Leftists are often unable to argue against some actual word or deed of conservatives. In such cases, they prefer to create their own, alternative reality. That is, they invent a straw man, and argue against that, because that’s easier to defeat in debate.
That is what Joy Behar, Whoopie Goldberg, et al. are busily doing with regard to Bill O’Reilly’s appearance on “The View.” Goldberg visited the Fox News program “On The Record” with Greta van Susteren (Oct. 20, 2010) to justify herself after the fact, and said this:
. . . I don’t want to have to take on Bill O’Reilly. . . . But, you know, if he had said all Irish people are drunks, or all black people love fried chicken, it’s the same thing to me.
And in this volatile time you cannot say the Muslims killed [emphasis added], because people only hear what they want to hear. . . .[T]hat’s like saying, you know, all black people are drug addicts or drug dealers.
Message to Whoopie: O’Reilly didn’t say “the Muslims” killed us. He said “Muslims” killed us” – that is, some Muslims. Any fluent speaker of English (except a demagogue with an axe to grind) knows that when you say “Muslims killed us,” you aren’t saying “All the Muslims in the world killed us.” If you say, “Wolves attacked us,” you aren’t saying “all the wolves in the world” attacked us. You’re saying some of them — a subset of all.
Now, if you were to say “the Muslims” did something, you really would be saying all of them did something. You would be “taking a whole religion and demeaning them,” which Barbara Walters accused O’Reilly of.
But O’Reilly said “Muslims killed us on 9/11″ – some Muslims. And his statement is incontrovertible. Screaming, cursing, accusing him of bigotry, and walking out can’t change the fact. Furthermore, saying “Extremists did that,” as Goldberg did, does not preclude the fact that “Muslims did that”; the two are not mutually exclusive.
We know Goldberg and Behar don’t like the idea that Muslims attacked us. Many people don’t. That’s why people invent ludicrous fairy tales about how “9/11 was an inside job,” that it was “controlled demolition,” and much idiocy in that vein. Some people hate to admit that we are ever in the right, or that our enemies are less than admirable. Always seeing our opponents’ point of view, and never seeing our own, is what passes in their minds for a lofty, noble viewpoint, which they think it gives them moral kudos. Creating straw-man arguments is one way they maintain that viewpoint.