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Olbermann Tears O'Reilly a New One
June 2, 2006 4:14 PM   Subscribe

O'Reilly insults American victims of a WWII war crime, and Keith Olbermann calls him out. It's been a while since I've seen pure outrage so eloquently expressed. The facts about Malmédy are well known. (WMV and QT video links via Crooks and Liars).
posted by fourcheesemac (66 comments total)

 
O'Reilly will mention at the end of a broadcast that he made a small mistake the other night, but that a bunch of sick, terrorist sympathising america haters want to use it for their own twisted agenda to harm our troops, and he isn't gonna stand for it.

Rinse. Lather. Repeat.
posted by 2sheets at 4:22 PM on June 2, 2006


It's fun to watch Olbermann attack that blowhard hack, but there is something a little odd about the argument. Olbermann surely isn't suggesting that O'Reilly's wider claim ("this kind of thing has happened before") is wrong, is he? There's something weird about Olbermann wrapping himself in the flag and being so obviously on the verge of singing "God Bless America" without even once pointing out that, yes, American troops have just committed some appalling war crimes, and that, yes, they have done so in the past.

The real obscenity of O'Reilly's argument is not that he picked the wrong incident, it's that he thinks that he can use the general gauzy romanticising of "The Greatest Generation" (TM) to somehow excuse this latest atrocity. "Well, if The Greatest Generation committed war crimes, it clearly can't be such a big deal, can it?"

I guess I think the more rhetorically effective point for Olbermann to make would have been ironic rather than outraged: "So, Bill, tell me--now that you know you were instancing a case of Nazi war crimes, do you still want to suggest that when war crimes happen we should just say "war is hell" and move on?"
posted by yoink at 4:26 PM on June 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


great point, yoink
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:27 PM on June 2, 2006


Woo!! Way to botch some shameless equivocation!!

Instead of, you know, simply letting your point stand on its own.
posted by Yeomans at 4:29 PM on June 2, 2006


(re O’Reilly, not yoink)
posted by Yeomans at 4:30 PM on June 2, 2006


Wow. I'd never heard of Malmédy. Or, rather, I had, but didn't know it until now.

My grandfather was in WWII, was in the Battle of the Bulge, but he rarely talked about it. One story was how they'd heard that the Germans had massacred a bunch of prisoners. After that, he said, when they'd capture Germans, the Germans always seemed to lose their boots. In the winter. Then, of course, they'd lose their feet to frostbite and gangrene.

My grandfather was not a sweet, sensitive man. He was a truck-stop mechanic, with tattooed arms and a crusty demeanor. He wavered between being a real hard ass and a real asshole, pretty much. But he didn't tell the story of his part in the retribution for (what I now know must have been) Malmédy with any relish or delight.
posted by MrMoonPie at 4:32 PM on June 2, 2006 [5 favorites]


"Just lined 'em up and shot 'em." he said, between drags on his filterless Pall Malls. That was the closest to crying I ever saw the man.
posted by MrMoonPie at 4:34 PM on June 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Thanks for that detail MrMoonPie, which has a ring of truth based on the sort of thing I've heard from a lot of combat veterans. In a way it may be worthy of a sidebar, but it's a little too grim (and secondhand) for me to want to nominate it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:35 PM on June 2, 2006


O'Reilly's apparently made the same erroneous claim more than once. Assuming for the moment that he's not an idiot and actually knows the facts, what would he be trying to prove by saying that Americans committed the massacre instead of being its victims? If his point is that Americans have committed war crimes before, why not bring up a historically factual example like Pottawatomie or Fort Pillow or Mai Lai?
posted by kirkaracha at 4:36 PM on June 2, 2006


I hate seeing the left become the mirror image of the right. Olbermann stoops to BO's level with this attack. Equating a mistake, how ever obnoxiously atoned for, with an intentional attack on the GIs of Malmady is just the kind of blowhard rhetoric we get from Hannity, Limbaugh, and BO.

