On Spoken Word Artist/ Anti-War Activist
On February 4th, during a live interview on the Fox News program “The O’Reilly Factor,” media personality Bill O’Reilly verbally attacked Jeremy M. Glick, a signer of the Not In Our Name “Statement of Conscience” whose father was killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Bill O’Reilly has referred to the signers of the Statement as “anti-American” and has said they should be “held accountable” for the expression of their dissenting opinion. After cutting short the interview Bill O’Reilly threatened Mr. Glick, a professor at Rutgers University and teacher in the state prisons system, with physical violence.
The following day, Bill O’Reilly continued his attacks on Mr. Glick by falsely claiming that Mr. Glick “was out of control and spewing hatred.” The transcript from “The O’Reilly Factor” itself shows that these statements are wrong. What Mr. Glick said was “Why would I want to further brutalize and punish the people of Afghanistan…” “The people of Afghanistan … didn’t kill my father,” and the CIA “…that trained a hundred thousand Mujahedeen” bore some responsibility. Mr. Glick remained calm, focused and dignified throughout the entire show. The video shows it was Bill O’Reilly that lost his composure. After the interview he told Mr. Glick to “Get out, get out of my studio before I tear you to f**king pieces!”
Mr. Glick was invited to the Fox News show after the January 27th appearance of Miles Solay, a NION Project spokesperson. Solay’s interview was prompted by that day’s publication in the New York Times of the Statement of Conscience, which has been signed by over 50,000 Americans, including Howard Zinn, Susan Sarandon, Edward Asner, Martin Sheen and Cornel West, to name a few noteworthy signers. The Statement, which Le Monde called the “sacred text of the anti-war movement,” has been published in over 40 journals and newspapers across the US, and 7 countries internationally.
On the 1/27 show, Bill O’Reilly challenged Mr. Solay that “Nobody signed this from September 11th.” Mr. Solay pointed out that Jeremy M. Glick, among others who had suffered family loss on 9/11, had signed the Statement. Mr. Glick accepted an invitation to the show to explain why he had signed a document that reads in part: “We believe that people of conscience must take responsibility for what their own governments do.” During the interview Mr. Glick endured verbal barrages like, “…I don’t really care what you think,” “…so you keep you mouth shut,” and “Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.”
Bill O’Reilly’s “literal ’cutting’ of Mr. Glick’s speech is consistent with the current administration’s ‘watch what you say’ policy of intimidation,” says an organizer with the Not In Our Name Project (NION). The NION Project, an effort that shares the politics of the Statement of Conscience, is organizing mass resistance against the government’s global war campaign, attacks on civil liberties, and detentions and roundups of immigrants. The group has turned out hundreds of thousands of people around the world since October 6, 2002 to protest and take the “Pledge of Resistance,” which includes: “We pledge alliance with those who have come under attack for voicing opposition to the war…” NION plans to actively participate in the worldwide protests against the war on February 15th, in New York City.
Despite his recent statements such as “I like a robust debate” and “dissent is good,” Bill O’Reilly’s verbal attacks and abrupt ending of the program by cutting off Mr. Glick’s microphone demonstrated otherwise. Several members of the show’s staff apologized to Mr. Glick, and expressed concern for his personal safety, stating that there might be a “situation” if he and the host were to meet face to face. A NION organizer stated, “We stand with Mr. Glick in fighting the encroaching climate of hostility toward people who oppose ‘a war that will last a generation’. This is an example of a political attempt to terrorize dissent.”
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