Bill O'Reilly got his show off to a surprising start this afternoon, with a novel theory as to why the big-city newspapers have tread lightly in criticizing Israel for its role in the current conflict. During his opening monologue O'Reilly theorized that the papers are fearful of turning off liberal Jewish readers.
As per Bill's hypothesis, papers such as the NY and LA Times, Boston Globe and Washington Post have been taking big hits in readership and profitability. With Fox News Channel's ED Hill in the studio, O'Reilly continued: "liberal Jewish readers are all [those newspapers] have left" as a significant market segment. If the papers were to be too critical of Israel, it could alienate their last remaining readership niche.
For the record: Bill made clear that he recognizes Israel's right to go after Hezbollah. His theory was offered for purposes of explaining the papers' timidity, not criticizing it.
It's hard to evaluate O'Reilly's statement since we can't look inside the minds of the papers' editors, and they would certainly never fess up to such a strategy. But those same papers have not been hesitant to criticize Israel over the years. Is there really a sudden change of course? Or could it be, mirabile dictu, that there is surprising consensus in much of the world, even extending to portions of the MSM, that the Hezbollah thugs are a threat to most everyone this side of Tehran and Damascus?