Attack, feign innocence, repeat, Bill O’Reilly has perfected his formula.
He's becoming a master at creating and feeding controversy. The Fox News commentator, who often refers to people he disagrees with as "pinheads," is like the bully on the playground that puts on a “who, me?” face when the teacher comes over.
The latest example of the O’Reilly formula in action is the ongoing dust up between he and Jason Whitaker, the Fox Sports writer who’s article having to do with gun violence was made famous in Bob Costas’ halftime “sermon.” After writing the article, Whitaker made some “off-message” remarks on the Tom Joyner morning radio show that compared the National Rifle Association to the KKK. O’Reilly invited the sports writer on his show to debate. Whitaker refused.
On Tuesday then, O’Reilly dedicated the better of his show to “civility” and calling out Whitaker for not facing him.
In an article on Fox Sports, Whitaker wrote his reply:
…I was summoned to testify before the Speaker of the Big House Bill O’Reilly, the FOX News entertainer. O’Reilly is fixated on the mistake I made on the Tom Joyner show. O’Reilly spent part of his Tuesday show telling his viewers that I was afraid to come on “The Factor”…. I’m a grow-ass man and it’s 2012. I don’t have to shuffle off to the big house when summoned. O’Reilly is not Boehner, Pelosi or Obama. He’s a TV entertainer who has spent weeks after the election crying about the end of “white establishment” America, the end of the days when an upstanding white man felt entitled to summon whomever he wanted whenever he wanted to the Big House to dance. I don’t dance.
What does O’Reilly do? He plans to dedicate his Wednesday show to the subject of racism and how labeling someone a racist is a form of violence.
That’s just masterful. He extends an invite, builds a show segment around Whitaker's refusal, gets a response, and then uses Whitaker's response as fuel for another show segment.
Feed the beast, O’Reilly, feed the beast.