Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly Among Early Scapegoats for Tiller Murder

5 years ago
  0 Comments Say Something  »
Text Size
It didn't take long. The blogosphere, and the more immediate (and arguably more important) Twittersphere are abuzz with finger-pointing in the hours-ago murder of Dr. George Tiller.

On Twitter, Daily Kos' Markos Moulitsas was characterisically subtle with his summation:
Who'll be the next target of O'Reilly's and Beck's ire to get gunned down by domestic conservative terrorist?
As I pointed out earlier, Bill O'Reilly has already been singled out, and Ann Coulter was the next to be teed up:
In fact, the hands are many in the death of George Tiller, some more directly than others. Take Ann Coulter, for example. I watched her describe, to a church full of right-wing activists, abortion-clinic doctors and health care personnel who were murdered, as either having been shot, "...or, depending on your point of view, had a procedure performed on them with a rifle." And she's still out there today, spewing the same bile with violent force.
As you read this, the interweb is being scoured for clips of right-wing personalities to hang this on, all in service of...well, I'm not really sure. Are Coulter, O'Reilly, Terry, et al, supposed to begin weeping and preaching the pro-choice message of tolerance?

No, the implication here is stark, and not really an implication at all. Conservative pundits incited the murder of Dr. Tiller. It naturally follows, then, that they are guilty of criminal speech.

This is an argument of opportunity, and it reeks. If, for example, a similar fate had befallen then-President Bush, would Kos, et al, present themselves for summary arrest?

To be clear, I am not defending what O'Reilly and Coulter said, but rather their right to say it. Neither of them invented the "Abortion is murder" frame that is the bulwark of the "right to life" movement.

Coulter's remark, in particular, is an example of the kind of dark hyperbole that both sides routinely use to illustrate a point. A reasonable person could not conclude that she was diminishing the shooting of doctors, but rather illustrating how seriously some pro-lifers view abortions. To imply otherwise is dishonest.

While Kos and Co. similarly have the right to say what he wants, I don't think they're helping to cool the temperature of this conflict. Attempts to paint everyone who considers themselves "pro-life" as accessories to murder are necessarily counterproductive, especially when you consider how broad that segment really is.

I am unflinchingly pro-choice, and I believe that standing up for choice is crucial to being pro-woman. On the other hand, I grant others their differing point of view, and I'm glad we live in a country that allows women reproductive freedom.

Alienating people with relatively moderate positions on abortion does nothing to help keep it that way. Instead, we ought to realize that most people, on both sides of this question, argue passionately, but in good faith, and find the common ground that the President spoke of in denouncing and mourning this murder.
Tommy on: Daily Dose:
Outbrain - The Most Trusted Content Discovery Platform

Get Your Content Discovered.

Promote your content on premium websites

Learn More ›

Outbrain Amplify:
Get your content discovered

Your content will be promoted on the web's largest and most respected media properties, including, Slate and ESPN. We make sure it's seen precisely when people will find it most interesting.

Learn More

Outbrain Engage: The solution for a modern publisher

Outbrain Engage is a full stack software solution that empowers an entire media organization to more effectively manage its online content and programming experience.

Learn More

The world's largest content discovery platform

We bring together premium publishers and marketers of all sizes (including many of the world's leading brands) into the world's largest and most vibrant content marketplace. Learn more about Outbrain ›

561 Million

The global audience reached by Outbrain each month*

190 Billion

The total recommendations we serve consumers monthly


Of the world’s leading brands use Outbrain

* Audience reach according to comScore, September 2014. Leading brands via Ad Age DataCenter / Kantar Media, 2014.

Andy Blau
We selected Outbrain not only because the revenues were higher than others, but because its engine drives better recommendations than others.
Andy Blau
Senior Vice President, Group General Manager
Time Inc.
Dan Horowitz
It's less about buying traffic than it is about reaching the right people with relevant headlines to get them to your content.
Dan Horowitz
EVP and Senior Partner
Fleishman-Hillard Digital
Katrina Craigwell
Our goal is always to deliver content that adds value to the conversations being held by the end user. Outbrain allows us to do just that.
Katrina Craigwell
Global Manager of Digital Marketing
Bailey Foote
The fact that we’re able to drive these kinds of transactions with consumers at scale and with increasing efficiency has made Outbrain paramount to our marketing strategy.
Bailey Foote
E-commerce Manager
The Line
Neal Moore
You cannot leave it to chance that someone will find and engage with your content. Outbrain can put your content in the midst of the world’s most prestigious publications.
Neal Moore
Zach Zavos
Having links to our content appearing directly on premium publisher sites helped us establish our brand.
Zach Zavos
Conversant Media
Mike Brito
Outbrain is one of those [critical] components helping us deliver the right messages to the right contingent at massive scale and in real time to counter a crisis.
Mike Brito
Group Director

A global footprint of service

We operate offices in 11 global territories and we partner with publishers and marketers in over 55 countries, including the U.S., UK, France, Brazil, India and Japan. Come join us ›

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum Comment Moderation Enabled. Your comment will appear after it is cleared by an editor.

Follow Politics Daily

  • Comics
Featuring political comics by Robert and Donna TrussellMore>>
  • Woman UP Video
politics daily videos
Weekly Videos
Woman Up, Politics Daily's Online Sunday ShowMore»
politics daily videos
TV Appearances
Showcasing appearances by Politics Daily staff and contributors.More>>