On Saturday, former Vice President Al Gore made a surprise appearance at the Netroots Nation convention in Austin, TX. In his speech, Gore praised the gathering of progressives, saying that they are part of an effort to “reclaim the integrity of American democracy.”
On his radio show today, O’Reilly claimed that Gore was now associating himself with the most “hateful group in the country.” “And I’m including the Nazis and the Klan in here,” said O’Reilly.” He then claimed that attending Netroots Nation was “the same as if he stepped into the Klan gathering”:
O’REILLY: Al Gore now is done. He’s done. Ok. He is not a man of respect, he doesn’t have any judgment. The fact that he went to this thing is the same as if he stepped into the Klan gathering. It’s the same. No difference. None. K, he loses all credibility with me. All credibility.
It’s no surprise that O’Reilly is attacking Netroots Nation given his previous verbal assaults on its predecessor YearlyKos. Before the YearlyKos conference last year, O’Reilly compared it to “a David Duke convention.”
But O’Reilly exposes the hyperbolic shallowness of his name calling when he claims that “these Daily Kos people” are worse than “the Nazis and the Klan,” but then assures his audience that they won’t “come to your house and hurt you.”
O’REILLY: Ok, now he shows up on Saturday at the most hateful, there is not — and I’m including the Nazis and the Klan in here — there is not a more hateful group in the country than these Daily Kos people. Now, will they come to your house and hurt you? I don’t know, probably not. But, do they want to hurt you? Do they say terrible things about Tony Snow when he dies? All day long. Ok. Hateful hateful hateful. The rhetoric that they use and the rhetoric that the Klan and the Nazis use are the same rhetoric. It’s hate. Everyone knows that.
Now why would you go to a convention sponsored by these people when you know that currently on the Kos is stuff about Tony Snow, it’s good that he’s dead, he’s in hell, all of that. But Gore did, Gore went there. So did Nancy Pelosi. That disqualifies Gore from any serious consideration by me in the future. Al Gore now is done. He’s done. Ok. He is not a man of respect, he doesn’t have any judgment. The fact that he went to this thing is the same as if he stepped into the Klan gathering. It’s the same. No difference. None. K, he loses all credibility with me. All credibility.
Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center told David Neiwert that O’Reilly’s comparison “utterly trivializes the very real problems, the real violence and hatred, caused by the Klan and groups like them.”