Fox New’s host Bill O’Reilly got a bit heated Tuesday night with guest Laura Ingraham, after she accused him of feuding with conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.
“There’s no feud between me and Limbaugh,” O’Reilly said on his program. “I don’t talk to Limbaugh. I’ve never said anything about Limbaugh on this program…There’s no feud on my part. I don’t care what he says. He can say whatever he wants.”
The non-feud feud began last week, when O’Reilly conceded that, in the marriage equality debate, ”the compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals. “That is where the compelling argument is. We’re Americans, we just want to be treated like everybody else. That’s a compelling argument, and to deny that you’ve got to have a very strong argument on the other side. And the other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible.”
Limbaugh took issue with O’Reilly’s characterization of the opponents of marriage equality.
“So how many of you who watch Fox are Bible-thumpers?” Limbaugh said on his program last Wednesday. “Do you think there are any Bible-thumpers that watch Fox? Because last night you were sort of marginalized on ‘The Factor’ as not having a compelling argument and just being a bunch of Bible-thumpers.”
Ingraham, another conservative radio host, also took issue with O’Reilly, specifically with his use of the word “thump.” O’Reilly was adamant that what he said was not an insult, and that there was no feud at all between him and Limbaugh.
msnbc’s Lawrence O’Donnell doesn’t buy it. On The Last Word last Wednesday, O’Donnell said, “You know the king and queen of Republican media hate each other, right? I mean, I’m not telling you anything you don’t know–nothing that isn’t wicked obvious. Limbaugh and O’Reilly hate each other. They never acknowledge each other’s existence. The never mention each other’s names. Never…until today, when Rush just couldn’t take O’Reilly’s rewriting himself on marriage equality.”
In Wednesday’s Rewrite, O’Donnell revisited the Limbaugh/O’Reilly feud and rebuked O’Reilly for saying it didn’t exist.
“O’Reilly talked about me accusing him of having a feud with Rush Limbaugh without ever mentioning my name, which is exactly the way O’Reilly used to deal with Limbaugh, never mentioning his name,” O’Donnell said. “This is a classic Irish form of feuding. Just completely cutting the person off, pretending they don’t exist, never acknowledging them in any way.”
When Ingraham asked O’Reilly why he used the word “thump,” he said, “There are Bible-thumpers, and all they do is say, ‘I object to gay marriage because God objects to it.’ You don’t win a policy debate in America like that.”
On this point, O’Donnell agrees with O’Reilly. In fact, it was O’Donnell who first talked about Bible-thumpers in Rewrite last October:
“The Bible-thumping party isn’t using that passage to help defend Todd Akin’s comments about legitimate rape because the Bible-thumping party doesn’t actually read the Bible, they just thump it…For the Bible-thumping party, the Bible is not something to be read, not something to be quoted; it is to them nothing more than a political salesman’s tool.”