Police Abuse

Bill O'Reilly: Zero Tolerance for Police Brutality

Could new-found attention to police violence be causing an actual political shift?


Fox News' Bill O'Reilly has been a ratings champ for almost as long as his show has been on the cable news network. He insists he's not a conservative and doesn't embrace an ideology. He say's he's an independent thinker. Nevertheless, much of the time his independent thoughts seem to line up to establishment conservative orthodoxy. But part of his success, I think, comes from his ability to sense when the political winds are shifting.

Even if I'm wrong, this is a pretty significant sign:

Fox News

In the simplified view of a bipolar political environment, liberals tend to love unions and distrust cops while conservatives tend to distrust unions and love cops. Police unions have been one of the biggest beneficiaries of this paradigm—even Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisc.) carved out an exception for law enforcement unions when he reformed public unions in Wisconsin. For the record, it didn't stop those unions from protesting here.

And while conservatives who may be attracted to busting unions avoid dealing with the police unions, liberals who may be attracted to policies that increase accountability from police will writhe away from any solution that involves breaking the control the police union has over policies that govern the behavior of police officers. O'Reilly's talking point is a welcome change from that destructive set up.

Related: Suggesting zero tolerance policies for cops and police offender registries

(h/t to Daniel Bier for the screencap)

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  1. It’s really in the forefront across the full political spectrum. Cops are gonna get fucked.

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  2. I’m actually shocked to see this. But in a good way. This might really be catching on. After all these years of watching Reason and Radley cover cop corruption and brutality and seeing them get away with it time and time again, this is…wow.

    1. Reason should probably poll people.

      1. 74% of millenials believe cops should beat up more white people and less black people.

        1. I’d believe that

    2. I’m gobsmacked. I agree with Bill Oreilly about anything? Would now be a good time to open a parka store in hell?

    3. The skeptic in me says this is purely Bill trying to appeal to his populist side and sensing the direction the wind is blowing, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The problem is that if something goes wrong at these riots and the wind starts blowing the other way don’t be all shocked when Bill shifts with the wind.

      Basically I’m saying he’s an unprincipled hack so I don’t believe he’s suddenly really THAT much concerned about the plight of poor black people getting killed by the police.

      1. Oh I agree 100%. He’s total scum. But knowing the kind of scum he is, I still never expected to see this.

        1. He appears to have some principles. Granted I don’t agree with most of them, but he does seem to be somewhat principled. And he’s stubborn too. This might go somewhere.

          *shits in the other hand to see which one fills up first*

      2. He tipped my niece a dollar a couple months ago for checking his coat. Now maybe he’s finally realized it’s not 1968 anymore.

  3. Calling O’Reilly a conservative might be a bit of a stretch. Statist would be a better word.

    1. I’m almost positive he would have sucked JFK’s dick if he had the chance.

    2. He calls himself a “traditionalist”. It is Fox-Speak for conservative. All the conservative buzzwords are covered – i.e. “America was founded on Judeo-Christian values, Constitution is Christian, blah blah America is world cop, etc”

      1. It may surprise you to learn that there are many Christians who vote democrat. Namely nearly every Catholic I know.

      2. He is anti death penalty, pro choice and pro weed decriminalization. And has been all 3 for some time. So he is not exactly the archetype conservative.

        1. I thought O’Reilly supported weed prohibition. He also said nobody needs to own an AR-15 after Sandy Hook.

          O’Reilly is a unique alloy that combines some of the worst aspects of both liberals and conservatives. A true moderate in a way.

          1. The statement I heard him use repeatedly some years ago was that if you want to smoke pot in your basement with the shades drawn, he wouldn’t try to stop you. I think he more or less meant it as Alaska-style privacy-based cannabis decriminatliz’n.

      3. Actually I think “conservative” is the code word of many for traditionalist.

  4. OK, Ed, that’s a nice screen cap, but maybe, try and find a video and comment on what O’Reilly said? Because there’s a big difference between “it’s few bad apples, and cops should step up” and “unions ensure that even the worst behavior is rewarded.”

