families of missing children. They also deserve the benefit of the doubt for their decision that Shawn could handle a television appearance.  At a minimum, people like O’Reilly who criticized the family’s decision should ask themselves if Hornbeck would have appeared on the show if certain media people had not fanned rumors that Hornbeck enjoyed his time in captivity.  The Oprah program dispelled that notion.

Ultimately, the only thing that matters is that both Ownby and Hornbeck are safe. Thank God!

I was never a fan of Bill O’Reilly even though I agree with him more often than not. The narcissism he often displays in everyday political debate is one thing, but this was just too much. An abducted child who was missing for four years doesn’t deserve to be slandered.

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Jack Bauer Can Handle It

Posted by Ryan on January 19, 2007

CAIR (Council of American-Islamic Relations) is after the hit Fox TV series “24” after the first few episodes show what might happen if Muslim extremists got hold of a nuclear weapon and got it here to America– they’d use it!  So, even in real life Jack Bauer is still being chased by Muslims bent on destroying him.  Did you pick up on that?  Real Life.  “24” is not, but it is a damned good show that strikes a chord with many people in these times.   Where were all the groups picking on the show’s depiction of the Chinese or Russian bad-guys in the last few seasons?

I know CAIR thinks it’s their job to make a stink about this stuff, but instead of throwing insults and potential lawsuits, why not use the show as a starting point for a dialogue about how moderate Islam is NOT reflected in the show’s bad-guys?  Why not use this opportunity to talk about why the fear of Muslim extremists bothers so many Americans and what we can all to to assuage those fears?  Rather, they throw barbs and lawyers at a very popular show.  I think CAIR’s is the wrong approach, especially if they successfully lobby Fox to ultimately cancel/severely edit the show next season.  Until then, I can’t wait until next Monday at 9pm!  Also, it’s still not too late to get caught up with the show either!

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