The Assassinated Press
Why Bill O'Reilly Is Insane
By AMIRI BARAKA
special to the Assassinated Press
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the Personal Story segment tonight, the poet laureate of New Jersey Amiri Baraka. He angered millions of Americans by writing a poem that said the Bush administration and the Israeli government, among others, knew in advance that the World Trade Center was going to be attacked on 9/11. The New Jersey legislature right now could have fired him, but he continues to defend his position.
AMIRI BARAKA, NEW JERSEY POET LAUREATE: "Who knew the World Trade Center was going to get bombed? Well, the Bush administration knew." I agree with this. "And it is everywhere on the Internet. Not only that -- was the U.S. warned repeatedly by Germany, France, Russia, England, but also Israel. Who told 4,000 Israeli workers in the Twin Towers to stay home that day? Why did Sharon stay away?" unquote. Now to infer that I am accusing Israel of committing this atrocity is disingenuous slander and character assassination. But I do believe, as I stated about England, Germany, France, Russia, that the Israeli government, certainly its security force, knew about the attack in advance.
O'REILLY: All right. With us now is Amiri Baraka. Now I'm more interested in, you know, who you are and what you think rather than this crazy 9/11 theory you have.
O'REILLY: I mean, you're an American. You're free to believe anything you want, but it's just nutty, in my opinion. Do you believe...
BARAKA: Well, why do you attack me? If I'm free to believe it, why do you attack me?
O'REILLY: I'm just saying it's nutty. That's my opinion. I hold that. Now do you believe in the Holocaust?
BARAKA: Of course.
O'REILLY: OK. So you don't have any problems with what happened...
BARAKA: But criticizing Israel does not mean you're anti-Semitic.
O'REILLY: Oh, come on. You...
BARAKA: That's the big lie.
O'REILLY: ... can criticize all day long, but...
BARAKA: That's the big lie.
O'REILLY: ... if you say they knew about the 9/11 attack beforehand...
BARAKA: So did Bush.
BARAKA: So did Bush.
O'REILLY: Look, some people believe in the Easter Bunny. Do you be that? Come on.
BARAKA: Well, if you believe Bush is the Easter Bunny, but there are four FBI agents suing for the same reason, who said they gave information about Zacarias Moussaoui...
O'REILLY: You're -- you're...
BARAKA: ... about...
O'REILLY: You're on the Internet there too much with all due respect.
BARAKA: Well, it -- why is Internet less believable than The Post...
O'REILLY: All right. Because there's no editor on...
BARAKA: ... or The Wall Street Journal?
O'REILLY: There's no editor on the Internet.
BARAKA: That might be better.
O'REILLY: You can write whatever you want to write.
BARAKA: That might be better.
O'REILLY: But let's find out who you are and what you think.
O'REILLY: You've been accused of being anti-white. Do you dislike white people?
BARAKA: No, that was before -- actually, earlier, when they killed Malcolm X, I had that kind of reaction briefly. You know, that's why it's kind of, you know, absurd to say I was anti-Semitic because I hated all white people after that.
O'REILLY: You hated all white people after...
BARAKA: Sure. But, later, I adjusted, you know, and I...
O'REILLY: So you just hate some of us now or...
BARAKA: No, I just...
O'REILLY: What's your hatred level?
BARAKA: It's not -- it doesn't have to do with like ethnicity or skin color. It has to do with ideology. I hate right-wing bigots. That's for sure.
O'REILLY: OK. How about left-wing bigots?
BARAKA: Oh, well, left -- a bigot is a bigot.
O'REILLY: All right. So you don't like any bigot.
O'REILLY: A bigot is a bigot. You don't like any bigots.
BARAKA: No, no bigots.
O'REILLY: All right. Good. Well, I'm with you on that. How's that?
BARAKA: Good. That's good. You don't seem like it.
O'REILLY: Well, that's OK. You form your own opinion.
BARAKA: Right, right. Right. Thank you.
O'REILLY: Now President Bush -- you realize -- you firmly believe that he would have allowed 3,000 Americans to die in the streets?
O'REILLY: And why would he...
BARAKA: Can I tell you...
O'REILLY: And why would he have allowed that?
BARAKA: So that he can run around the world and make a military dictatorship of the world.
O'REILLY: So he wants to...