    And no, I have no idea what he said, as I
    a) Don’t have cable
    b) Even if I did, my betters have decided that Fox News is too evil to let into country
    c) Even if they let me, I probably wouldn’t watch O’Reilly

    1. Does he still have his radio show? I don’t have cable either (and have stopped watching TV, period), but I used to listen to him a little on the radio.

  5. Politicians are opportunists, I have no doubt they will attack this problem with many solutions. Now what are the solutions?

    1. More laws, of course.

      1. More spending.

        1. More diversity and sensitivity training. Administrative bloat will grow among police departments the way it has grown among colleges and universities.

          All the laws/regulations/policies that disproportionately hurt the poor/minorities will remain on the books.

          I’d love to be proven wrong, though.

    2. Both excellent suggestions, we will compromise. More laws and more spending!

  6. 97% of cops giver the rest a bad name.

  7. I wonder if I’ll be able to post this time. Fucking site has logged me off while I was typing, like ten times in a fucking row.

    OK, where was I? Oh yeah. It’s nice to see a pundit looking at police culture in general, as opposed to just a few racist bad-apples in the ranks. Some good might come out of this if it catches on.

    Then again I could shit in my other hand and see which one fills up first.

    1. My father taught me alot of things. He said, wish in one hand, shit in the other, see which one fills up first……I just wish he had taught me about analogies first.

      -Shane Mauss

    2. I can’t log into this website on my computer anymore. First, the login screen stopped working in Chrome… Then Safari… Finally Firefox. I guess I could install Opera or some other browser but Reason just doesn’t mean tgat much to me.

      1. For the record, I’m on mobile now…

  8. He already did an about face on gay marriage too.

    1. You really don’t realize when you deliver a comment in a way that is both delicious and mentally scarring, do you?

  9. This website gets more fucked up every day. Did reason hire somebody from Gawker to run it?

    1. Sometimes I have to resort to downloading, removing the header & all occurrences of “script”, then reading. Unfortunately that takes out the tree threading of comments, and it takes time to render, but at least it’s legible.

  10. I don’t think if means much. Everybody thinks corrupt coos should be prosecuted other than cops. Making a stand against police abuse is meaningless because they’ll just say that someone who didn’t obey wasn’t abused because… They didn’t obey, and totally deserved it.

    1. And we need more training and more laws.

  11. Here’s how this issue may hinge for Conservatives.

    South Carolina had an incident of unacceptable police misconduct. Being a Red / non-union state, they immediate fired and charged the officer and got a state investigation rolling.

    Baltimore being a deep blue corrupt craphole, has done nothing because they are a corrupt union run city in a corrupt deep blue state.

    Look for conservatives to first turn hard against police unions, not necessarily the police themselves. I’m already seeing this in the comments at the National Review.

    1. Look for conservatives to first turn hard against police unions, not necessarily the police themselves.

      That would still have the effect of allowing victims of police abuse more recourse, since the officers wouldn’t have the union to hide behind. Not only that, but it would allow chiefs to fire problem officers, which unions currently prevent.

      Going after public sector unions is never a bad thing. I don’t really care much about private sector unions. I’m not forced to pay for their products, so if they bleed their employer dry that doesn’t affect me. Public sector unions though, they’re an abomination since they allow public sector workers to literally rob and kill the people they are supposed to serve.

    2. I thought cops were unionized everyhwere. Wrong?

      1. Wrong. Big departments are almost all unionized, but most police departments in the country have less than fifty cops. Just read that the other day. Don’t remember where, but I found it to be quite interesting. So cops in small towns are generally not unionized. Though they do have the full backing of City Hall, and you can’t fight City Hall.

      2. Several states including SC do not allow police to collectively bargain.

        1. That makes me angry with jealousy. The public sector in my state spiraled out of control decades ago and as Wisconsin proved it is a long, hard road to rein it in. And with cops, probably impossible.

    3. Good examples!

  12. If you value the rule of law, crooked cops are the worst of criminals, as they don’t just violate the law, they betray it.

    People who value the rule of law want crooked cops tried for treason, and if found guilty, executed. Publicly.

