O’Reilly puts Casteen, Cavalier Daily on notice

In a segment on the September 13 broadcast of the O'Reilly Factor, Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly called out University of Virginia president John Casteen, saying that he was "hiding behind his desk" and called on his viewers to flood Casteen's office with letters.

Those remarks came during a segment about two cartoons run in the August 23 and 24 editions of the Cavalier Daily. Drawn by third year Grant Woolard as part of his comic strip Quirksmith, one depicts Jesus Christ crucified on a Cartesian x/y axis, the other shows a nativity scene in which Mary responds to Joseph's concerns over a "bumpy rash" by saying "I swear, it was immaculately transmitted!"

"People should write letters to John Casteen until this publication is thrown off campus," said O'Reilly. At one point O'Reilly began to read from Casteen's letter to him. When he got to the first mention of Thomas Jefferson, O'Reilly stopped and said, "Thomas Jefferson would throw this publication off campus so fast."

The Cavalier Daily has been on damage control in the weeks following the cartoons' publication on August 23 and August 24. A recent statement to the media said that, "We have decided that because recent controversial cartoons have not violated our policies, The Cavalier Daily will not be apologizing for them," adding, "We are taking seriously the criticism of our independent ombudsman and members of the community we serve at the University of Virginia."

Cavalier Daily Executive Editor Herb Ladley declined to comment except to say, "What we've said in our statement is exactly what we want to say about it." Casteen was not immediately available at the time of this post.

22 comments

Bill O'Reilly has made a fortune making a jackass of himself. People who would put stock in anything this fool has to say are merely denying their own intelligence. The issue that eludes this cretin and his ding-dong devotees is that the same First Amendment rights that allow O'Reilly to make a public imbecile of himself are the same rights that entitle a college newspaper to publish cartoons.

One day O'Reilly will be caught in bed with an underage male goat trussed in leather, along with a bottle of Percocet, empty bottles of Boonesfarm wine and a well-thumbed copy of the Koran. And after a TV movie-of-the-week has been made about his sins, he will fade from memory.

Huzzah.

Dear Art: You are correct, I did knowingly get off the subject in my initial response. But since it was CD's right to free speech that allowed them to run the cartoon that they have since apologized for, I was only defending O'Reilly's right to call them on it and to express HIS free speech. But, what are the majority of respondents doing here? Hurling their usual insults at O'Reilly and conservatives from the relative security of their computers. At least O'Reilly has the balls to say what he thinks in the public forum.

And, since when have you had to serve in the military before running for public office? I don't recall making that statement. I don't criticize those who don't serve in either fashion. Only those who wrap themselves around the rights provided under the Constitution, then criticize other individuals, or parties, that consistently fight to ensure that we continue to have those rights. Whether fighting in the military, or from public office.

I may have gotten off the subject, yes. It's easy to do in this community that I have lived in most of my life. But liberals are so quick to condemn the conservatives (not all of us are right wing religious fanatics, by the way) while seldom offering up viable solutions to whatever they are ranting about, or railing against, on any given day.

Do you really believe anything is accomplished by this? Nine times out of ten, when a democrat is questioned as to how he would have handled the response to 9-11, or what theyir plans are for Iraq if "in control" after the elections, the response is a non-productive criticism of what's been done up to this point. Mistakes have been made, certainly. I'm sure every decision made by the US during WWII, for example, wasn't the best decision. But at least someone stood up and made that decision and patriots carried out those decisions believing themselves to be acting in the best interests of the civilized world.

"Oh no, we've been in Iraq for three years and order is still not restored!" whine the liberals. Well, go ahead and waa-waa-waa! I've got news for them - - we didn't just turn around and go home after VE-Day or VJ-Day either. We stayed around to ensure that stability and democracy were established, re-established and or sustained. We're still in Europe and Asia today, more than 60 years after the fact.

So, I come from a long line of military. My husband's great-great grandfathers both fought for the North in the Civil War. My grandfather and his brother served their country in WWI. I had four uncles from one family all in the Navy in WWII. My father served in Korea and served two tours in Vietnam. My husband served two tours in Vietnam as a door gunner. My son wants to join the Navy and I will support that decision when the time comes.

