Fox News announced Wednesday that Bill O'Reilly would not be returning to his hugely popular show, “The O'Reilly Factor.” The announcement came in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.
I have no idea if the allegations are true. O'Reilly denies them, calling the charges “completely unfounded claims.” But don’t miss the bigger picture.
The same radical Left that is at war with conservatives on university campuses and with the Trump administration has been at war with Fox News since it first emerged on the cable scene. Barack Obama repeatedly went after Fox News, the only viable conservative alternative to the Left’s monopoly on the network news media.
Last year, Roger Ailes was forced out. Now Bill O'Reilly, the most watched cable TV personality in history, is out. We should not ignore the larger ideological struggle taking place.
Let me be clear: I am not an O'Reilly fan. He wrote a book alleging that President Ronald Reagan was mentally impaired, which was not true. That aside, there is no doubt that the Left is trying to destroy Fox News.
The O'Reilly controversy started with an investigative report in The New York Times. In short order, left-wing groups like Media Matters and Color of Change started harassing the companies that advertised on “The O'Reilly Factor.” Dozens of companies quickly caved to the pressure, costing the network tens of millions of dollars.
Knowing how the left-wing smear machine works, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity had better look out. The long knives are out for them now.
Left-Wing Fascism at Berkeley
For the third time in as many months, the University of California, Berkeley, has banned a leading conservative from speaking on campus. The latest victim of the radical Left’s fascism is author and commentator Ann Coulter.
In a statement announcing the cancellation of Coulter’s April 27th appearance, Berkeley administrators declared, “Given currently active security threats, it is not possible to assure that the event could be held successfully — or that the safety of Ms. Coulter, the event sponsors, audience, and bystanders could be adequately protected — at any of the campus venues.”
Initially, Berkeley made several absurd demands. For example, the university demanded that Coulter speak only during the day — when students are in class. She agreed.
Then Berkeley demanded that the event be closed to the public and that only students could attend. Coulter agreed.
Then Berkeley said that the location could not be announced until right before the event was set to begin. In other words, Berkeley did its best to ensure that virtually no one would be able to attend her speech. But Coulter accepted all these conditions.
She asked in return only that the rioters be prosecuted and that students who engaged in violence be expelled. Well, that was too much for Berkeley. Rather than defend free speech and uphold the rule of law, Berkeley cancelled Coulter’s appearance.
Berkeley is a sad example of how our institutions of higher learning are becoming “Constitution/Conservative Free Zones,” where the First Amendment’s freedom of speech does not apply to conservatives.
Coulter, however, is unbowed. “They can’t stop me. I’m an American,” she said. “I have constitutional rights… The speech will go on.”
I am glad Coulter isn’t backing down. The Left’s fascist tactics and its totalitarian tendencies must be exposed and resisted. Public institutions that refuse to guarantee First Amendment freedoms and fail to enforce public safety should lose access to public dollars.
Another Trump Justice?
At an event in Iowa this week, Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was asked about the possibility of another vacancy opening up on the Supreme Court in the near future. Grassley answered, “I would expect a resignation this summer.” He declined to offer any names as to which justice might step down.
However, Grassley is now the second Republican senator to suggest another Supreme Court confirmation battle may be imminent. Sen. Ted Cruz made a similar prediction earlier this year.
Cruz warned then that, given the way Democrats were acting over Neil Gorsuch, “they will go full Armageddon meltdown” if Trump has the chance to appoint a second justice.
Most of the speculation focuses on Justice Anthony Kennedy, who turns 81 in July. And I hope the rumors are true. Replacing Kennedy, who has been terrible on values issues, with a solid conservative would be a big improvement.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a significant religious liberty case from Missouri. The issue at stake is whether religious schools can participate in ANY state-funded programs. In this case, safety improvements on school playgrounds.
During Wednesday’s hearing, a majority of justices seemed sympathetic to the religious schools. The Court’s decision could have a major impact on education reform.
The vast majority of states have laws similar to Missouri’s, which prohibit even “indirect” public funding to churches. Such laws have been used as a justification to deny vouchers or tax credits to faith-based private schools.
Control of the courts will be a major issue in upcoming Senate contests.