NARAL's Mary Alice Carr in Wash. Post op-ed: "Why I Turned Down O'Reilly"
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From a June 4 op-ed in The Washington Post by Mary Alice Carr, vice president of communications for NARAL Pro-Choice New York:
Let's face it: Bill O'Reilly is not only aware of his power and his reach, he's damn proud of them.
So I went on his show, time and again, even though many other progressives discouraged me. I went because I know what O'Reilly knows: It's the most-watched show, and I thought it was imperative that his audience also hear our viewpoint.
I also know that when you have a bully pulpit, you need to be held accountable for what you preach.
O'Reilly is being incredibly disingenuous when he claims that he bears no responsibility for others' actions in the killing of Dr. George Tiller on Sunday. When you tell an audience of millions over and over again that someone is an executioner, you cannot feign surprise when someone executes that person.
You cannot claim to hold no responsibility for what other people do when you call for people to besiege Tiller's clinic, as O'Reilly did in January 2008. And this was after Tiller had been shot in both arms and after his clinic had been bombed.
O'Reilly knew that people wanted Tiller dead, and he knew full well that many of those people were avid viewers of his show. Still, he fanned the flames. Every time I appeared on his show, I received vitriolic and hate-filled e-mails. And if I received those messages directly, I can only imagine what type of feedback O'Reilly receives. He knows that his words incite violence.