How Cruel Is Bill O'Reilly? Pundit Goes on Idiotic Rant Against Obama's Decision to Pardon Drug Offenders
Fox News talking head Bill O'Reilly is upset with President Obama. Again. This time, he's taking issue with the president's moves on criminal justice last week, and he's especially upset that Obama had the gall to pardon 46 people who had sat in prison cells for more than a decade for non-violent drug offenses.
That doesn't sit right with the Bloviator. "I believe that selling hard drugs is a violent crime," he said. O'Reilly is entitled to his own beliefs, but not his own facts. The fact is that selling drugs is not a violent crime; it's an illicit economic transaction.
Selling drugs might lead to violence, especially in an unregulated black market of the sort O'Reilly apparently favors, but in the real world, selling illicit drugs is not violence, any more than selling alcohol or prescription drugs is.
Also in the real world, drug offenders just aren't that violent. Last year, according to official statistics compiled by Families Against Mandatory Minimums, there were 20,757 federal drug prosecutions. Of those, only 142 involved violence or threats of violence. That's less than 1% of federal drug cases.
O'Reilly also accused Obama of believing that "the justice system is biased against minority individuals, especially in drug cases." I have five words for Mr. O'Reilly: crack-powder cocaine sentencing disparity. The laws mandating harsher punishments for black crack offenders are about as blatantly racist as any legislation in the past 50 years. Even Congress has acknowledged that by finally moving to at least partially remove the sentencing disparities. But O'Reilly can't see it.
O'Reilly singles out one of the 46 people whose sentences Obama commuted, a black man named Marlon McNealy, sentenced to life in prison for involvement in a crack cocaine ring. He protests that McNealy is being called a non-violent offender because…crack is bad. He doesn't seem to understand that to be called a violent offender for commutation purposes, you have to be convicted of a violent crime.
If O'Reilly wanted to make a fool of himself, he couldn't have done better. Here is the transcript of his remarks, and here is the video: