By Patrick B. Craine

June 5, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Following the killing of late-term abortionist George Tiller on Sunday, blame for the murder has been thrown at the pro-life movement and social conservatives by abortion supporters and by much of the mainstream media. Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, host of ‘The O’Reilly Factor,’ has been one central target of accusations of complicity in Tiller’s death because of his criticism of anti-life measures and, especially, of George Tiller’s gruesome late-term abortion practices. O’Reilly has responded to this criticism, both on his show on Monday, and in an article for TownHall.com on Wednesday.

“When I heard about Tiller’s murder, I knew pro-abortion zealots and Fox News-haters would attempt to blame us for the crime,” said O’Reilly on his Monday show, “and that is exactly what has happened.”

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, host of ‘Countdown’, for example, criticized O’Reilly and Fox harshly, calling for the end of the news network. He says Fox “shared the blame” for Tiller’s death, and that O’Reilly himself was “the principal perpetrator” at Fox. Olbermann called for “an indirect boycott” of the station. He said: “Fox News Channel will never restrain itself from incitement to murder and terrorism, not until its profits begin to decline or when its growth stops, so not so much a boycott here as a quarantine, because this has got to stop. …The goal is to get this blindly irresponsible man and his ilk off the air.”

In his article, O’Reilly emphasizes that, though Tiller was involved in the gross destruction of human life, nevertheless his murder was gravely wrong. “Shot dead in a church by an anti-government militant, Tiller did not deserve his fate,” he said. “Even though the man destroyed an estimated 60,000 fetuses that could have lived outside the womb, he was an American citizen entitled to protection. No matter what you think about abortion, it is a sad day for the country when vigilantism takes a life.”

Olbermann and others blame O’Reilly particularly for his use of the nickname ‘Tiller the Baby Killer.’ Responding to this criticism in his article for TownHall.com, O’Reilly stated, “Some pro-lifers branded him that, and I reported it. So did hundreds of other news sources.”

“But the bigger picture here,” O’Reilly continues, “is the glorification of Tiller.” He principally criticizes the “uber-liberal” New York Times for its praise of the abortionist, quoting them saying: “For his principled devotion to women's health and constitutionally protected rights, Dr. Tiller was the target of protests at his clinic, his house and his church.”

“The Times made Tiller out to be a hero,” O’Reilly said. “The paper's editorial never mentioned that he aborted fetuses after 21 weeks, when they could live outside the mother's womb. The Times opinion also did not mention that Tiller became a millionaire doing this, or that only three late-term abortion clinics exist in the entire country. Nor did the editorial writer put forth that 36 states restrict late-term abortions without violating the Constitution.”

He criticizes NBC and its anchor Brian Williams still further, however, blaming Williams for “overseeing a report that emphasized the verbal criticism of Tiller rather than the militancy of the person who shot him.” He says, “NBC pundits filled the night with slanderous wails against those who opposed Tiller's deadly practice.”

O’Reilly believes the reports from liberal news media are part of a deliberate campaign of the “far left.” “By exploiting the death of Tiller,” he says, “the far left is seeking to silence Americans who are appalled at late-term abortion. By demonizing people like me who believe that terminating viable fetuses must only be done when there are catastrophic health ramifications, pro-abortion zealots are trying to inhibit dissent on the abortion issue in general.”

O’Reilly concludes his article with a sharp condemnation of the radical liberals behind this campaign. “The murder of Dr. Tiller, as misguided as he was, can never be condoned,” he says, “But neither can the hateful, dishonest tactics of the far left.”

See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

O'Reilly Factor Does Hard-Hitting Exposé of Kansas Late-Term Abortionist
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/may/07053106.html