O'Reilly Attacks Woman Who Connects Dots Between Hate Speech and Violence
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After Jenna Kern, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church, decided to
write an Op-Ed piece for Newsday questioning whether shock jocks and hate speech contributed to the recent murderous shooting spree in a U-U church in Tennessee, the haters started to come after her as well. The attacks started first in the comments section of Newsday. (â€Hi Rory. Guess what?â€ Ms. Kern emailed. â€œNewsday has received 3,000 emails against my piece. The online forum comments at newsday.com have been 99% hatefulâ€¦ I actually had someone sitting in a car outside my house for a half hour. I got so freaked I called the cops!â€)
The attacks then continued on the Newsbusters site â€” a project of the Media Research Center, â€œthe leader in documenting, exposing
and neutralizing liberal media bias.â€ (Kern reports, â€œWow, the blogs have gone crazy about the story I did. How did you handle all the nasty things! I donâ€™t have the stomach for it, Iâ€™m afraid.â€)
Media Research Center President L. Brent Bozell sent a letter to Newsday Publisher Tim Knight demanding an apology for Kernâ€™s opinion piece, and insisted that she â€œnever again appear on the pages of Newsday,â€ stating that her article â€œwas absolutely despicable â€ and the newspaper â€œshould be ashamed and embarrassed for having printed itâ€¦â€ since it was â€œnothing more than an in-print character assassination of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill Oâ€™Reilly, a foray into absurd Leftist delusions of links between them and the vile murderer in a Tennessee church this past July 27.â€
â€œThis is not a freedom of speech issue,â€ Bozell concluded. â€œThis is Newsday giving this woman a license to assault these fine men in print, accusing them of complicity in murder. Newsday should immediately publish a full retraction, and an abject and absolute apology to those defamed by this womanâ€™s wretched words.â€
Finally, Kern was confronted in her own driveway, as her most recent email explains:
(More plus the article that got O'Reilly all worked up after the flip)
Filmmaker and journalist Rory O'Connor is now completing AlterNetâ€™s first-ever book, which is on the subject of right-wing radio talkers like Oâ€™Reilly, and will be available early in 2008. O'Connor also writes the Media Is A Plural blog.