Whoopi Golderg and Joy Behar stalked off the set of The View this morning, in protest over Bill O’Reilly’s comment that “Muslims killed us on 9-11.” In the heat of the discussion, as the group was stepping all over each other’s remarks, O’Reilly continued to assert that “Muslims killed us on 9-11.” At that point, Goldberg and Behar walked, although the theatrics felt a tad contrived, guaranteed to generate plenty of headlines.
After Barbara Walters stated she disagreed with her colleagues behavior and proceeded to calm the waters, O’Reilly apologized for “demeaning all Muslims, “acknowledged that his comments were “inartful,” and qualified his remarks by saying “Muslim fanatics, terrorists, whatever word, killed us.”
Okay - fair enough. Nevertheless, in the unscripted moment, O’Reilly inadvertently expressed sentiments held by many Americans - a bone-deep fear of Muslims. (See the NY Times editorial mentioned below.)
O’Reilly said polls show that “70% of Americans don’t want that mosque down there [at the World Trade Center site]”
I’m not sure which polls O’Reilly was citing, but this is certainly true of New York City residents. Per a NY Times September 10, 2010 editorial, sixty-seven percent of NYC residents “thought the mosque planners should find ‘a less controversial location.’”
Further, the editorial states that the poll (click here for the results) found “considerable distrust of Muslim-Americans.”
Here’s the clip from The View