Lost some respect for Olbermann here.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 4:37 PM on June 2, 2006


Simple, kirkaracha. The ideal moral universe for O'Reilly and his ilk is one in which 'right' and 'wrong' are defined by what side the perp is on. Ours? War is hell, that's life. Theirs? War crimes -- set up the gallows!
posted by verb at 4:39 PM on June 2, 2006


how ever obnoxiously atoned for,

"Atoned for"? He used it again, in scrupulous, lying detail, even after being called out on it before, then lied about it, and had it scrubbed from the transcript. And never, ever apologized or set the record straight.

This is some strange new kind of atonement with which I was hitherto unacquainted.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:41 PM on June 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm certainly no fan of O'Reilly, but this column (from June 2005) would seem to indicate that he is aware of the actual facts of Malmedy, and, in the process of being a bullying prick, simply misspoke. Which isn't to say that his reasoning ("Shit happens!") is any less stupid.

And frankly, I'm more offended that he would compare Iraqi civilians to the SS.
posted by Ty Webb at 4:41 PM on June 2, 2006


What -- the **fuck** -- is with **this** style of writing? Is the -- author's intent -- to be **completely** unreadable?
posted by mr_roboto at 4:47 PM on June 2, 2006


I thought olberman was blowhard but I hate bill orielly enough to let anything slide
posted by I Foody at 5:01 PM on June 2, 2006


"The Sisyphus of morons"

That was a good one.

I guess I think the more rhetorically effective point for Olbermann to make would have been ironic rather than outraged: "So, Bill, tell me--now that you know you were instancing a case of Nazi war crimes, do you still want to suggest that when war crimes happen we should just say "war is hell" and move on?"

That is what I thought. But I get why Olbermann was pulling the "Greatest Generation" card. He can keep BOR dancing like a blind squirrel on hot plate a lot longer with that kind faux moral outrage.
posted by tkchrist at 5:06 PM on June 2, 2006


It didn't look faux to me. Dude was practically shaking.
posted by Zozo at 5:07 PM on June 2, 2006


I'm certainly no fan of O'Reilly, but this column (from June 2005) would seem to indicate that he is aware of the actual facts of Malmedy, and, in the process of being a bullying prick, simply misspoke.

If he did, he did so twice, to the same man, nearly a year apart. The fact that he claims that this shit happens, look at WWII, just shut up is wrong in dozen of ways. Occasionally, this shit *does* happen, and the right answer for a society that has any concept of honor or justice is to punish those who commit such acts, heap dishonor upon the units involved, and state clearly, to the military and the world, that such actions are not ever acceptable.

What's worse is that there are recorded murders of POWs by US Soldiers during WWII -- and the common thread among all of them is George S. Patton. O'Reilly could have, if he'd spent three fucking minutes with Google, gotten this right.

Look up Dachau, Canicatti and Biscari. O'Reilly could have gotten his facts right, but it looks better if we pretend we're murdering SS, rather than civilians or wounded and captured soldiers from a Red Cross Hospital.
posted by eriko at 5:09 PM on June 2, 2006


I'm certainly no fan of O'Reilly, but this column (from June 2005) would seem to indicate that he is aware of the actual facts of Malmedy, and, in the process of being a bullying prick, simply misspoke.

If he did, he did so twice, to the same man, nearly a year apart. The fact that he claims that this shit happens, look at WWII, just shut up is wrong in dozen of ways. Occasionally, this shit *does* happen, and the right answer for a society that has any concept of honor or justice is to punish those who commit such acts, heap dishonor upon the units involved, and state clearly, to the military and the world, that such actions are not ever acceptable.

What's worse is that there are recorded murders of POWs by US Soldiers during WWII -- and the common thread among all of them is George S. Patton. O'Reilly could have, if he'd spent three fucking minutes with Google, gotten this right.

