Don't pick a fight with the blogs

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on May 30, 2009

It's been quite some time since I've watched Bill O'Reilly's show on a regular basis. While I agree with him more often than not, I've been repeatedly frustrated by his failure to do adequate research and his interview of then-candidate Barack Obama was embarrassing. O'Reilly would ask a difficult question of Obama, and then when Obama struggled to come up with an answer, O'Reilly would wave it off and ask a different question.

So, I wasn't watching early this week when O'Reilly went full stupid by slandering Michelle Malkin's Hot Air blog. O'Reilly bashed the popular conservative blog not for something one of the staffers wrote, but for a relatively innocuous comment (as compared to anything found on DailyKos or Democratic Underground) made by a random Internet commenter.

O'Reilly initially obfuscated that fact, and when called on it by Malkin the next day, he doubled-down on stupid, semi-apologizing, but stating that Hot Air had a duty to moderate every comment on their site. With the number of comments received there, Allahpundit noted that it would take two people 15 hours a day to pre-approve every comment -- something few blogs could afford.

And this is where it gets interesting. Having set the standard that a blog proprietor is responsible for every comment that appears on one's blog, Patterico signed up for O'Reilly's $4.95-a-month premium message board site and started scanning the comments. It didn't take long for him to find similar, over-the-line "blog postings."

Having proven O'Reilly a big-time hypocrite, and determined to continue to sort through O'Reilly's commenters for the foreseeable future, O'Reilly did something really stupid. He canceled Patterico's membership.

I’m not sure what terms and conditions I supposedly violated. I never posted any comments (or “blog postings”) on O’Reilly’s site. All I did was quote (and screencap) two embarrassing comments from the message boards.

Oh, wait. I just reviewed the Terms and Conditions again, and I believe I have found the relevant language: “4. Do not expose Bill O’Reilly as a rank hypocrite.”

Question: Is O'Reilly and/or his Web site employees so stupid as to think there won't be a half dozen other people who will subscribe to O'Reilly.com and continue to feed Patterico embarrassing comments?

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