Should I just skip it?

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on October 1, 2003

I've got "The O'Reilly Factor" paused right now. He just got finished interviewing Middle East expert Daniel Pipes and now he's on to Arab terror apologist Sarah Eltantawi of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Oh, the torture. Do I listen or do I skp it?

OK, sometimes I'm into self-abuse.

Oh my, she's doing math. She said it wrong. She divided 9 by 4,200 and "got point 21." Wrong. You got .0021 -- yes, it's less than a quarter of a percent. Ugh.

The last time I saw Ms. Eltantawi she was on Alan Keyes' show on MSNBC and was claiming that the Jews started the Six Day War. Keyes wouldn't let her get away with it. There's no doubt that Eltantawi, if she was even born in 1967, has no independent memory of the events in question, instead she spouted the old anti-Semitic Arab line. Keyes went after her and she backed down.

Ahhh...there's an explanation. Little factoid at the bottom of the screen states that Eltantawi studied Arabic in the West Bank.

Aha! Eltantawi intentionally misrepresents Pipes -- no surprise here!

Eltantawi: He (Pipes) suggest that all American be suspended from their positions until they can "prove their loyalty." How is that going to happen?

O'Reilly: I don't know if that's what he suggests. I didn't take that out of his article.

Eltantawi: It's a quote from his article, Bill. It's a quote from the article and this is the same person who won't condemn Japanese internment. So we need to look and see what are the agendas of the people who are calling for this extra vetting. Is it really national security? I don't think so!

First the misquote. From Pipes' article:

The U.S. government needs to use common sense and focus on militant Islam. It should consider such steps as:

  • Breaking off contact with organizations (like the Islamic Society of North America and the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Council) that place Islamists in government jobs.
  • Suspending presently employed Muslim personnel who got their jobs through those institutions until their loyalty can be confirmed. [emphasis added]

Reading comprehension 101 for Eltantawi: Pipes is only calling for those individuals who got their jobs through Islamist front groups. Not all Muslims.

Second, note the allegation of racism -- the first refuge of the terror apologist.

Third, with regard to the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. From Pipes' site:

  • "Refuses to condemn the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II."

When asked on a radio show about the internment of Japanese Americans, Pipes responded: "It's not a subject I know enough about to talk about." Excoriated for this by Hooper, Pipes stood his ground. "That is true, I am a historian. I just don't generally give opinions on things I haven't studied. I'm not in a position to give an opinion. I'm not a politician." To conclude from this that Pipes supports that internment, or, presumably, the internment of Muslims today, is argument by cheap shot.

Interview is over. But I'm left with an odd thought: This whole interview situation is very odd. I can't remember another occasion when O'Reilly had two interviews on the same subject, yet didn't have both indivuals on simultaneously to address points raised by the other in a back-and-forth manner. I can't picture Pipes backing down from a confrontation, but Eltantawi...I can see that happening.

*UPDATE* I just got off the phone with one of O'Reilly's people at Fox News. While in my experience watching the show, the method in which the interview was conducted was odd, he claimed that it was not that uncommon and there was no real rhyme or reason behind why they did the interviews on the subject separately. Just from the standpoint of good theater, which TV often aspires to, would have dictated having some interaction between Pipes and Eltantawi.


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October 2003



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