Do I want my son to die in war on foreign soil? Do I want other families to lose their loved ones? Of course not! As a mother myself, I can well understand Cindy Sheehan's grief. But she is demeening what her child believed in, and her actions and those of other left-wing fanatics will only encourage our enemies. They want to see unrest in our country. They want to see Americans die. That is what they live for. They hate everything that America stands for.

So, yes, the CD has the right to publish whatever they want whether or not others consider it offensive. Sheehan and others have the right to protest that which they find difficult to swallow in this country they call home. O'Reilly has those same rights. Is he over the top? Very often, yes. Is his heart in the right place? Absolutely. He loves this country and he knows the sacrifices that have been made and must continue to be made. Does he criticize the current administration? All the time. There are many ways to serve ones country. It could be by serving in the military, serving in public office, or engaging citizens in thoughtful debate through the media. Raising healthy, intelligent and compassionate children is also a service to this country.

But only criticizing without offering sound, alternative solutions doesn't accomplish anything and it certainly is of no service to this country.

Oh...and one last thing. There are two reasons that it was necessary to send our troops into battle with faulty gear, inadequate protection, and an extremely flawed and shortsighted battle plan. No 1....9-11. They attacked us and it was absolutely necessary that we respond immediately. Whether or not Iraq was the right decision will only be determined as time goes on. No 2....Clinton's 8 years in office and his deliberate dismantling of our military. When Bush took over in January of 2001, do you truly think it possible to have rebuilt our military might in 8 months time? Even if GW had looked into his crystal ball during his inaugrual and envisioned 9-11, he could not have, in eight months time, corrected the great wrong done to our military in the 1990's.

Bill O'Reilly's an ass. That's the best he's got? Picking on a college newspaper? He an anyone else that was seriously offended need to get over themselves and move on to something more constructive.

The CD was practicing real live journalism quite a few generations before O'Reilly didn't with the Peabody he claimed to have won. We should shut down college newspapers for exercising the First Amendment? Interesting idea. Maybe next we can shut down cable networks that throw integrity and honesty to the wind.

Did anyone see this? How much time did O'Reilly devote to bashing UVa and Casteen?

Instead of worrying about censorship, the CD should worry about quality. The cartoons in the paper are lame.

Am I obtuse? I don't even understand what the cartoonist was trying to say.

In about two weeks, O'Reilly will turn his attention to go after whoever is trying to have underaged sex with Christmas and he'll forget about all of this. So will his lemmings.

The cartoons were hilarious.

Maybe the big O should go after the fact that sex with your 14 year old sister (incest with a minor) is just a misdemeanor here in Virginia.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/10/AR200609...

I guess I'm a ding-dong devotee. Interesting that there are this many responses within less than 24 hours of the broadcast when no C-Villians even seemed to care about the ex-president of Iran visiting last week. But, then again, I guess he was just here exercising his free speech.

When the conservative side of Charlottesville gets up on their soapbox, the liberal left drown them out with boohs and catcalls. Again, just exercising their free speech, while denying others the opportunity to do the same. Did I miss something, or do conservatives act like asses at liberal rallies in Charlottesville?

And one more thing on an unrelated subject....how many of you have served your country? If called upon, how many of you would run for the border? Losers.

Bill is right, Casteen should not be hiding behind his desk he should be out there defending free speech. If he feels he is right, he should get out there and say so. If he feels they were insensitive, he should say so. If he thinks Cville is a free-speech zone he should say so.

The problem with this situation is that Casteen is chicken. O'Reilly can be right or wrong on any situation, Casteen and the Cav Daily can be right or wrong on any situation. We can't stop O'Reilly's right to question, but Casteen has a duty as a public figure to answer. Even if that answer is "Bill is a buffoon and it's not worth addressing"

If we are going to start with only pleasing Bill O. - then we are corrupting our rights as Americans - Bill outta clean his own mouth/mind before he starts on others. If we disagree - then avoid idiots like B.O.

