Colorado’s imminent legalization of recreational marijuana is undoubtedly a controversial issue, as conservatives in particular take issue with what they perceive as a state-sanctioned condonation of drug use. Count Bill O’Reilly of Fox News among that group. Last night on his show “The O’Reilly Factor,” O’Reilly took umbrage to the fact that The Denver Post -- Colorado’s largest daily newspaper -- has hired a pot editor to cover marijuana issues when legalization goes into effect on January 1.
Throughout the segment, O’Reilly repeatedly asserted that The Post, which he characterized as a “very far left concern,” was promoting “the use of an intoxicant,” an assertion that even the conservative-leaning panelist Mary Katherine Ham seemed to find absurd.
Opening the segment with a clip of The Denver Post’s newly minted pot editor Ricardo Baca’s appearance on the “Colbert Report” last week, O’Reilly asked “Is this a laughing matter?,” a question that was answered in the affirmative as O’Reilly and his panelists, Ham and Juan Williams, took turns making jokes and puns about the drug.
Showing the trademark obliviousness/ stubbornness for which he is known, O’Reilly continued to claim that the Post’s coverage of the myriad newsworthy issues surrounding marijuana legalization was tantamount to an endorsement of it’s use. When Williams points out that newspapers across the country have wine critics who regularly review what’s indisputably the most deadly intoxicant in America, O’Reilly makes another of his famously specious leaps in logic saying that “Methadone is legal. Why don’t we have a methadone critic?”
Even Ham, typically Williams’ foil in these types of panel discussions, joined in him in agreement that O’Reilly was being ridiculous, calling marijuana legalization “a serious public policy issue.”
“It’s rare that Mary Katherine and I would say to Bill O’Reilly, ‘Bill, you’re getting lost here,’” Williams said, pointing out an uncharacteristic lapse in O’Reilly’s thoughtful elucidations on topical issues, a result of his strict “No-Spin” policy.
Still, O’Reilly continued to tell it as it is, ending the segment before commercial break (which most likely included some type of commercial for a pharmaceutical drug) by claiming, “The Denver Post is promoting intoxication, which is going to lead to more DUI’s,” thereby providing an air-tight defense for all the soon-to-be arrested stoners who will get behind the wheel of a car and drive while high simply because the local newspaper’s pot editor reported on zoning issues related to marijuana. Those are the things that really make you want to get baked, man.