Continuing to justify his fiery performance on The View yesterday, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly offered an absurd response to critics of his statement that "Muslims killed us on 9-11" by pointing out that we were actually attacked by "Muslim extremists," asking why no one says we fought "Japanese extremists" or "German extremists" during World War II.
How did this start? During the now-infamous View session, O'Reilly asserted that "Muslims killed us on 9-11" while discussing the proposed Park 51 Islamic center. Offended View host Whoopi Goldberg asserted that "extremists" were behind the attack before she and co-host Joy Behar walked off the set. Later, O'Reilly apologized, saying, "If anyone felt that I was demeaning all Muslims, I apologize."
Yet O'Reilly didn't drop the issue. On Fox News programs yesterday and today, he repeatedly made the absurd comparison between Muslim extremists and Japanese and German armies, saying, "Did we say in World War II, we were attacked by Japanese extremists or German extremists? Did we do that? No! ... We said, we were attacked by Japanese. We were attacked by Muslims. That's who attacked us."
Those are so similar, Bill, except for the teeny tiny difference that World War II, was, well, a declared war between nation-states. We were bombed at Pearl Harbor by the armed forces of the Empire of Japan, and fought the German army on the Western Front. That's why we don't say, for example, that we fought "the Christians" in World War II -- while the Germans were Christian, there were plenty of Christians we weren't fighting, and so saying that we fought "the Christians" would be inappropriate. If O'Reilly would rather speak in terms of nations, why not say "the Saudis attacked us," since 15 of the 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia?
Even Karl Rove, in his capacity as a Fox News contributor, told O'Reilly the comparison was far-fetched on Fox and Friends this morning. From the October 15 edition of Fox and Friends:
O'REILLY: I will go back to World War II, the analogy I made on The Factor last night. We didn't say Japanese extremists attacked us at Pearl Harbor. OK? And believe me when I tell you, probably most of the Japanese people didn't want any part of that war.
ROVE: Yes, but World War II was a nation state versus nation state.
O'REILLY: But, Karl, it doesn't matter. We're in a new world now.
ROVE: I agree, but I think it's very important in order to --
O'REILLY: OK? We're being attacked by a group. We're being attacked by a group.
KILMEADE: Right. But go ahead.
ROVE: But it is a subset of a -- we need to --
O'REILLY: The common denominator, Karl, is that they're Muslims.
ROVE: We need to make certain that we divorce the vast bulk of Muslims from the extremists and the radicals who were behind this -- behind terrorism because -
O'REILLY: We also need to define that there is a problem in the Muslim world.
ROVE: Absolutely. And when you say Muslim extremists and Muslim fanatics, and when you attack the wahhabists --
O'REILLY: But the Muslim terrorists and the killers couldn't exist, could not exist, all right, if all the moderate Muslims would join America against them. And that is what we refuse to confront. And I'm tired of it.
If even Karl Rove isn't buying your distorted comparison, you know it's gotta be pretty crazy.