Look up Dachau, Canicatti and Biscari. O'Reilly could have gotten his facts right, but it looks better if we pretend we're murdering SS, rather than civilians or wounded and captured soldiers from a Red Cross Hospital.
posted by eriko at 5:09 PM on June 2, 2006


It's **infrequent** that you can be **surprised** -- nowadays.
posted by parki at 5:11 PM on June 2, 2006


two times
posted by airguitar at 5:11 PM on June 2, 2006


DACK-YAMINT'D

The guy presenting that was an asshole. Picking up on O'Reilly's confusion/mistake/slip and then coming close to implicating him in the actual atrocity by the time the 7 minutes are up.
posted by fire&wings at 5:19 PM on June 2, 2006


O'Reilly is an asshole. Olbermann is actually doing an O'Reilly back on him, and it is highly effective.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:23 PM on June 2, 2006


And you don't make the same exact embarrassing mistake twice, talking to the same person, after you've been called on it a year earlier, and *then* go on to claim you still had some part of it right after being called on it again, without that statement rising above the level of a "confusion/mistake/slip." Either that, or O'Reilly has Alzheimers.

All he had to say was "Mai Lai." This is a truly weird bat for him to keep swinging even after he's been thrown out of the game. But he opens himself up to exactly what KO dishes out, which is (at long last, sir) to question his patriotism by suggesting he is dishonoring American troops. If he had cited an actual US military atrocity, he would have been pilloried by his far right viewers. I think he had to invent something to thread that needle.

Falafel head.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:27 PM on June 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


They're both missing the point:

We (ostensibly) didn't invade Iraq to conquer it. It would have been easy to carpet bomb and/or nuke the country into submission. No, instead, we invaded to liberate it, to free its people from a horrible dictator. We were not to be feared by the populace, but rather greeted as liberators.

So to execute innocent civilians is not just an unfortunate consequence of war; it directly contradicts the mission. It hardens "hearts and minds" by supporting the notion that we're there to subjugate the Iraqi people rather than liberate them. Yep -- line up innocent civilians, handcuff them, and put a bullet in their heads, including a fucking baby the age of my little niece... that's pretty strong evidence of our soldiers' intent right there. And it sends a clear message to the Iraqi people of our true intent.

Indeed, war is hell. No question, this sort of thing happens in war -- it has, over and over throughout the history of war, as Bill O'RLY so ineptly pointed out. And my government has unleashed hell to the Iraqi people, knowing full-well what that meant.

Rather than attack O'RLY on his botched historical reference (okay, sure, fine, thow it in for snark..), Olbermann would have done well to agree with his premise -- war begets war crimes -- but continue to elucidate its terrifying, but entirely predictable ramifications.
posted by LordSludge at 5:34 PM on June 2, 2006


ok ... let me see if i follow the logic here ... ss troops murder unarmed american soldiers ... 60 years or so later american soldiers allegedly murder unarmed iraqi civilians ... bill o'reilly defends the accused by pointing out that unarmed american soldiers killed a bunch of ss troops so it's ok ... but it was really ss troops killing american soldiers ... so therefore bill o'reilly is sneakily claiming that american soldiers are nazis and it's ok

or something

*head explodes*
posted by pyramid termite at 5:35 PM on June 2, 2006


The first time could have been a mistake: even Olbermann admitted that. But how the hell could O'Reilly make the same "mistake" twice?

Leaning over backwards to be fair, if he really meant to say "Normandy" instead of "Malmedy", but somehow misspoke (for a second time), the honourable thing to do when his error was pointed out would be to say "I'm sorry: I misspoke" and leave the transcript as it was, with a note that he made that error.

But O'Reilly blew off people's complaints with the claim that what he actually said (and what some poor widdle viewers obviously missed) was something completely different. And then Fox published a revised transcript matching his claims, not the actual words he spoke on his show.

I have no sympathy for O'Reilly.
posted by rosemere at 5:35 PM on June 2, 2006


Dude was practically shaking.

Olbermann seethes with black putrid hatred for BOR. That was hate. Not outrage.

