My friend Mikey Weinstein went on the Bill O’Reilly show Thursday night to talk about the nativity scene at Guantanamo Bay that were moved to the base chapel — OMG! PERSECUTION! — and he succeeded in making O’Reilly blow his stack and cut off his microphone.
Near the end, Weinstein asked if O’Reilly had ever served in the military. No, O’Reilly said, he had not. That’s when the fireworks started.
WEINSTEIN: When you’re in the military, it’s not like working at Fox or at Costco. It is an incredibly tribal, adversarial, communal and ritualistic place. There are Department of Defense directives, instructions and regulations in place that absolutely make this clear that this was wrong.
O’REILLY: It was a cowardly decision by the base commander… because this is a depiction of a secular holiday that was signed into law. That’s what it was. And if somebody’s offended by it, I want to know why. And your guys don’t have the courage to stand up and tell me. That’s the fact.
WEINSTEIN: Bill, please don’t call our members of the military cowards. The majority of them were Christians. Because if you want to start getting ad hominem, at least they joined the military and they’re prepared to fight. …They understand what their rights are. And your Christian personal rights will always be trumped by the civil rights of your fellow Americans.
O’REILLY: You know what? Mr. Weinstein, you just – and with all due respect to your parents – are just a bloviator. You don’t answer the questions and I’ll tell you what: I covered four wars with the pen! (He defiantly held up his pen)
WEINSTEIN: You’re an aggressive bully and an arrogant idiot!
O’REILLY: …Cut him off, he’s a jerk. I covered four wars with a pen, OK, Mr. Weinstein? So don’t impugn my courage ever again. You’re a weasel.
Of course, one of those “wars” was the “war on Christmas.” But I’m still disappointed. This is the third person I know who has been on O’Reilly’s show in the last couple weeks and not one of them has found a way to work “falafel” and “loofah” into the conversation. Come on people, work with me here!