He has some cajones speaking for TJ - jeez the man has long since passed away - I have a feeling TJ would not DO one bloody thing that Billy O - quotes - me thinks it would be Billy - O's mess - that would simply be lineing TJ's cat boxes... HO...!

Bill O'Rielly is one pathetic old bastard. it is pretty sad that all he can find time to do is pick on a dumb ole college paper. Geuss that shows us how much time he has on his hands though, doesn't it?

You would think that even O' Reilly would hesitate to make comments which invite comparison with Islamic extremists.

The point is not whether the Cd has the right to run the cartoon. They do. They also have the right to run a cartoon with one scientist explaining to another that Adam must have been white because everybody knows how hard it would have been to get a black man to give up a rib. (no offense intended) but that cartoon would have been in bad taste also. Both cartoons are aimed at christians but because one is also aimed at blacks it would have never ever been published.

It is ok for UVA to be liberal. It is ok for bill O.Reilly to point how what millions od tax dollars are subsidizing.

If Mr. casteen continues to allow such things without comment then it will be his fault when funds are cut.

That is all.

"It is ok for bill O.Reilly to point how what millions od tax dollars are subsidizing."

When did our (or od) tax dollars start subsidizing the CD? Do you know something the rest of us don't?

K Smith: Why yes, as a matter of fact you ARE a ding-dong devotee. Nobody here is saying that O'Reilly doesn't have a right to say whatever he wants. He is under criticism for demanding that freedom of speech be curtailed when it doesn't agree with his narrow worldview. He thinks government (in this case a state university) should punish speech with it doesn't agree with his worldview.

And here's a news flash for you, K Smith - amazingly, the US Constitution doesn't reserve free speech rights for those who served the country, any more than it states that conservatives who make wild-ass claims about the law, society, or the truth should be free from criticism. Bill O'Reilly has a long, long history of just flat-out lying - you don't have to want to believe that, but it's not about "belief" it's about "the truth," which in most cases isn't open to interpretation. He is "popular" because he plays to his crowd (which I imagine includes you) by playing to their (your) prejudices, fears, and racism. When put on the spot, he cuts people off. When faced with his lies, he gets personal and throws around inane garbage.

Fortunately, his (and your) days of comfort and glory are coming to an end. There's a sea change in American politics and public society headed our way, and it's coming really, really fast. Even good ol' racist Virginia has turned from bright red to purple, and it's headedbright blue.

These things happen in cycles, but not like you hope. Virginia was bright blue for many decades, and then the GOP, under the leadership of George Felix Macaca Allen, lied their way to power. The people were entranced. The people are now waking up and we're going to push back hard against your lies and prejudices, and O'Reilly will be marginalized sooner than you know it. Get used to it.

Dear Art of Argument: You are correct, the US Constitution doesn't reserve free speech rights for those who served the country. I did not say that it did. But, it's those people
that served their country, that fought and often died for THIS country, 250 years ago or yesterday, that give YOU that right today. That gave that murdering Khatami the right to speak here last week.

Too many people choose to overlook that fact. Too many people like you.

If the Cavalier Daily has apologized in the past for comics which people considered offensive, then why not apologize for this one? I believe I read two articles referencing a gay joke and a Muslim joke, for which they issued apologies, why now do they refuse under the claim of "free speech"? Did they not have the same right to free speech in the past?

K, K, K...I think one of us is missing the point. What does serving in the military have to do with the topic being discussed here? Is that your default argument when things turn against you? Let me quote- I know Republicans and conservatives really, really hate being quoted like this, but it seems relevant-you may want to close your eyes.

"And one more thing on an unrelated subject”Š.how many of you have served your country? If called upon, how many of you would run for the border? Losers."

Now K, seriously, was that necessary? It certainly didn't help you make your point. But since you insist on using that as the foundation for your point, let's discuss it.

