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by Steve Young

Steve Young columns

There's no better place to learn how Democracy works than to listen to Bill O'Reilly explain to The Folks® just what is unpatriotic and who are the real America-Haters©.

Thursday, Bill defined "what is permissible in dissent." That "there is a line you cross that no longer makes you a patriot." First he took actor Richard Dreyfuss to task. Dreyfuss has begun an effort reset debate back to the days when people actually discussed issues rather than yelled or interrupted them. Obviously this must have set off O'Reilly. You begin to allow people to speak their mind without disrupting insult or turned down mike and you're going to put a lot of talkers out of business.

O'Reilly has a problem with Dreyfuss's admonition that in this country it's okay to say anything about this country. To O'Reilly's credit, he didn't cancel Dreyfuss's patriot status, though he did say that if Dreyfuss didn't like what he was saying, "he could stuff it." I was guessing that Bill was having a bully to Oscar-winner, talk radio debate all by himself as it didn't seem that Dreyfuss was within mouth or earshot. Bill did invite Dreyfuss to come on the show any time he wants which, if you listen to the No-Spinner® at all, you know that if Dreyfuss doesn't take Bill up on the invite, while he may stay a patriot, he will go onto the "Patriot But Coward" list.

But, tsk-tsk, Bill was only able to find -- surprise-surprise -- SPs® (Secular Progressives), who had overstepped his limits of free speech: Harry Belafonte, Howard Dean and Cindy Sheehan. Charlie Sheen's latest 9/11 conspiracy questions didn't make Sheen unpatriotic; only "dumb." Bill never actually said how it is that you become a patriot, only what it is you can say that expunges your membership to the club.

Bill somehow equated condemnations of George Bush's ill-fated foreign policy with a wish that America lose the war. But my question to Bill does not have to do with whether these unpatriots were truly unpatriotic, or even why there should be any limit to country-sassing. I'm just a bit vague as to why Bill was only able to dig up Far-Left Moonbats® to expose the ramped unpatriotness immersing America in country-hating. Are there no Far-Righter Moonbats® who have stepped over the line? I know Bill an "Independent." He tells us that everyday prior to ripping into the Left.

Shame that Bill couldn't find anyone on the Right who might have leaked the name of a U.S. CIA agent.

What about one Duke, who criminally sold out the country to military contractors who supply our men and women in harm's way, for cash?

Or how about an indicted former Majority Leader who said during the Kosovo hostilities, that "you can support the troops but not the President?"

Or say a Fox compatriot with the initials, S.H., who during the same hostilities said, "Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life."

How about some Indiana Republican Senator named, oh, I don't know, say Richard Lugar who said "This is President Clinton's war, and when he falls flat on his face, that's his problem"?

Then again, perhaps I'm being oversensitive. Bill probably reamed all of them in some prior show. I'm sure. But it does seem if you're going the patriot vs patriot route, you might be able to come up with something more than an actor, a grieving mom or an unelected politico who's paid to be biased.

Hey, how about a talk show host who says that it's okay to stand aside while we let terrorists blow up San Francisco?

I'm just sayin' (® Paul Reiser).

Steve Young, author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful" can be read every Sunday in the LA Daily News Op-Ed page (right next to Bill O'Reilly)

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Albion Monitor   March 28, 2006   (

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