BARAKA: Let me ask you this. Let me ask you this. If you know anything about flying, you know that you cannot go up in the air without filing a route. How can you make a 90-degree turn from Boston, two airplanes, commercial airliners, fly down to the World Trade Center without being challenged, no ground-to-air missiles, no...
O'REILLY: There weren't any ground-to-air missiles in that area, and...
BARAKA: Well, there were...
O'REILLY: ... they did...
BARAKA: And you're supposed to first communicate by radio.
O'REILLY: But, again, Mr. Baraka, look, if you want to think...
BARAKA: ... of the world say...
O'REILLY: If you want to think that that was a big world conspiracy, then go ahead and think that, all right.
BARAKA: Worldwide conspiracy.
O'REILLY: I'm not going to dissuade you, all right.
BARAKA: You'll deny it then.
O'REILLY: I will deny it, and I'll go a step further. You're insane, and it's insane to for the State of New Jersey...
BARAKA: If I was insane, I'd have a television program.
O'REILLY: OK. Look, it's -- it's insane for the State of New Jersey to pay you as a poet laureate.
BARAKA: They haven't paid me yet.
O'REILLY: All right. Well, you're on the payroll.
BARAKA: If they want to find some real anti-Semites, they should go to Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot who were taught in the schools.
O'REILLY: All right. Fine. I want you to react to one of your poems "Black Art" and explain this, OK.
BARAKA: That was written in 1965, right. Go ahead.
O'REILLY: All right. "We want 'poems that kill.' Assassin poems, Poems that is shoot guns. Poems that wrestle cops into alleys and take their weapons leaving them dead with tongues pulled out and sent to Ireland.
BARAKA: Keep reading.
O'REILLY: Well, that's -- that's the portion that really -- because the Ireland thing really piqued my interest. What does that mean?
BARAKA: What it means -- it means I want poems that are physical, that have a presence, that are not abstract and idealistic. That's what it means.
O'REILLY: All right, but why did you...
BARAKA: It means I want images that are strong enough to influence people in the real world.
O'REILLY: Why did you choose to use the violence against cops?
BARAKA: Cops. Because cops kill black people. They still are. I mean, if you think Amadou Diallo is not an incident of violence...
O'REILLY: But do police kill white people, too?
BARAKA: Excuse me.
O'REILLY: Do police kill white people, too?
BARAKA: Absolutely. That's why white people should oppose them.
O'REILLY: OK. So you believe all police in this country should be opposed?
BARAKA: No, not all police. That's like saying all people are this, all people are that.
O'REILLY: Well, which ones should be opposed?
BARAKA: The backward ones. The racist ones. The ones that...
O'REILLY: And how do we identify them?
BARAKA: You're supposed to test them. You're supposed to train them.
O'REILLY: Oh, you're supposed to test them.
O'REILLY: Do you have a bigot test, do you?
BARAKA: Sure you do.
O'REILLY: And how is that?
BARAKA: It's like the test they gave in the U.S. Army after they saw the triumph of the will by Leni Riefenstahl. They found out that there was a rise in anti-Semitic and fascist feeling by 20-some percent. That's a test that the U.S. Army gives. You can make tests to find out about people. You know, the Rorschach test...
O'REILLY: Can you design that -- I'd like for you to design that and send it to me.
BARAKA: I could -- I could design it.
O'REILLY: All right. Here's a quote from you from the "New Republic." It says...
BARAKA: Will you give me permission to do it? I would do it.
O'REILLY: No. Design it, and I'll read it on the air, all right?
O'REILLY: "Here the black man is called rapist, where the rolling of his eyes can get him in trouble. That is, the average ofay" -- Is ofay a white person? Is that a white person?
BARAKA: Well, it used to be. That's pig latin. Pig latin for foe.
O'REILLY: OK. "Thinks -- thinks of the black man as potentially raping every white lady in sight. Which is true, in the sense that the black man should want to rob the white man of everything he has."
BARAKA: Well, why do you keep reading things from the '60s that are...
O'REILLY: I -- look, I've got a compilation of your stuff, and I figured I'd pick the most inflammatory.
BARAKA: Well, those are the '60s. Well, I thought that somebody who blew up America was inflammatory.
O'REILLY: Somebody what?
BARAKA: Somebody who blew up America. I think that was inflammatory.
O'REILLY: It was. But I don't want to -- see, it's a loony theory, with all due respect.
BARAKA: I have another...
O'REILLY: I don't want to...
