Friday, February 22, 2008

Bill O Apologizes for Lynching Comment

Bill O'Reilly casually apologizes for using the word "lynching" in defense of Michelle Obama, excusing it by reaching way back to remarks made by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991. Thomas referred to a "high tech lynching" in defending himself against sexual harassment charges by Anita Hill during his Senate confirmation hearings. There's a major difference in this case.

Beyond the fact that it was 16 years ago and the standards were a little different then, Clarence Thomas is black. Without addressing whether you think Thomas was correct in using the metaphor in his case, it can appropriately used by a black man referring to himself in a befitting circumstance. Meaning said black man is describing a situation where someone did something to him akin to lynching. Not by a white man about a black woman, as in Bill O's case.

It isn't much of an apology, if this clip is all he said. It's almost flippant, using the justification that in Michelle Obama's defense, context justified her statement. Somehow he believes that context justifies his. Except he conveniently leaves out the fact that he made no reference to Clarence Thomas in his original statement about Michelle Obama. So how does it fit into the context of his statement about her? Also, it's a qualified apology, which is no apology at all. And it makes no acknowledgment of the offensiveness of the word and that it should never be used.

It's more of a justification than an apology. The word came out of his mouth. But in the context of, "If I offended anybody", and the Clarence Thomas also said it defense, it's not really an apology at all. Context, Bill, is everything.

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