Look, it's somebody lying on the TV.
Yeah, I know. Stop the presses. A more startling headline might be: "Dog eats food!" It's not news that self-proclaimed morality guardian Bill O'Reilly is a source of misinformation next to whom the Weekly World News looks like a Pulitzer contender. Bat Boy has more credibility than O'Reilly.
Now he's professing to be shocked, shocked about a panel last April at Boulder High School that was part of the Conference on World Affairs. (YouTube clip here.) I was on a CWA panel at Boulder High (about "Borat") that same week, and I can only imagine what O'McCarthy could have edited from it to make me or any of my co-panelists sound like we were saying something other than what we actually said. Say we quoted something from Borat in the movie. Out of context, O'Reilly could make it appear as if we were saying it ourselves. This one-man sitcom (oh, wait, that's his term for John Edwards) stoops that low, and lower, all the time, and oops he's doing it again. Of course, O'Reilly deals only in clips and sound bites. He has no patience for complete thoughts. Perhaps he simply doesn't have the time or the inclination to read or listen to what actually occurred during the 90-minute panel discussion, but for the record I'm going to re-print his claims alongside the actual transcript of the panel. We compare, you decide. And then perhaps you'll see why Boulder High students are demanding an apology from Fox and its loudest, most irresponsible (and that's saying a lot!) Spinmeister. O'Reilly's yellow-journalism depends on distortion and misrepresentation. The easiest way to counter it is to let the facts speak for themselves.
O'Reilly introduced the subject by mentioning that the president of the University of Colorado has "finally" recommended that professor Ward Churchill be fired: "But there is another educational outrage in Boulder that makes Churchill look insignificant. At Boulder High School students were ordered to attend an assembly where a bunch of so-called educators encouraged the kids to take drugs and to have indiscriminate sex." First, students say "ordered" is not true -- or, to use more appropriate high school language, attendance was not mandatory. But on top of this, now we are also supposed to believe that O'Reilly's prolonged campaign of outrage against Churchill (which he mounted on 25 "O'Reilly Factor" shows between January and May 2005 alone) was, in retrospect, "insignificant," because... why? You decide.
O'Reilly, a secular-aggressive, does not mention that the topics for the Conference on World Affairs panels at Boulder High are selected by the students themselves, and that the panels are produced by the students, and that questions from the audience are encouraged. This event was also introduced by a student, who said: "…Boulder High is the only High School that helps plan and host panels for this Conference. As students here at Boulder High, we try to create panels that will discuss topics and issues very present in the lives of students here today. [indecipherable] and myself are the creators and producers for today’s panel, STDs, which stands for Sex, Teens, and Drugs." The panelists were provided with the results of a student body survey in which a third of Boulder High students said they'd had sex, and half of those had done so under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Some might believe that was a matter of concern, worth addressing in an open student forum.
(Aside to O'Reilly: "STD" is also an acronym for "Sexually Transmitted Diseases." See how the title turns "sex, teens and drugs" into "STDs"? That was the subject of the panel, that drugs and sex can be dangerous and have dire consequences for people in their teens.) As he makes clear again and again, facts and context don't matter much to O'Reilly, for whom an hour-and-a-half panel is too long to say what he wants it to say so he can criticize it for saying what it doesn't say.
On a show posted on YouTube May 18, 2007, in the middle of a one-sided "discussion" of the Boulder High panel with a shock jock from a Denver/Littleton Clear Channel AM station (KHOW), O'Reilly said: "It is hard to believe that in America today you can have a town as out of control as Boulder. You know about the Midyette baby -- took 14 months to get an indictment on a murder case there. You know about JonBenet Ramsey. And now we have Boulder High School. But it doesn't seem that the residents of Boulder care if their high school tells their kids to go out and have sex of all kinds, at all age, and to use narcotics. They simply don't care in Boulder."
That's right -- there's a baby death, a child murder, and now a panel discussion. All in Boulder, the Gommorah of the Rockies! O'Reilly sounds like an insane person, but is there some kind of conscious or unconscious association he's trying to make here? Turns out the only parent to have complained about the panel was Priscilla White. You may remember that she and her husband Fleet had their friends the Ramseys over for Christmas dinner the night JonBenet was murdered, and were called to the Ramsey house early the next morning. Fleet White was with John Ramsey when the latter found JonBenet's body in the house. At first the Whites defended their friends; later, they turned against them. Is that what why O'Reilly related the murder of JonBenet to the panel at Boulder High? Are the Whites Friends Of Fox, feeding them material? What is the connection O'Reilly was trying to make between the murder of a child and the panel discussion?