Al Franken once challenged BOR to a fight but BOR backed out. I think Olbermann should revive the concept and get this shit out of his system and challenge BOR to a cage match.

Who else would pay to see that? I know I would. Hell. I'd pay to participate.
posted by tkchrist at 5:35 PM on June 2, 2006


Goddamn it, I'm pissed. I need a beer. Signing off...
posted by LordSludge at 5:35 PM on June 2, 2006


The point O'Reilly is clearly trying to make is that Iraqi civilans are basically the same thing as Nazi soldiers. Remember- both were fascists, some where german fascists and some are Islamo-facists.
posted by cell divide at 5:39 PM on June 2, 2006


Yoink said it pretty well.
posted by squirrel at 6:23 PM on June 2, 2006


Mai Lai

Why not mention Mai Lai? Because BOR doesn't want to equate Iraq with Vietnam.
posted by dobbs at 6:34 PM on June 2, 2006


yoink: I guess I think the more rhetorically effective point for Olbermann to make would have been ironic rather than outraged...

That would have been more effective with a MeFi type crowd. But it would be exactly the sort of sarcastic and too-clever attitude that O'Reilly's audience sees as smug, superior, and arrogant.

I think that if Olbermann's goal was to discredit O'Reilly in the eyes of O'Reilly's core audience, then wrapping himself in the super-patriot cloak, conveying outrage on the behalf of dishonored American war dead, and beating the whole dead horse repeatedly for long minutes were all correct strategies.
posted by Western Infidels at 6:58 PM on June 2, 2006


Did Clark just sit there without rebuttal both times?
posted by wrapper at 7:26 PM on June 2, 2006


Olberman must use an O'Reilly Factor hanky for a cum rag.
posted by HTuttle at 7:45 PM on June 2, 2006


Olberman must use an O'Reilly Factor hanky for a cum rag.

Cute.

O'Reilly doesn't know what he's talking about. Twice. The record of his mistake is edited. Olbermann points that out. Using direct quotes, as he always does when talking about O'Reilly. There's no spin going on (and no pun intended.)

Time for an ad hominem attack!
posted by Cyrano at 8:00 PM on June 2, 2006


wrapper - Did Clark just sit there without rebuttal both times?

I was left wondering the same thing, since Olberman ended the clip before Clark would've had a chance to respond in both cases.
posted by pruner at 8:05 PM on June 2, 2006


For the same reason I don't try to teach my cats to juggle.

Not really the best use of my time.
posted by Cyrano at 8:13 PM on June 2, 2006


I call Godwin on O'Reilly, can we boot him from the air now?
posted by substrate at 8:32 PM on June 2, 2006


bill needs as much of this heaped upon him as humanly possible. that was a legendary beatdown by KO. better than his last one.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 8:52 PM on June 2, 2006


So O'Reilly is trying to defend Haditha? Wow.

It never ceases to amaze me how much ideologues can deceive themselves especially about partisan issues. We do it on our side, too; though I'd like to think much less. We would do it much less if we thought carefully about what BOR's thought-process probably was and then watch for it in ourselves: "My ideological enemy is criticizing my side. Therefore, it's mendacious and I must defend what they are criticizing." It's assbackward. Why don't we evaluate the truth of what's being alleged and then decide whether or not to defend it?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:01 PM on June 2, 2006


The key, I believe, is that BO is a pompous ass who's mouth constantly writes cheques that his ass can't cash. He pulls this shit all the time - a slightly spun fact here, a mixed-up quote there, with bald faced lies for bookends. He doesn't bother owning up to his mistakes because he isn't trying to argue anything, he's busy manufacturing perception, with every possible word.

The details of Malmedy are irrelevant to that asshole. He's name dropping it to evoke an image, and then twisting it to suit the effect he wants to acheive: that American soldies don't target innocents, they target "EVIL DOERS!" (where SS = Iraqi citizen).

Olberman is simply going for the exposed vitals. O'Reilly dropped an idiot bomb, twice. Latch on to that and don't let it go. Every time he opens his fat yap, bring this up because he's probably doing it again - "it" being twisting the facts to create a perception of reality.

