he man accused of killing late-term abortion doctor George Tiller has a ready-made defense, said Steve Young in The Huffington Post. Bill O'Reilly made him do it. And psychology experts say lawyers for suspect Scott Roeder might get some mileage out of saying that Roeder was influenced by exposure to Fox News host O'Reilly's repeated references to Tiller as a killer with the blood of unborn babies on his hands. (listen to O'Reilly criticizing Tiller in 2006)
"Let's be serious here," said Jay Bookman in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. O'Reilly "clearly went well overboard in his condemnation and demonization" of Tiller, but "it's irresponsible to link O’Reilly" to Tiller's murder. There's no evidence the suspect even watched O'Reilly's show, and even if he's a fan "you would need a much stronger showing of cause and effect to justify such a serious accusation." (watch Bill O'Reilly respond to critics linking his rhetoric to Tiller's death)
Bill O'Reilly constantly draws lines between entertainers and the behavior of their fans, said David Knowles in Politics Daily, especially when he's venting against gangsta rap. O'Reilly "never actually directed anybody to go out and shoot" Tiller. But it's certainly fair to ask whether he incited the likes of Scott Roeder by accusing Tiller of "executing babies" and running a Nazi-style "death mill."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why are so many elderly Asians killing themselves?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like
- Driverless cars may be an environmental disaster
- Why I'm sick and tired of seeing naked women on HBO
- Why Ted Cruz is the real-life Frank Underwood
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why ABC threw its Bachelor under the bus
- Watch Zach Galifianakis get annoyed at President Obama on Between Two Ferns
- 4 easy ways to resolve life's toughest questions
Subscribe to the Week