As Salon’s Gabriel Winant has documented, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly regularly demonized Dr. George Tiller, who was murdered on Sunday, as “Tiller the Baby Killer.” But as ThinkProgress noted yesterday, O’Reilly is not “backpedaling” from his incendiary attacks on Tiller. In fact, while debating former National Organization for Women president Patricia Ireland last night, O’Reilly referred to Tiller as “Dr. Killer” without realizing it. “You call him Dr. Killer and he was murdered,” replied Ireland, adding “that that is just outrageous.” Watch it:
IRELAND: I am saying that Dr. Tiller’s records did not show anyone saying she wanted a late term abortion because of she couldn’t play sports.
O’REILLY: How do you know? Have you examined those records?
O’REILLY: You have?
IRELAND: I was telling you that I know that because Kansas would not allow that. It is illegal. That is not a valid reason.
I will also tell you that my sister was wheeled into labor saying I’ve changed my mind I’m not going to have a baby. And we all laughed, because of course, she was.
There are obviously in the third trimester health issues, whether it’s hypertension, preeclampsia, the death of a fetus that requires it to be removed to avoid an infection, all kinds of reasons that we have to have that option of late term abortion.
O’REILLY: Well, in order to terminate a life.
IRELAND: The fact that Dr. Tiller was murdered is.
O’REILLY: In order to terminate a life, that has to be catastrophic and I think it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and Dr. Killer’s case that wasn’t what he was doing. But Ms. Ireland, we appreciate you coming him on.
IRELAND: You call him Dr. Killer and he was murdered.
O’REILLY: He was murdered.
IRELAND: I think that that is just outrageous.
O’REILLY: And so do I. I agree 100 percent with you. It cannot happen in America. Thank you for appearing tonight.