It's all about the truthiness baby. That's where a huge part of KO's outrage is likely coming from.

Bill O'Reilly: all heart, no facts. Couldn't find his ass with both hands. Argues like a prize fighter though because we're not willing to step in and slug it out with him, on his (and his minions') terms.
posted by C.Batt at 9:10 PM on June 2, 2006


Did Clark just sit there without rebuttal both times?

Actually, you must view this in the context of Billo's normal methodology. What O'Reilly hoped to do was derail whatever point Clark was trying to make through an attack on Clark's military background, and probably more precisely, on the military of Murtha's generation (though he was actually in Korea). He desperately wanted, needed, Clark to try calling him on it.

What Clark did instead was step over the pile of bullshit and continue to make his points. He wasn't there to debate random historical trivia; he was there to defend Murtha as a legislator exercising legislative oversight.

O'Reilly thrives on derails, land mines, sandbags, and other low tactics. Clark is obviously no n00b and needs no hand-holding -- he keeps his eyes on the prize, which in this case is FOX viewers he wants to reach.

So O'Reilly is trying to defend Haditha? Wow.

Betcher ass that's the new talking point. In fact, they love the new Ishiqa allegations coming out, because they strongly believe that's going to end up looking like a smear (bodies shot afterwards, they're claiming), which will spill over into doubts about Haditha.
posted by dhartung at 9:46 PM on June 2, 2006


How many of you called your cable companies tonight and told them that you would cancel your cable if they did not drop Fox News from their cable lineup? If you didn't then your indignation is quite hollow. Yes, I did, a long time ago. The only time I remember that fool O'Reilly still exists is when I read about him here - which is way too often for intelligent people to be bothered with such a two bit hack.
posted by any major dude at 9:50 PM on June 2, 2006


Oh and shame on you Wesley Clark for taking that Fox money. If liberals who actually cared about this country boycotted Fox en masse they would cease to be relevant. It would just be an echo chamber of morons like a big KKK parade.
posted by any major dude at 9:53 PM on June 2, 2006


thanks for the lecture.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 11:36 PM on June 2, 2006


Great clip. He has to speak emphatically and with a baffled tone because it's so obvious that O'Reilly is intellectually dishonest and ethically wanting. It's astounding and alarming he's so popular. I wonder what the reaction to this will be.

On another note, I don't have a cable company. Well, I do, but I don't subscribe to cable TV from them (I use an Antenna), except for my Internet connection. Perhaps I should cancel it and go with one of those wonderful phone companies instead?
posted by juiceCake at 11:54 PM on June 2, 2006


Bill O'Reilly ought to be shot between the eyes. Simple as that.

I mean it. Not being sarcastic at all.
posted by newfers at 12:26 AM on June 3, 2006


BOR doesn't like to talk about Olbermann, but he did start a petition to get him replaced with Donahue without actually mentioning Olbermann's name - out of concern for MSNBC's rating of course.
Olbermann responded.
posted by Tenuki at 1:22 AM on June 3, 2006


Who else would pay to see that? I know I would. Hell. I'd pay to participate. [in a fight with O'Reilly]

All of this is emotive reaction to what O'Reilly says. What one actually feels is probably a sense of frustration for not being able to speak back to his provocative suggestions or factual errors, some would even like to just shut his mouth somehow. Being emotive with O'Reilly and similar people isn't a good idea, as their point is so simple , yet so effective: if you are enraged (which is a natural occurring phenomenon) you stop reasoning clearly and lucidly.

