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Bill O'Reilly: The Backlash to the Blacklash

Bill O'Reilly
Bill O'Reilly's comments on his radio show about that time he dined at Sylvia's with Al Sharpton, as noted by Media Matters, caused such a furor earlier this week that last night CNN was prompted to ask:"Is Bill O'Reilly Comment on Race an Imus Moment?" Today, the rage faded a little, not because of O'Reilly's impassioned defense of himself but because it was so obvious from the tape that he was genuinely surprised by the fact that black people are just as civilized as white people. "Imus' 'nappy-headed hos' remark was clear-cut, shocking racism with a hefty dash of sexism to chase," wrote Rachel Sklar of Eat the Press. "O'Reilly's comments were ignorant as hell and betrayed so preconceived notions, that's for sure, but if you read his comments in full, they read like 'clueless white guy' rather than 'deliberate racist.'" But is it something more than cluelessness?