One of Franken’s favorites is the O’Reilly interview with Jeremy Glick on February 4, 2003, which Franken quotes from selectively. Glick, whose father had died in the World Trade Center attack, had signed a radical advertisement stating in part:
We too watched with shock the horrific events of September 11th. We too mourned the thousands of innocent dead in Baghdad, Panama City, and a generation ago, Vietnam.
Apparently, they were comparing the terrorist attacks on 9/11 with the liberation of Kuwait, the removal of Manuel Noriega and the fight against communism waged in Vietnam.
O’Reilly gave Glick a chance to appear on the Factor to explain why he would sign such a thing. While there, Glick expressed his opposition to the “action against Afghanistan to remove the Taliban”, saying, “Why would I want do brutalize and further punish the people in Afghanistan?” This is despite the brutal nature of the Taliban toward the Afghani people. Not to mention their assistance in training Al-Qaida terrorists who have attacked the United States.
Glick never raised his voice at O’Reilly, but repeatedly refused to offer direct answers and attempted to steer the interview onto pet tangents and accusations.
He accused O’Reilly of rationalizing “domestic plunder” and “imperialistic aggression worldwide” and claimed Bush is part of a legacy responsible for training and situating “the parties involved in the alleged assassination and murder of my father and countless others.”
The reference to 9/11 as “alleged” was particularly confusing and seemed to set O’Reilly off.
O’Reilly eventually told Glick to “shut up” but, in complete disregard of the order (it does make sense that Glick would ignore a direct order from the one in charge, given his disdain for the military), Glick kept talking. O’Reilly finally cut his mic.
The point Franken apparently tries to make is that if Bill O’Reilly is capable of telling Glick to “shut up”, he must be capable of anything. However, even in this example, which Franken chose specifically for it’s extreme nature, O’Reilly was very polite at the start of the interview. Only after Glick insulted O’Reilly did O’Reilly start to lose his temper.
For our purposes, however, the question of O’Reilly’s temper is a moot one. The issue of relevance is Franken’s distortion about the advertisement and the incident:
Glick had signed an advertisement opposing the war in Iraq, and O’Reilly invited him on the show to explain himself, which he did modestly and eloquently.
No mention of Glick defending the Taliban, equating the actions of the United States military with terrorism, insulting the host and refusing to shut up about pet tangents. Franken kinda misled his readers, don’t ya think?