Controversy erupted earlier this week when the Military Religious Freedom Foundation reached out to the media on behalf of 18 service members at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who were uncomfortable with some Nativity scenes set up in the on-base galleys.
Base commander Capt. J.R. Nettleton ordered them removed on Wednesday. On the following day, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly invited MRFF president Mikey Weinstein onto “The O’Reilly Factor” to ask him about the week’s events.
As you can probably imagine, things got ugly pretty quickly.
O’Reilly accused Nettleton and the complainants of being cowards; Nettleton for his decision, the complainants for not wanting to appear on his talk show.
Weinstein tried to explain that the complainants wanted to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal from their command or fellow service members.
He tried to explain the “tribal, adversarial, communal and ritualistic,” nature of military units.
He asked O’Reilly if he had ever served. O’Reilly said no.
Weinstein shot back that at least the complainants “joined the military and they’re prepared to fight.”
O’Reilly replied, “I covered four wars with a pen.”
Things got unwieldy after that, until O’Reilly asked his producer to turn off Weinstein’s microphone. But before the segment ended, he left the audience with this statement:
“I covered four wars with a pen, OK, Mr. Weinstein. So don’t impugn my courage ever again. You’re a weasel.”
What do you think? Does Bill O’Reilly understand the military?