O'Reilly hosted "progressive feminist" Tammy Bruce to smear Clinton, liberals

››› ››› ANDREW IRONSIDE

On the February 21 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, during a discussion about comedian Bill Maher's recent comments that President Bush is a "rube" and a "yokel", host Bill O'Reilly asserted that conservative attacks on former President Bill Clinton were "not as bad as [liberal attacks on] Bush, but almost." O'Reilly then asked Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce: "What was it on the other side that drove the personal attacks toward Bill Clinton?" Bruce replied: "Bill Clinton being a sexual predator in the White House. I mean, when your behavior is personal -- and that was the difference between Bill Clinton and George W. Bush." She then added: "Bill Clinton's behavior ... almost destroyed the nation, with him being distracted from the nation's business -- big difference."

O'Reilly later agreed with Bruce that Clinton's behavior "distracted him from protecting us," adding: "Al-Qaeda -- hello?" Bruce concluded: "You're looking, at least with the attacks on Clinton, at what conservatives do -- what I respect immensely -- are the details. They give them details. With Bush's attackers, they don't."

Earlier in the segment, Bruce had told O'Reilly: "[W]hat ... my reflection is, having been on the left, is that these are people who look at the president in a way as like a father figure -- that they are projecting their issues that are unresolved in their past onto this stranger." She later added: "I think people like [actor] Danny DeVito and Bill Maher are envious of the president. They're jealous of the fact that he has power and they remind him of their father, perhaps, and they resent that."

In addition, despite calling herself "a liberal" during the segment, Bruce stated: "It [faith] is the thing that the president asks, as faith does, that you sacrifice something, that you exercise discipline in your life, that we want you to be a better person as conservatives." As Media Matters for America documented, Bruce is a self-described "openly gay, pro-choice, gun owning, pro-death penalty, voted-for-President Bush progressive feminist." Bruce has equated the election of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean as chairman of the Democratic National Committee to "putting O.J. Simpson in charge of a battered women's shelter." Additionally, following the resignation of former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) and his misconduct with underage male former congressional pages, Bruce asserted on the October 2 edition of Fox News Live: "All I want, frankly, is a gay person in office who is not a sexual compulsive," as Media Matters documented.

From the February 21 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: You know, it's way beyond policy differences here with these people. I have a list of people who've attacked President Bush personally. What do you think that is?

BRUCE: Well, it certainly isn't politics. It's -- I'm a liberal. It's not about even disagreeing with the president. I disagree with him on many issues, including the immigration issue and the abortion issue, but I still respect the man.

You can disagree with people. Your audience does not always agree with you 100 percent of the time.

O'REILLY: Correct.

BRUCE: This is personal.

And what our -- my reflection is, having been on the left, is that these are people who look at the president in a way as like a father figure -- that they are projecting their issues that are unresolved in their past onto this stranger, and the issue has to be for everyone who hates President Bush. But you got to ask yourself a question: How can I hate so much a stranger, a veritable stranger? We can disagree, but hate is an entirely different framework.

And my work has revolved around something called malignant narcissism. It's the idea that the damage in your childhood that may be inflicted by your own father, perhaps, is -- affects the way you view the world now. It is based in paranoia. You heard it with Bill Maher.

It is litanies, an orgy of personal attacks, name-calling that have nothing to do with logic or reason, and I think people like Danny DeVito and Bill Maher are envious of the president. They're jealous of the fact that he has power and they remind him of their father, perhaps, and they resent that.

O'REILLY: So, you're psychoanalyzing these people? Here's what --

BRUCE: We have to, I think.

O'REILLY: Here's -- look, you can make an argument that the Bill Mahers of the world think that this guy has screwed up the country --

BRUCE: Sure.

O'REILLY: -- in a policy way and then take that personally and transfer it. I think he's wrong, Maher, in doing what he does, but I understand that there's passion against President Bush. I understand that.

However, I think it has to do with his religious beliefs. Bill Maher is a virulent anti-religious person. And I think Hollywood a secular community. Would you agree?

BRUCE: In general, yes.

O'REILLY: By and large?

BRUCE: Those who are people of faith or conservative remain hidden. But generally, yes.

O'REILLY: OK. So Hollywood: very secular.

[...]

O'REILLY: So, you agree with me that there's some linkage to the faith thing?

BRUCE: Absolutely. And faith is a dynamic, also, that asks things of you. It is the thing that the president asks, as faith does, that you sacrifice something, that you exercise discipline in your life, that we want you to be a better person as conservatives. That is the thing that gets rejected.

And those values that have made this nation great, that allows Bill Maher to say what he said, is based in a Christian ethic.

O'REILLY: Well, Judeo-Christian philosophy.

BRUCE: That's the irony.

O'REILLY: That's what Culture Warrior is all about.

BRUCE: Yes, exactly.

O'REILLY: Now, you're a liberal and you know the world -- and Bill Clinton was attacked personally, not as bad as Bush, but almost. What was it on the other side that drove the personal attacks toward Bill Clinton?

BRUCE: Bill Clinton being a sexual predator in the White House. I mean, when your behavior is personal -- and that was the difference between Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. George W. Bush is being attacked and being called names and being hated for a policy with which you can disagree.

Bill Clinton's behavior, what he was being chastised for, was personal behavior that did destroy people's lives and, in fact, almost destroyed this nation, with him being distracted from the nation's business -- big difference.

O'REILLY: But Lewinsky -- Miss Lewinsky was an adult. You know --

BRUCE: Oh, well, sure.

O'REILLY: Miss Lewinsky, you know, made her decision, and to me -- see, that never really factored in, and I couldn't really understand the hatred.

BRUCE: Hey, listen, I voted for -- I voted for Bill Clinton twice. And on the second time I voted for him, it was, whatever is his life is his business.

O'REILLY: Right.

BRUCE: The moment it moved into the Oval Office --

O'REILLY: I'm with you.

BRUCE: -- that's the only --

O'REILLY: The moment it distracted him from protecting us --

BRUCE: Yes. Yes.

O'REILLY: Al Qaeda -- hello?

BRUCE: Exactly. So, what --

O'REILLY: And the moment he abused the Oval Office --

BRUCE: Yes.

O'REILLY: -- by using that as his platform, then it got into the policies.

BRUCE: Yes. That's when you look at the attacks and what the differences are.

O'REILLY: But, do you think that the attacks on Bush are worse than Bill Clinton?

BRUCE: Absolutely. You're looking, at least with the attacks on Clinton, at what conservatives do -- what I respect immensely -- are the details. They give them details. With Bush's attackers, they don't.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bill O'Reilly, Tammy Bruce
Show/Publication
The O'Reilly Factor
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Progressives, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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