Bill O’Reilly, apparently reeling (or rejoicing in the publicity, take your pick) from the public mauling he’s been receiving after the Late Show incident with Dave Letterman (“60% of what you say is crap“), has responded in a lengthy article on the matter, saying the incident proves there is a vast left-wing culture war. Interestingly, apparently simply calling a spade a spade makes us privvy to this leftist conspiracy, even though we’re a libertarian outlet.
For me, it’s hard enough to watch O’Reilly bloviate on television, trying to decode his smirks and raised eyebrows for hints of couched sarcasm that he so frequently retreats to, so I was doubly annoyed when I had to read through an entire article without visual cues. For our own reader’s amusement, I have tried to decodeand decipher which parts were crap (I’d spit-ball at 60%, but I’ll just call ’em like I see ’em) and which parts contain a modicum of truth. To make it easier to distinguish, I’ve simply struck through the crap:
Even though the war on terror dominates the headlines,
the culture war in America is almost as intense. On one side you have traditionalists, people who believe the country was well-founded, does mostlygood things, and has become the most powerful nation on earth by adhering to Judeo-Christian principles like generosity, justice, and self-sacrifice.
On the other side of the culture war are the secular-progressives (S-P’s)
who believe that the USA is fundamentally a flawed country, which has caused considerable misery both within and outside our borders. The S-P’s want drastic change and a new direction for America.
The two most intense issues in the culture war right now are how to deal with terrorism and what role spirituality should play in the public arena.
The S-P’s want little or no public displays of God or religion. That’s what drove the attacks on Christmas images and traditions; knock down the big Christian holiday, and the secularists achieve a big victory.
On the terror front, traditionalists largely want aggressive action
to wipe out the “evildoers,” and if lraq is the battlefield, then so be it.
Secular-progressives are appalled by the Iraq war
and generally believe the USA has no right to act unilaterally to hunt down terrorists or their enablers.
So the stage was set for my recent appearance on the David Letterman show. I am a traditionalist; Mr. Letterman tends to mock traditionalists. And he often does it very well.
Our discussion began with the Christmas
controversy. Dave did not see it as a big deal. When I pointed out the absurdity of a library in Memphis, Tennessee OK’ing a manger scene but then telling the woman donating it that she had to remove Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the three Wise Men, Dave said he did not believe the story. And, generally, that was the opinion of the liberal media: There was no Christmas controversy — the whole thing was fabricated by religious zealots bent on establishing a theocracy. Dave’s skepticism must have come as a surprise to Memphis resident Brandi Chambless, the woman ordered to remove statues of the Holy Family and their visitors from the East. But, hey, the shepherds could stay, staring into an empty stable.
The subject quickly shifted to Iraq, a conflict both Letterman
and Ibelieve has been poorly managed. We also found common ground on the terrific performance of the U.S. military.
But then Cindy Sheehan came up. Uh-oh.
as well as many in the entertainment community,feels that Ms. Sheehan should not be criticized. He believes she is above reproach because her son, Casey, was killed in Iraq.
I do not see it that way, so sparks flew.
My contention is that Ms. Sheehan is entitled to grieve and dissent in any way she wants, buther grief is being exploited by far-left elements.
And when Ms. Sheehan told Mark Knoller, a correspondent for CBS radio, that the terrorists in Iraq were “freedom fighters,” she insulted thousands of other Americans who lost loved ones in Iraq.
Simply put, terrorists who blow up civilians, women and children are not freedom fighters in any sense. They are murderers, and I called Mr. Letterman on Sheehan’s support of them.
I hope you saw the program.
It was a rare display of the culture war on television.I told Dave I respected his views and he should respect mine. I enjoyed the joust.
By far more important, is the wake-up call many late-night viewers got. We in America are becoming a deeply divided country
along cultural lines.The more we all understand what the issues are, the better. The culture war is real, and now, everybody watched Letterman that evening knows it.
The reality is that O’Reilly and his “traditionalist” pals represent a a contingent which likes to take offense at everything that doesn’t go their way towards a more theocratic state where laws based on religious collectivism run the show.
It wasn’t secularists who got religion booted off of public property, it was traditionalists who couldn’t stomach the idea that someone might want to put an upside-down neon cross or whatever satanist/religious/sectarian icon of the day next to their baby jesus in a manger display on the public lawn. Because they raised a stink, both sides had to suffer since the courts ruled that if one couldn’t have a display, neither could the other.
Liberals of yesteryear may have shoved the notion of political correctness and not daring to offend anyone down our throats, but the flip side now seems to be taking offense at religious mockery and unfettered speech while declaring a “culture war”… which is downright laughable.
So, on behalf of moderates and common sense folks (libertarians) who are caught in the crossfire of this “culture war” — watching in amusement as they trade religious-toned barbs and politically correct tsk tsks — we simply say to both sides: kindly shove it up your ass.