New York Times editor Bill Keller‘s column on religion didn’t go unnoticed by “culture warrior” Bill O’Reilly on his program today, but after a segment decrying its arrogance, O’Reilly came face to face with a guest that “totally agreed” with Keller that religious ignorance should come into play in politics. Somewhat shockingly, it was media critic Bernie Goldberg, who used Keller’s logic to justify the outrage against Pastor Jeremiah Wright.
“On his central point that journalists need to ask candidates for high office questions about their religious beliefs if religion is an important part of their lives, I totally agree with Bill Keller,” Goldberg began his criticism. “If a candidate believes that the Earth is 6,000 years old because that’s what the Bible tells him or her,” he continued, that may not affect their political actions, but “that kind of ignorance is going to affect something, and we need to know about it.”
Goldberg is not one to laud the Times or its editors with lavish praise so easily, however, and turned the logic of Keller’s column against the Times‘ 2008 coverage of Sen. Barack Obama. “I wish he and the New York Times were as concerned about religion and politics during the last campaign,” he argued, when the Jeremiah Wright scandal was at fever pitch, as “Obama sad with a hateful minister for 20 years.”
O’Reilly shifted gears somewhat to what many Christians in the media have called an offensive attitude in Keller’s column, arguing that the same would never be said of other religions. While Goldberg left it to those who subscribe to the faith to determine whether the column was offensive, he did note that the Times did not publish the Danish anti-Muslim cartoons that sparked global outrage several years ago, partly due to the fact that “there will be no Christians walking around the New York Times threatening to blow it up.”
The segment via Fox News below:
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