After a lot of speculation and a long silence from the White House on the Ground Zero Mosque controversy, Obama did finally come out strongly supporting the Mosque for legal reasons, but backed down a bit when asked about the wisdom of building the mosque there.
"I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there," Obama said. "I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That's what our country is about."
O'Reilly pointed out that according to a CNN poll, almost 70% of the people opposed the construction of the mosque at Ground Zero. And while probably a lot of people were interested in hearing what the president thought on the topic, it was a puzzling to hear him support the construction so forcefully but then decline to speak out with any authority at all on the wisdom of building the structure there. O'Reilly was using the incident as an example of how Obama is not connecting with the people.
But Behar, Goldberg and Walters are lock step with the president and it seems to me they don't really know or care why anyone else has a difference of opinion. O'Reilly was continuously interrupted while he tried to explain the feeling that building the mosque was inappropriate at that site. When Goldberg asked, why it was inappropriate, it was O'Reilly's answer that set off the storm, "Because muslims killed us there." She reacted to his choice of words - or rather his lack of a particular choice word. It appears that their entire beef with him was that he didn't put the word "extremist" in front of the word muslims, and because of that ommission, cussing and walking off ensued.
The discussion without Behar and Goldberg was productive. Barbara Walters chastized her colleagues for walking off without attempting to continue the discussion. She also chastized O'Reilly for not being sensitive and for seemingly demeaning an entire religion. In his defense, on his program that evening O"Reilly pointed out that when we were fighting the Japanese and Germans in World War II we didn't specify "extremist Japanese or German fanatics." It's probably a good thing that we do now. It was a lack of differentiation that lead to the Japenese internment camps in this country for Japanese Americans.
But still as a viewer, I didn't come away with the idea that it was O'Reilly's faux pax that set off Behar and Goldberg but rather their frustration that everyone isn't as sensitive as they believe they are to feelings of Muslim Americans. Which made me think, why does that sensitivity extend in only one direction. Why is the sympathy and sensitivity on the left only to the Muslim community and not to the feelings of those affected by 9/11?
Incidentally, I note that prior to walking off Goldberg insinuated that Americans were too stupid to get it and that's why Obama's approval ratings are down.
"So you're saying that Americans are not smart enough to recognize that while it is part of our constitution to say free religion and freedom to worship and there were 70 families who were Muslim and also died in that building, so you're saying that his saying that they have the right to do it and not saying any more than that is why his approval rating is down?"
Apparently sensitivity is not a two way street.