Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Put up to help O'Reilly shut up
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof resumed his exchange with TV/radio talkster Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday, asking readers to contribute to a fund to send O'Reilly to Darfur.

Kristof said he would ante up the first $1000.

The "feud" began last December when O'Reilly denounced Kristof as a "left-wing ideologue." Kristof replied by challenging O'Reilly to show true traditional values by joining him on a visit to Darfur to assess the death and devastation there, thereby "using your talents for an important cause."

Kristof in his Tuesday column revealed that a few days ago he got this answer: "I do three hours of daily news analysis on TV and radio. There's no way I can go to Africa."

But Kristof replied that with a satellite phone, "you can do your show from anywhere."

Asking readers for help, Kristof asked that they send emails to sponsorbill@gmail.com -- and tell him how much they are willing to pay toward O'Reilly's expenses in Darfur.

"Offers will be anonymous, except maybe to the N.S.A.," Kristof observes. "Sure, this is a desperate measure. But with several hundred thousand people already murdered in Darfur and two million homeless and living in shantytowns, the best hope for those still alive is a strong dose of American outrage....

"Mr. O'Reilly has a big audience and a knack for stirring outrage. Lately, he (quite properly) galvanized an outcry over a ridiculously light sentence for a sexual predator in Vermont. The upshot was that the sentence was increased. Good for him.

"So imagine the furor Mr. O'Reilly could stir up if he publicized the hundreds of thousands of rapes, murders and mutilations in Darfur. He could save lives on a grand scale.

"Join the pledge drive!"

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