    In Dante’s “Inferno”, the inner circle of Hell is reserved for the Treacherous, the betrayers of a trust. That’s where a crooked cop belongs.

    1. There is no rule of law. The job of a cop is to force people to comply. Period. Doesn’t matter if the order is unlawful. That will be sorted out later. Their job is to force compliance.

      Only when cops see consequences, like criminal consequences, for forcing people to obey unlawful orders will there be any change.

      And I really don’t see that happening. Ever.

      Rulers much prefer rule of man over rule of law. It’s always been that way, and always will. Human nature does not change.

      1. “Human nature does not change.”

        That is such a load of shit. People are vastly different than they were 5 generations ago. Public hangings used to get onlookers now we are horrified by them. Racism used to be de jure now it’s socially unacceptable.

        1. I don’t know did human nature change or just the veneer? I mean look at how progressives treat race in this country sure their language has changed but they still treat blacks and other minorities as inferior. Hell if anything they’re more obsessed with race then ever.

        2. culture != human nature

        3. Human nature hasn’t changed a bit. It is in our nature to abuse power. That has not changed. It is in our nature to be greedy. That has not changed.

          Libertarians accept human nature. That’s why we want limited government and free markets. Because power will always be abused, the only solution is to try to limit it somehow.
          Libertarians embrace free markets because people are greedy. In a free market economy, the only way to profit is to please people. They must voluntarily buy your product for you to make money. In this case greed creates an incentive to please people, because that’s the only way to get rich in a free market.
          Progressives feel that they can change human nature. That’s why everything they do makes things worse. They refuse to accept human nature and feel that with the proper application of violence, people will become less greedy and less prone to abuse of power. It’s a fucked up ideology.

          1. Nice summary.

        4. You mean de rigeur, not de jure.

  13. Anyone want to bet on how far back in the Fox News archives we have to go to find O’Reilly defending an indefensible police shooting or brutality case?

  14. In the simplified view of a bipolar political environment, liberals tend to love unions and distrust cops…

    I don’t know about that second part. From what I’ve seen, liberals embrace the police as the necessary enforcement arm of their terrible policies.

    1. They certainly love their unions though. I work with a very progressive guy who just hates the cops. Has talked time and time again on how maybe it’s time for some of these protesters to just start shooting them. I told him we should do away with the police unions, and was astonished at how quickly his tone changed, and he started defending the unions.

      He was ok with shooting them, but don’t you dare touch their unions.

      The liberal mind at work is always a thing of wonder.

      1. The liberal mind works only to rationalize their emotions. It serves no other function.

      2. The liberal mind at work is always a thing of wonder horror.

      3. Liberals aren’t the unwitting puppets of corporate interests. Public sector unions are rhetorical targets because you guys can’t convincingly argue that the iron fist of government should break apart private sector unions, but that’s the true aim. To liberals, unions are a good and necessary part of worker protection no matter what the line of work; you can believe that and think cops have too much power at the same time. That’s usually the doing of legislatures.

        1. Derp da derp da tiddly terp.

  15. From what I used to hear of his independent thinking, he was of the loose-cannon type, and that was supposed to be his selling point, i.e. unpredictability & differentiation.

  16. He’s always been a populist. He might be a conservative if you are a liberal, but he’s not if you are a conservative.

  17. Any such “policy” on the part of a police department would be toothless because the police (and I mean every single one, even the “non-bad apples”) are the same people who regularly cover up for the bad ones now.

    The only acceptable solution is to strip police, and everyone else in the system (prosecutors, judges, and legislators too) of their immunity to prosecution, and of their monopoly on the right to prosecute. Give every victim the right to take his foe to court on an equal footing. AND, if a cop tries to evade this accountability by resisting your efforts to learn his identity in any way at all, then you should gain the right to fight him with impunity (since he is not entitled to avoid being fully accountable to you for his actions).

    Finally, any conviction or successful lawsuit against a cop should be public knowledge forever, thus taking away repeat “testiliars'” ability to be believed in court, and hopefully to keep their jobs.

    To any cop who says he can’t work under these conditions, good bye and good riddance.

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