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Did Bill O'Reilly Kill Dr. George Tiller?

Notorious late-term abortion practitioner Dr. George Tiller was gunned down on his way to church on Sunday. Motives and details are still being sorted out, but his murder prompted insanity all around — the best demonstration of which was forwarded by Salon writer Gabriel Winnant:

But there’s no other person who bears as much responsibility for the characterization of Tiller as a savage on the loose, killing babies willy-nilly thanks to the collusion of would-be sophisticated cultural elites, a bought-and-paid-for governor and scofflaw secular journalists.

Winnant was referring to Bill O’Reilly.

Winnant is implying that O’Reilly incited the murder of Dr. Tiller because he reported heavily on him and used catchy headlines like “Tiller the Baby Killer“:

The Factor has learned that Tiller was aborting babies of girls aged 10-15, including victims of forcible rape, “and those abortions were not reported to authorities as required by law,” Bill said, “so the criminals who impregnated the girls have so far gotten away with it.”

The guest on the Factor the night of November 3 was the aforementioned Kansas Attorney General Kline. “[In] every single instance, there was not a late-term abortion performed on a viable child to save the life of the mother,” Kline asserted, “and in every single instance, there was not an abortion performed for a physical reason.” So according to the records, Tiller was using “depression” (and that, Bill concluded, “could be anything”) as an excuse to terminate these pregnancies.

“When you have a 10- or 11-year-old child who is pregnant, and gets an abortion, and no one calls the police, it’s likely a family member that is abusing that child,” said Kline. In Kansas, sexual intercourse with a child under 14 is defined as “rape” because the child is below the age of consent, which means any pregnant girl under 14 getting an abortion at Tiller’s clinic is the victim of a crime and Tiller is required to inform authorities. AG Kline indicated Tiller is not reporting the rapes, a felony under Kansas law.

This reporting from O’Reilly posted two years ago. Does Winnant really believe that such a dated article served as the catalyst for Sunday’s murder? Or is he just exploiting a convenient story to paint his ideological enemies as psychopaths?

Either way, it’s massive hypocrisy and lazy, subjective reasoning. Leftists like Winnant love their free speech, unless it’s speech they prefer not to hear. Recall when Tipper Gore went on a similar anti-free speech rampage? When the controversial messages come from the worlds of art or music, we get liberal outrage when someone suggests they’ve gone too far. Tipper Gore challenges free speech in pop culture and becomes the enemy. When the controversial words come from a conservative like O’Reilly? Forget free speech. He, of course, must be silenced.

On Sunday, George Tiller is murdered and Bill O’Reilly is to blame.  Then, on Monday, two Army recruiters are shot — one murdered — and the response from the left is close to silence. Winnant cries against tough words and blames someone for inciting violence in the case of the abortion doctor’s death. Would he have been outraged had we found that the Army recruiters’ shooting was a politically motivated assassination? If a left-wing nut had been responding to the Tiller murder, would Winnant blame himself for the murderous incitement? Certainly Winnant could be amenable to the idea that the reporting and rhetoric surrounding the Tiller murder has been high-pitched and could incite a person to murder innocent soldiers, couldn’t he?

Winnant may also wish to apply his brand of logic to a piece in Monday’s Playboy, titled “conservative women we’d like to “hate-f***“:

The hatred is certainly apparent on all ten of the entries on this list. The boss hits #1 on this list, Amanda Carpenter’s on it too, but perhaps the entry on Mary Katharine Ham demonstrates their misogynism best:

The Hate F**k Rating: You get this one pregnant, she stays pregnant. Karma’s a bitch, isn’t it?

Let’s be clear about terms here. A “hate f**k” sounds like something perhaps just short of rape, but degrading enough to entertain the perverted twerps at Playboy. The fact that the magazine published this piece of effluvium should be enough to show that everyone in the editorial process, from the writer to Hef himself, don’t want women empowered. They want silent sex objects, and when confronted with women whose opinions differ from theirs, want them humiliated.

Vile and disgusting, right? Even some few on the left agree. Should one of these women be attacked, would Winnant join in the outrage, holding the Playboy writer and the magazine itself liable for the assault?

Not likely.

Gabriel Winnant wants certain people, people he disagrees with, to shut up. He wants his speech to be free but he doesn’t want Bill O’Reilly’s speech to be free. Ditto Tipper Gore. Ditto the Playboy writer who doesn’t deserve to be named. The rule is this: if you hold a view outside of liberal orthodoxy, you should say nothing … or else. In the case of the young, beautiful, conservative women listed in Playboy, speaking out risks being the subject of rape fantasies and being objectified and dehumanized.

This is America. While I find Winnant wrong and Tipper Gore wrong and the Playboy writer wrong, they’re free to give their opinion. Americans are free to speak stupidly, and the risk to a free society by constraining that speech outweighs the risks of having the speech expressed. So let the haters hate, expose it, and rebut. I say this being a woman who has received a death wish fantasy, more than once, on my blog.

I say this as a friend concerned about the safety of fellow bloggers who have been threatened. I have to choose sides, and I choose free speech.

Winnant? He certainly does not.