Former CBS News vet and O’Reilly Factor regular Bernard Goldberg is hopping mad at conservatives who’ve written him to tell him they will no longer watch him or read him. Goldberg even stooped to suggesting his critics “don’t want to even hear the other guy. You want the other guy dead (in some cases, I suspect, literally dead!)”
At what point does this kind of rage at the audience start hurting Fox’s ratings? Comparing American conservatives to Islamist Iranian dictators? He unleashed on them in a column called “An Open Letter to the Ayatollahs.”
No, not the ayatollahs in Tehran. This is a letter to you, the conservative American ayatollahs who demand purity, just like the ones over there. I’m not talking about all of you, of course. But this open letter is for many of you; maybe even most of you – the ones who say you agree with what I write on this Web site and what I say on the O’Reilly Factor almost all of the time, but as soon as I fall out of lock step with you … you vow to never listen or read another word I say or write. You are the ayatollahs this letter is aimed at...
But what I’ve learned is that while many of you claim to respect people in the public eye who stand up for their views, no matter how unpopular, what you really mean is you respect people in the public eye who stand up for your views. What I’ve learned reading your comments over several years now is that many of you only want your views validated. Nothing else is good enough. You don’t simply disagree with the other guy. You don’t want to even hear the other guy. You want the other guy dead (in some cases, I suspect, literally dead!).
So this feel-good nonsense that you spout – that you admire people who stand on principle – is just something you say to make yourself feel good — about yourself. But you don’t mean it. Like the other ayatollahs, reasoned dissent scares you. You talk tough. But you’re weak.
A bit later, he recalled how conservatives enjoyed his exposes of his tenure at CBS:
When I wrote about liberal bias while I was still a CBS News correspondent, conservatives applauded me. But some of my liberal CBS News colleagues called me a “traitor” because I didn’t toe the party line. They were afraid of dissent. Dissent would force them to consider another point of view, and that’s the last thing they wanted to do. Now I’m called a traitor again – this time by you conservative ayatollahs, for expressing a few opinions you don’t want to hear. Once again, you are what you condemn in liberals.
There is little difference between the authoritarians on the hard left and those of you ayatollahs on the hard right. You’re both closed-minded. You both demand ideological purity.
The ayatollahs in Tehran survive because they will not tolerate dissent. This is all the proof you need regarding their insecurity. You, my American ayatollah friends, are no different. You don’t simply dislike opinions that don’t mesh with yours. You don’t ever want to be exposed to them. At some level you see opinions you don’t share as viruses that may do you in. That’s why, like the ayatollahs over there, you too want to shut down dissent. You too are insecure.
I know, as I said at the outset, that some of you reading this – whether you agree with my views on various subjects or not – are open-minded enough to hear me out. That’s all I ask. It would be nice if more of you took on the ayatollahs with strong comments on my Web site, but that’s up to you. As for the right wing authoritarians who have threatened to never read another word I write, or listen to another word I say, do what you have to do.
The good people in Tehran will not miss their ayatollahs when they finally go. And we won’t miss you, either.
Goldberg did draw this fire in part for a column attacking Eric Bolling and Ted Cruz for being on a "suicide mission" in pushing to defund Obamacare at the risk of a government shutdown (complete with a graphic of Cruz holding a gun to his head saying "Defund Obamacare, or The Idiot 'Gets It.')
He also penned a column telling religious conservatives is was “un-American” to refuse to provide services for a “gay marriage” ceremony. Fining a photographer $6,000 for failing to compromise his religious beliefs was “wise,” wrote Bernie, for there is no religious freedom in a Main Street business:
What they don’t seem to understand is that America is not a theocracy, no matter how much some of them wish it were. What they also don’t understand is that refusing to do business with people, simply because your church doesn’t approve of their actions, is not only closed-minded – it’s also un-American.