Goldberg: Japanese Internment Was Racist, Irrational; Denying Syrian Refugees Rational

Tuesday Night on The O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly and Bernie Goldberg discussed the ‘morality play’ created by NBC's Harry Smith on the Syrian refugee crisis, complete with Bible verses, as was previously documented on NewsBusters. Smith had tried to compare the Japanese internment with the refugee crisis. Bernie set fire to the idea when he said, “He [President Roosevelt] only interned Japanese Americans, and let's emphasize they were Americans, because they weren't white. It was racism and that was irrational. Roosevelt wasn't concerned that the Nazis were trying to sneak Nazis into this country along with Jewish children during the war. It was that we didn't want Jews in this country. America was largely an anti-Semitic country in the 40s and that's what that was about. That was irrational.”

Goldberg added that we did not fear that “Nazis were trying to sneak Nazis into this country along with Jewish children during the war.” But as we have seen in France, Goldberg suggested, ISIS is “sneaking terrorists in to this country along with the refugees. It is not crazy. It's a legitimate concern.” While Goldberg and O’Reilly agreed the argument was intellectually flawed, Bernie would go further, calling it “obscene.” On the internment of Japanese Americans, Bernie said:

I interviewed these people and I interviewed their children and I have been to the camps. What we did to them was wrong. Very, very wrong. Comparing that with a legitimate concern about what ISIS may do with the Syrian refugees, they did I in France, they did it in Paris, why wouldn't they at least try to do it in America? That is a bad, bad analogy.

Bill O’Reilly followed up:  “Isn't there, in your opinion, hysteria that takes hold? And on the right, too? You see it on the right, sometimes on these issues, you get hysterical about it.” Goldberg’s reply however, dropped the bomb on the narrative Harry Smith was pushing, by introducing reality into the discussion.

And conservatives, of course, are the immoral ones except it isn't just conservatives who are against the allowing ten thousand Syrian refugees in by the end of next year. It's also 53% of the American people according to that poll last week. It's also 47 Democrats, these aren't conservatives.  47 Democrats in the house who are against it. So, if it's a decision between self-righteous morality on the one hand and security on the other, the American people have already voted and they are voting for security at the moment.

See the relevant transcript below.

2015-11-24-Fox News The O’Reilly Factor

BILL O’REILLY: Weekdays at Bernie segment tonight, the debate over Syrian refugees. Some commentators are comparing to the Japanese internment camps during World War II. 

HARRY SMITH: President the Franklin Delano Roosevelt was Commander-in-Chief in 1938, who signed the order to intern Japanese Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It was also under his watch that we denied a safe haven to Jewish refugees fleeing the horrors of Nazi violence. 

O’REILLY: Joining us from Miami the purveyor of Bernard Goldberg.com, Mr. Goldberg. So there is great sympathy on the left for the Syrian refugees. Of course I solved the problem by the NATO situation. I don't want to belabor that. It's not hard to set up Safe Zones inside Syria and Iraq to protect these people. But, again, president Obama doesn't want to seem to want to do that. However, the reason the press is sympathizing with the Syrian refugees, is because that is the modus operandi of liberal thought, you feel sorry for the down-trodden.

BERNIE GOLDBERG: Exactly, that’s exactly right. Let’s take what Harry Smith said about this supposed analogy between interning Japanese Americans during World War II and not letting Jews in who were trying to escape Nazi Germany on the one hand and opposition to Syrian refugees on the other. They’re both supposedly based on irrational fear. But it doesn't hold up, Franklin Roosevelt did not intern Italian Americans and German American, even though we were at war with both Italy and Germany. He only interned Japanese Americans, and let's emphasize they were Americans, because they weren't white. It was racism and that was irrational. Roosevelt wasn't concerned that the Nazis were trying to sneak Nazis into this country along with Jewish children during the war. It was that we didn't want Jews in this country. America was largely anti-Semitic country in the 40s and that's what that was about. That was irrational. But it is not irrational to be concerned about ISIS sneaking terrorists in to this country along with the refugees. It is not crazy. It's a legitimate concern. So I personally -- look, the analogy is weak. 

O’REILLY: Invalid comparison what they say in philosophy class. 

GOLDBERG: Intellectually lame. And in my personal view it's obscene also. 

O’REILLY: Why is it obscene? Harry Smith is a liberal man but is he not a bomb thrower. Why would you say it would be obscene? 

GOLDBERG: To compare, we round up Japanese Americans, I was based in California in the 70's. I interviewed these people and I interviewed their children and I have been to the camps. What we did to them was wrong. Very, very wrong. Comparing that with a legitimate concern about what ISIS may do with the Syrian refugees, they did I in France, they did it in Paris, why wouldn't they at least try to do it in America? That is a bad, bad analogy. 

O’REILLY: I agree it's bad but I don't think he meant anything other -- I think it was invalid comparison based on historical fact. I think you are absolutely right. But isn't there, in your opinion, hysteria that takes hold? And on the right, too? You see it on the right, sometimes on these issues, you get hysterical about it. If you oppose, or you moderate, if you’re not accepting of these poor people who are down trodden and threatened and then you are an evil person. That kind of thing. 

GOLDBERG: Exactly. Why we are just not wrong, we’re evil. You are absolutely right. Here is how I see it. Starting with President Obama, liberals starting with President Obama and then joined by his pals in the media Harry Smith and many others are turning this debate into a morality play. And, of course, they are the moral ones because they want to help people who need help. And conservatives, of course, are the immoral ones except it isn't just conservatives who are against the allowing ten thousand Syrian refugees in by the end of next year. It's also 53% of the American people according to that poll last week. It's also 47 Democrats, these aren't conservatives.  47 Democrats in the house who are against it. So, if it's a decision between self-righteous morality on the one hadn't and security on the other, the American people have already voted and they are voting for security at the moment. 

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Debates Foreign Policy Syria Military War on Terrorism Religion Islam Judaism Cable Television Fox News Channel O'Reilly Factor Video Journalistic Issues Government & Press History President Barack Obama Harry Smith Bill O'Reilly Bernard Goldberg

Sponsored Links