Despite our greatest hopes following his ouster from Fox News, Bill O’Reilly has not yet dropped off the face of the earth.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published on Tuesday, O’Reilly touched on a number of subjects, including NOT the sexual harassment claims against him (because lawyers, of course), Megyn Kelly, the National Geographic Channel taking a hard pass on an adaptation of his Killing Patton book, and Donald Trump’s comments on Charlottesville.
Athought O’Reilly admitted that Trump did not do a particularly spectacular job of responding to Charlottesville, he made some truly AMAZING excuses for him. Starting with the fact that our poor, innocent babe-in-the-woods president just didn’t know enough about history to know that Nazis are bad:
Speaking of which, what did you think about Trump’s statements blaming the violence in Charlottesville on “both sides”?
I’ve known Trump for 30 years. I wrote a column for The Hill and said that Trump’s mistake — and it was one — was that you can never under any circumstances equate Nazis with anyone else. It’s a very simple thing, OK? So if you understand history — and I think Trump does to some extent, but not perhaps to the extent that is needed in this day and age — when you understand the evil that happened in the ’30s and ’40s in Germany, in Europe and even in Japan, really, truly understand it, you can’t make comments about it in any other context other than, this is pure evil. That’s it, OK? Now, if you want to make a point the next day that the antifa movement is destructive, you can do that, but it has to be the next day. You see what I mean?
Donald Trump is a 71-year-old man. I am not sure at what point, exactly, in elementary school or quite possibly preschool, I knew enough about history to know for sure that Nazis were bad, but it definitely coincided with the exact time I found out about Nazis. It was definitely before second grade, I can tell you that much — a point at which I knew little else about history other than that Columbus was also bad and that Dinah Washington was not, in fact, George Washington’s wife. Still, I knew Nazis were bad. Thanks, mom!
How much information, really, does one even need to come to that conclusion? Are there people out there who are like, “AH, after studying the Holocaust for many years, I have finally come to the conclusion that Nazis were really bad”?
When asked if he thought if, perhaps, being that he is the president and all, Trump should perhaps consider learning about how the Nazis were bad, O’Reilly explained that he didn’t really have to, because he is emotional.
But he’s president now. Shouldn’t the bar be higher? Shouldn’t he have a better grasp of history?
He acts and he speaks emotionally, OK? Always. And that’s why he got elected. People rallied to that because they’re tired of the automaton politicians. He wasn’t thinking about Nazis and what they did in World War II and the Holocaust. He was thinking, “I saw on television bad people, Nazis, neo-Nazis, but I also saw antifa people bring weapons to the park and look for trouble.” He saw it, so he said it without stepping back and saying, “You know what? I got to put perspective in play here. I’m the president.” So he didn’t do that. And that’s why he got hammered.
OK, ok. Let’s all just take a second here and IMAGINE A WORLD in which Bill O’Reilly says it is OK for a woman to not know stuff, or be bad at her job, because she’s just really emotional.
I mean, can we consider here the years and years of “Well, a woman really shouldn’t be president, because of her emotions. WHAT IF SHE WAS ON HER PERIOD AND DID A NUCLEAR WAR? Women are definitely too emotional to be presidents!” But apparently it is acceptable for a man to be so emotional he doesn’t know that Nazis are bad?
If I may, allow me to take you back for a moment. Back to an episode of The O’Reilly Factor in which he argued that women were too emotional to be able to report fairly on Donald Trump, especially if they are feminists. Even if they were really, really good journalists.
“If I’m an editor and I know there is a feminist woman in my newsroom, who is brilliant because I think this woman is an excellent reporter, I don’t let her report on a guy like Trump because Trump is the antithesis of that. And so I don’t want any margin of error here, there are plenty of reporters who can do the story, do you not see that?”
So a woman can’t do journalism on Donald Trump, because she is too emotional, but Donald Trump can say dumb shit about Nazis because he’s just emotional like that. Or something? Because when women have emotions they are irrational and incompetent, but when men have emotions — even if it results in incompetency — they’re just being their authentic selves. Unlike all those automatons out there. And that is just like, really beautiful and everyone loves it.
O’Reilly was then asked about the fact that many people (me included!) think that Trump just does not want to alienate the white nationalists.
But there is an interpretation that he said those things because he does not want to alienate his white nationalist supporters.
No, no, no, no. It’s not his style. He doesn’t think that way. What he thinks about is, who’s attacking me unfairly? Who’s giving me a hard time? And I tell him all the time, “Look, you’re the president, you know, and you’re going to get it no matter what you say. You can’t win it.” But is Trump going to listen to me? No, he’s not.
Hold up. So he’s not doing that, but also he’s doing that? Because instead of going after the White Nationalists, who love Trump and think he is a swell dude, but are also White Nationalists, he is going after Antifa and other anti-Nazi protesters because they are “giving him a hard time.”
Is that a normal way to act? For an adult? Isn’t that kind of like being “Charles Manson was really nice to me, but Ralph Nader was not, so YAY murder and fuck seatbelts!” Is it actually possible for anyone to be this stupid?
It’s very clear that Trump thinks that the greatest good is thinking Donald Trump is great. It is clear that he is stupid and that “he acts and he speaks emotionally.” But I’m gonna need to point out that there is no way in hell that Bill O’Reilly would excuse these things in this manner — and still contend that this is a person who should definitely be in charge of running the country — if he were talking about anyone but a straight, white, Republican man.