The entire O’Reilly Factor kerfuffle started when Bill assigned himself the role of internet cop and busted us for writing hateful posts — by quoting a commenter, a newfangled development on blogs which apparently confused Bill. He then offered a half-assed apology for not reporting accurately, but blamed us for not policing our comment sections as thoroughly as Bill himself does with his own site. Patterico then took Bill at his word and paid good money to join Bill’s site (note that we don’t charge people to read Hot Air) and did a little internet policing of his own.
Did Patterico get a high-five from the Factor for his intrepid work in pointing out hateful comments? Not exactly:
I wish I could share today’s “BillOReilly.com blog posting” . . . but my membership has been terminated …
Oh, wait. I just reviewed the Terms and Conditions again, and I believe I have found the relevant language: “4. Do not expose Bill O’Reilly as a rank hypocrite.”
Glenn Reynolds calls this “inexcusable internet lameness,” which is accurate as far as it goes, but it’s also rather pusillanimous. Our posts and comments sections are open for anyone to read, and for anyone to criticize, including Bill. Bill, however, not only requires people to pay first to read them, but then when a paying member does exactly what Bill does on his television show, Bill has their membership terminated.
Some people can dish out the criticism but can’t take it.
We interviewed Patterico on the NARN show at the very end, when we saw his Twitter update on the situation. It’s a great segment; be sure to catch it.