BARAKA: I have another inflammatory poem. It's called "Loco for Bush II (ph)." "The main thing wrong with you is you're ass ain't in jail." That's an inflammatory...
O'REILLY: OK. Well, again, you're an American. You have the right.
BARAKA: Thank you.
O'REILLY: Now you're going to teach kids in Newark public schools?
BARAKA: We've already started. Last week.
O'REILLY: All right. And what exactly are you going to teach them, how bad the...
BARAKA: We're going to teach them poetry.
O'REILLY: ... government is?
BARAKA: No, we're going to teach them -- they know that themselves.
O'REILLY: Oh, they know that themselves.
BARAKA: We're going to enhance their understanding of...
O'REILLY: Are you going to say the Pledge of Allegiance before you teach?
BARAKA: Well, the part -- if you put God in it, doesn't that mean you're making state and church...
O'REILLY: Not to me it doesn't. How do you feel about it?
BARAKA: How do I feel about what? The Pledge of Allegiance?
O'REILLY: Do you believe in God?
BARAKA: No, I'm a Marxist.
O'REILLY: OK. You're a Marxist.
BARAKA: I believe that everybody can believe what they believe.
O'REILLY: All right. So you're a Marxist. So you don't believe in God.
BARAKA: A Marxist.
O'REILLY: Right. You don't...
BARAKA: A communist.
O'REILLY: You don't like this country at all, right?
BARAKA: Well, no, I...
O'REILLY: You like this country?
BARAKA: ... love this country, but I don't like what it's done to black people. We here - came here at the bottom of the boats. You know that poem that goes, "At the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean is a railroad made of human bones."
O'REILLY: Right. But let me get this.
O'REILLY: So you don't believe in God, you're a Marxist in this -- a capitalist country.
BARAKA: I believe everybody...
O'REILLY: All right. You believe Bush has... .... intentionally killed 3,000 people...
BARAKA: Yes. He didn't stop it.
O'REILLY: ... because he wants to take over the world.
BARAKA: Let's stay that.
O'REILLY: Right. OK.
BARAKA: He knew about it.
O'REILLY: And you believe that a lot of whites are bigots and...
BARAKA: You don't believe that?
O'REILLY: No, I don't. I believe most Americans...
BARAKA: What was slavery? What happened to slavery?
O'REILLY: Well I was -- I was -- you know, that...
BARAKA: That was a long time ago.
O'REILLY: Slavery was older than some of your poems I read, you know.
BARAKA: Well, are you saying Diallo -- that was slavery. Are you saying...
O'REILLY: I'm saying the jury...
BARAKA: ... Byrd in Texas -- that was slavery.
O'REILLY: I will tell you this. The jury that...
BARAKA: Are you telling me the man who was murdered in Alabama...
O'REILLY: ... had black Americans on it acquitted the policemen. That's all I can tell you.
BARAKA: I know.
O'REILLY: Black Americans...
BARAKA: Are you going to tell me that Bush being against affirmative action, that's not a continuation? Are you telling me that Bush getting into office...
O'REILLY: With all due respect, Mr...
O'REILLY: Baraka, right. You know, I'm cloudy here because you're throwing a lot of stuff at me. You teaching schoolchildren...
BARAKA: I taught school for 20 years.
O'REILLY: ... is akin to me having Mussolini come in and teach children.
BARAKA: Well, your being on television is akin to having Goebbels on television.
O'REILLY: All right. Well, I guess we...
BARAKA: Joseph Goebbels. It's the same thing.
O'REILLY: I guess we don't have too much common ground, other than we both don't like bigots.
BARAKA: We can talk about what -- we don't understand what each other is saying.
O'REILLY: All right. I've got to tell you I appreciate you coming on in. I think you're a lunatic, and...
BARAKA: Yes. Well, I think you're a lunatic who's more dangerous because you're on television.
O'REILLY: All right. Mr. Baraka, thank you very much. We appreciate it.
BARAKA: Thank you very much. That was short and sweet.
The Assassinated Press.
They hang the man and flog the woman
That steal the goose from off the common,
But let the greater villain loose
That steals the common from the goose.
Constant apprehension of war has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force with an overgrown executive will not long be safe. companions to liberty. -- Thomas Jefferson
"America is a quarter of a billion people totally misinformed and disinformed by their government. This is tragic but our media is -- I wouldn't even say corrupt -- it's just beyond telling us anything that the government doesn't want us to know." Gore Vidal