Major Media Mess-Up: Bill O’Reilly is NO Libertarian!

James Atticus Bowden wrote the following at MichNews.com (emphasis added):

Libertarian Bill O’Reilly of the Fox Network champions in the mainstream media what a half-dozen or more clergy and Christian activist leaders advocate in their newsletters and websites. The new level of attention really demonstrates the power of Main Stream Media (MSM) TV. What a giant megaphone.

What a colossal mistake. I’m not talking about O’Reilly, although he is a colossal mistake, as well. I’m taking about the word Bowden used to describe O’Reilly. From wiki:

Specifically, libertarian politics holds that a person’s freedom to dispose of his body and private property as he sees fit should be unlimited as long as that person does not initiate coercion on the person or property of others. Libertarians define “coercion” as the use of physical force, the threat of such, or deception (fraud), that alters, or is intended to alter, the way individuals would use their body or property. The libertarian political principle prohibiting coercion is known as the non-aggression principle, and many libertarians consider it a defining tenet from which spring all their political views. Libertarians see themselves as consistent supporters of maximum freedom and minimum state intervention in all human activities (where “freedom” is defined as negative liberty).

Based on this definition, Fox’s bloviated statist ranter could only be described as anti-libertarian. I know hordes of libertarians and Libertarians, and I expect they would all agree. Let’s look at the record. O’Reilly:

    blatantly supports the war in Iraq
    is a top general in the war on drugs
    supports the use of torture
    wants to increase EPA spending
    wishes to create gulags and throw people in them for life
    supports religious interference in legal and political matters
    does not believe in the Second Amendment
    wants to send troops to the U.S. Mexico border
    favors some economic boycotts
    supports raising automobile fuel efficiency standards
    supports some welfare programs from time to time
    generally criticizes legitimate libertarian activities (i.e. free speech issues) of the ACLU
    opposes same-sex marriage (as a matter of law, not personal preference)
    agrees with BCRA and the McCain-Feingold bill
    believes in public healthcare for the underpriviledged
    supports U.S. overseas detainment facilities
    criticizes private associations and activities
    supports public schools, and the teaching of Intelligent Design therein
    favors unnecessary human suffering (while there are reports that he supports medical marijuana, his actions disprove his words)
    even waged a short-lived war on gangsta rap

Describing O’Reilly as libertarian is about as accurate as calling Cindy Sheehan a hawk or Dubya a dove. Libertarians worldwide have just been insulted by this, and I’d like to hear an apology from Mr. Bowden.

UPDATE: Mr. Bowden just struck the word “Libertarian” on his article, and sent the following in an e-mail:

I’ll fix from my end. Thanks.

James Atticus Bowden
Isaiah 59:21

It’s not often that we can claim victory twice in one day at HoT. If we keep this up, we may lose some of our favorite visitors.

32 Comments
  1. Dis — I remember that story. I’ve got a lot more, but don’t have my reference material handy.

    Like how he jerks over libertarian guests and how we even have to sneak the word libertarian on his program

  2. Ever since O’Reilly and Boortz got into it, Bill has had a mad-on for libertarianism. He plays around the edges of SOME of our basic points, but blows it on the dismount.

  3. Bill O’Reilly is an Authoritarian Republican in my opinion. He is just another person that thinks he knows best, just like liberals, or moderates. Only real Libertarians believe in freedom on all the issues.

    I made sure to send this to a few of my Libertarian Yahoo Groups I am on, so we can try to get a retraction and apology out of Mr. Bowden.

  4. Agreed on all counts except this one: “favors some economic boycotts.” What’s unlibertarian about that? (Unless you mean a government-enforced boycott.)

  5. Pretty new to the term libertarian but feel there does need to be another legitimate party. Having said that, however, if using your own body as you see fit includes murdering the baby in the womb then I do not see the use of libertarians. We already have too many crappy liberals.

  6. Mike,

    Like most of America, Libertarians are pretty split on the abortion issue. The LP may not have the votes to keep it on the platform this convention, and Amerca’s favorite libertarian, Ron Paul, opposes it.

    Check out Libertarians for Life

  7. Mike Konkel,

    There are both pro-abortion and anti-abortion libertarians. It isn’t the abortion party, it is the libertarian party.

  8. Jesse,

    I agree with your logic and am not using the O’Reilly blathering about freedom fries as my example.

    My recollection is that O’Reilly supported Jim Saxton’s legislation to block French companies from “participating or receiving any U.S. government aid or financing in any reconstruction of Iraq in a post-conflict setting.”

  9. I needed a good laugh, Stephen. Thanks! Although, it’s probably politcally-incorrect to point out what a bunch of cheese-eating surrender monkeys the French are… ahh, who cares. I’m off work today, think I’ll have a drink.

    Wait… is drinking still legal? I’d better check. *snicker*

  10. Keith,

    I’m sure alcohol prohibition will be back on the table in Alabama if Roy Moore wins. But that’s OK, I prefer free market booze anyway.

  11. What gives with conservatives branding themselves and each other as “libertarians”? This is, to quote Kasey Casem, ponderous, fucking ponderous.

    Is there SHAME in being conservative? (I have my own answer to that, but I digress.) Are libertarians the cool kids? I’m at a loss.

    My name is Greg by the way. Long time fan, first time caller. I’ll take me answer off air.

  12. I suspect the O’Reilly was given this label by a know-nothing reporter because O’Reilly one claimed (on air) to have voted for Harry Browne.

  13. FBC – Somehow, I must have missed the HB statement.

    Greg – Welcome. And we like second and third time callers, too.

    Perahps someday we can become cool enough that they’ll actually vote for us.

  14. “if using your own body as you see fit includes murdering the baby in the womb then I do not see the use of libertarians.”

    Good. This relationship should work out well since I see no use for one issue voters such as yourself.

    Basing your vote just about completely on one issue is so simple-minded. There are so many more important issues to look at as a whole.

  15. Don’t forget that O’Reilly also weighed in favoring price controls on gasoline. Ron Paul is a libertarian, maybe not our favorite though. And he’s still libertarian even though wrong on abortion. Yes,libertarians are split but it’s not down the middle by any means. More of us support choice than oppose it.

  16. Don’t worry Stephen, we defeatists will keep on visiting Hammer of Truth. Although we may have capitulated to the forces of government, we admire the fierce anti-statism exhibited on this site.

  17. Don’t forget, Bill O’Reilly has said on Fox News that he has no problem with “people smoking marijuana in their basements”. Now if you’ll excuse me (grabs lighter, heads downstairs…)

  18. comandante,

    It looks like the forces of statism have hit typepad, though. Or the forces of something