Once you know the whole point of O'Reilly is to provoke an emotive reaction (outrage) regardless of facts or consequences, one can remain cool headed and choose how to handle him.
I hate seeing the left become the mirror image of the right. Olbermann stoops to BO's level with this attack. Equating a mistake, how ever obnoxiously atoned for, with an intentional attack on the GIs of Malmady is just the kind of blowhard rhetoric we get from Hannity, Limbaugh, and BO.
Get off the generalization and false dicotomy left/right, consider Olbermann did use the same technique O'Reilly uses, but against him. It resonates with Bill audience, who now knows and thinks Bill doesn't double check his facts. Just repeat this over and over again and some of the audience will remember this as if it was the only thing that matteres *9/11* *9/11* *9/11*.
I'm certainly no fan of O'Reilly, but this column (from June 2005) would seem to indicate that he is aware of the actual facts of Malmedy, and, in the process of being a bullying prick, simply misspoke. Which isn't to say that his reasoning ("Shit happens!") is any less stupid.
It could be, but his errors aren't a "slip of tongue". He deliberately made a false statement because his point was not and will never be that of reporting facts IF that means he is going to lose ground over his opponent-of-the-day. The fact that he used the same line with the same persons suggest he remembers exactly that the general freezed over this comment and that's what matters to him, silencing is opponent into looking stupid. He didn't care AT all about who really killed who, all that matter is having is point pass and having the opponent mumble some stupid comeback or freeze.
posted by elpapacito at 4:03 AM on June 3, 2006


Bill O is a FALSE PATRIOT
posted by phredhead at 6:26 AM on June 3, 2006


Wasn't there supposed to be a George Clooney vs Bill O'Reilly debate or something like that?
posted by jaronson at 7:19 AM on June 3, 2006


People are often wrong, and when cornered, will come up with the most ridiculous and pathetic ways to weasel out of their corner.

What I find far more appalling, and what Mr. Olbermann only briefly mentions, is that Fox redacted their transcripts of the show. That was probably the most important part of the entire harrangue.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:25 AM on June 3, 2006


i scrolled down here to point out that everyone is missing the point. BOR doesn't matter, Ohlbermann doesn't matter. FOX washed the transcript. that matters. that is the stinking vomit gob in the outhouse pit. and here sits Civil_Disobedient with his hammer squarely on the nail head. say it again, CD!
posted by quonsar at 9:09 AM on June 3, 2006


Several important points about Malmedy.

First of all, there was considerable concern about low morale among the allied forces. For this reason, it was decided that a deserter would be selected and executed, to discourage others. The man selected was Pvt Eddie Slovik.

Slovik was unique in that he stubbornly insisted that he had deserted his unit and would do so again. Had he just agreed to say that he had become seperated from his unit, he would not have been executed. He chose death, in a manner of speaking.

The massacre at Malmedy could have saved his life a second time, as his execution was no longer needed for morale purposes. But he remained stubborn to the bitter end.

As to the massacre itself, it was instantly recognized for its propaganda value. Pictures from the sight openly show the number of bodies *increasing* between photos. And one historian has been conducting a campaign to have at least one of the names removed from the memorial.

The unusual name of the son of a local gasthaus proprietor who had died of flu some days before, only to end up in a US army uniform with a bullet hole in him.

The gasthaus is located adjacent to the Malmedy memorial, and the proprietor's unusual family name is on both it and the memorial.

As a postscript, the battle of the Huertgen Forest was indeed horrific. Uphill over loose, wet shale, with reinforced German positions at the top of the mountain, through dense forest as artillery exploded in the treetops above, killing many men with tree splinters and shrapnel. Days were consumed to take a few feet of terrain.

It was the longest single battle in US history, stretching from mid-September to mid-February.
posted by kablam at 9:15 AM on June 3, 2006


CivilD

Fox redacted their transcripts of the show.

What ? WHAWHAT ? Tell me it ain't so ! Tell me no judge found Fox tried to undermine First Amendment ! Tell me Fox didn't sue Franken in a lawsuit so frivolous and "wholly without merit" because O'Reilly said so !