Okay K: how many Iraq War vets are running for Congress or Senate as Republicans this year? Feel free to use Google, or any other resources. Oh what the hell- I'll save you the time:

From USA Today, 8/24/06:
In January, at least 10 veterans of Iraq or the post-9/11 military launched Democratic campaigns for the House of Representatives because they opposed Bush's Iraq policy. Van Taylor of Texas is the only Iraq vet running as a Republican.
Less than three months before the election, three have dropped out after they struggled to raise money or lost party primaries. A few are running strong against vulnerable GOP incumbents.

Now let's examine that set of facts. Of the 11 veterans of the Iraq War or post-9/11 military running for the House of Representatives this year, only one chose to run as a Republican. Now why is that? Is it because most members of the military are diametrically opposed to the current administration? It would seem so. You might want to read the whole article: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-08-23-vet-candidates_x.htm

And that doesn't even deal with the vets running for the Senate as Democrats this year. Conrad Burns in Montana is going to lose (and badly) to vet and Democrat John Tester. And you may have heard that the Dem candidate in Virginia, veteran Jim Webb, has a son who just shipped out to Iraq.

What branch did George Allen serve in? I seem to have missed that talking point. How about Rumsfeld and Cheney? These are the same Republican heroes who sent our troops into battle with faulty gear, inadequate protection, and an extremely flawed and shortsighted battle plan. They belong in jail, not in office.

Man, K, you gotta watch out for those minefields, don't you?

One point that was brought up earlier in the comments that was dropped: "It is ok for bill O.Reilly to point how what millions od tax dollars are subsidizing." The Cav Daily is, in fact, financially independent of the University, being supported entirely by advertising funds. This includes the rent they pay to the University for their production space, and the salary for the receptionist they employ. There are many other smaller publications at UVA which ARE financed, at least in part, by University funds, but not the CD. Attacking the CD in this manner is disingenous.

One thing that might be interesting to see is whether this controversy causes certain regular advertisers in the CD to pull their ads from the paper. Given how, as the CD reported today, that of the thousands of letters they received about this issue, less than 50 were from within UVA, my guess is it will have a negligible effect on their revenue. Other thoughts on this point?

Good question about the advertising impact. I would imagine, knowing Charlottesville, that the CD is more likely to see a net gain in advertisers because of this. The city is pretty hip to free speech issues, and the publicity the CD is getting becuase of this is probably going to make more than one business owner stop and wonder why they haven't been advertising to the students before now. I wouldn't be surprised if at some point in the near future the CD staff has a "Thanks, Bill!" celebration.

To "No worries"--

That sounds more like wishful thinking than a prediction based on any sort of numbers or fact-based trends. If businesses went by their "well gosh by golly, my tummy gut tells me..." every time they looked to market something then they'd all go bankrupt. You need a little more behind your statements than "the city is hip to free speech". I'm "hip" to free speech, but I certainly wouldn't give the paper any money just because they hosted an artist who offended a large base of people and then apologized for doing so.

Uhhh: Have you ever even BEEN to Charlottesville? This is one of the most liberal jurisdictions in America. Apparently, the vast majority of those "offended" are from outside the area, and most probably prompted by their pied piper O'Reilly. Trust me - this isn't something my tummy tells me, this is a sound prediction: The CD won't hurt from this at all. It isn't thei first time this college paper has offended somebody, and it won't be the last.

The advertisers who desperately want to reach the college market won't think twice about advertising in the CD. It's not about being offended or not, it's about getting feet through your doors. For some businesses, it's about surviving in the marketplace.

I didn't say that people were going ot advertise with the CD BECAUSE of the cartoons. People will advertise IN SPITE OF the cartoons.

No Worries--

You said: "I would imagine, knowing Charlottesville, that the CD is more likely to see a net gain in advertisers because of this." Key words being "because of this". Because of what? Because some college kid made jokes about Christianity, pissed some people off, then apologized for it? Why would THAT cause a net gain in advertisers? If nothing else your uber-liberal townspeople should be irritated that he gave in and apologized at all, rather than keeping up the good fight. I can see them rallying around the cause if the paper and the cartoonist refused to apologize, and the advertisers would like to show their support, but he apologized.