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)