Tell me that in the eyes of Fox executives, if you sue for your health and that of human being it IS WRONG, but if you sue becaus Franken is "harrasing" you all the sudden being a crybaby is ok !
posted by elpapacito at 10:33 AM on June 3, 2006


elpapacito, Fox's suit against Franken (the "fair and balanced" suit), while amusing, isn't nearly as nefarious specifically because it was so high-profile. What bothers me more is the quiet and systematic way in which Fox news whitewashes history to suit their current agendas. Had this particular instance not been so high-profile, it probably would never have been noticed. But it makes you wonder: what else has been lost down the memory hole? I always considered the concept of transcripts to be akin to historical record: they are not editorials where you get to paraphrase or summarize or backstep. Five years from now, someone's going to ask someone else, "Hey, remember when that O'Reilly guy got the sides reversed in the Malmédy massacre?" And they'll look it up online, find the transcript happily archived by Fox, read it over and say, "Hmm. Guess I was wrong."

Oceania is at war with Eastasia. Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia. Look it up in our archives if you don't believe us!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:07 PM on June 3, 2006


civil_d: indeed you see the problem , who is going to keep an accurate record ? One either finds a way to record permanently data in someway that cannot be altered by anybody (which I guess is unlikely, but a good approximation could be built) in one point, or have infinite points of memorization, so that anybody have some kind of permanent memory (which is even more unlikely, but would be more interesting).

As long as one Fox employee chooses to follow orders of Bill and long as some people trust transcript from Fox to be accurate (or trust transcript they didn't collect) you will see history being changed under your very eyes because it's good for Bill or somebody else. Discrediting may work and does work for a while, but only as long as memory of people works.

That's why one should remember holocaust, racisms, generally speaking one should repeat memory of the great errors of the past so that we are not condemned to repeat them again and again and again. That can be prevented.
posted by elpapacito at 7:37 AM on June 4, 2006


Okay, people. If you're calling it "Mai Lai", you need to quit drinking so many mai tais or something. Maybe go play some jai alai and get the "-ai -ai" pattern out of your system.

It's My Lai. Please note for future reference. Thank you.
posted by beth at 7:18 AM on June 5, 2006


Colin Powell covered up the My Lai massacre.

I wonder if he's up to the task of covering up this stinking pile for Bushco?
Not enough credibility left in the entire administration? Yeah, I agree.

Meanwhile, these brave chickenwhackerhawks like Bill "Falafel" O'Lielly continue to accuse those who disagree with Bushco of being traitors. What a screwed up world!
posted by nofundy at 9:43 AM on June 5, 2006


It's My Lai. Please note for future reference.

Sorry for the derail, but does anyone know where the "Mai Lai" spelling comes from? I've seen people angrily correct "My Lai" spellers as well. Are they legitimate competing transcriptions, or is "Mai Lai" simply incorrect?
posted by yoink at 10:04 AM on June 5, 2006


Since Vietnamese doesn't use Arabic script, there's no definitive orthographic convention for representing the words.

In any case, it was a melee.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:23 AM on June 5, 2006


Vietnamese doesn't use Arabic script

It uses slightly modified Arabic script. Does anyone know how a Vietnamese person would spell My/Mai Lai? Would it be My Lai with assorted diacritical superscripts?
posted by yoink at 10:29 AM on June 5, 2006


Arabic? Wha?! Here's Arabic; here's Vietnamese. I think they call it "Son My" (maybe with a diacritical over the y); you can see it on a sign here.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:46 PM on June 5, 2006


Before we all accept that O'Reilly is a demon we should awknowledge that Ty Webb [above] found this link to a column by O'Reilly in 2005 that shows he knows what happened at Malmedy. The question is how did O'Reilly forget? Or why did he misspeak twice?
Is he losing his memory?
posted by Rashomon at 3:59 PM on June 5, 2006


mr_roboto, ugh, you're so right. Fourcheesemac was obviously thinking "Arabic numerals" and made a mental slip, and I just picked it up and slipped along with. But assuming that we both mean "latin alphabet" the questions still stand.

If it's "Son My" where in heck does "My" OR "Mai" come from?
posted by yoink at 4:08 PM on June 5, 2006


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