Hi Jesse: It's John Cook from Gawker again. I thought I'd check in and renew my interview request in light of the murder of Dr. George Tiller yesterday because he was, in your boss' words, a "Nazi" and "baby killer" who ran a "death mill" and must be stopped.
We just left you a voicemail, but thought we'd write you a note as well. It doesn't look like you ever met Tiller, but your colleague Porter Barry stalked him to a gas station in Kansas two years ago and called him a "baby killer," forcing Tiller to call 911. And you did ambush—or "confront," as you put it—his attorney Pedro Irigonegary in Topeka, Kansas in 2006. And you ambushed then-Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius last year to ask her what she thought of Tiller "performing illegal late-term abortions and covering up instances of child rape" in her state. You and your boss Bill O'Reilly waged a years-long campaign to brand Tiller a murderer and criminal who needed to be stopped. Anyone who stood in the way of efforts to stop him, O'Reilly said, "has blood on their hands." After you ambushed Tiller's lawyer, you wrote it up in a blog post for O'Reilly's web site, signing off with: "Keep watching. There will be more."
Wow. Were you right about that! We don't think it's reasonable to hold you and your Fox News colleagues responsible for Tiller's murder, Jesse. But we do think it's reasonable to ask you whether you think your practice of hunting people down to "confront" them might egg on madmen who aren't quite satisfied with the ritual humiliation that your little game offers them. Does it ever occur to you that the cat-and-mouse routines you serve up as you demonize and stalk your political enemies might inspire the people whose barely submerged rage you tap into each night in television? That the mechanics of what you do—choose a target, methodically and deliberately transform them into a villain in the eyes of your audience, track them, lay in wait for them, and then leap out of nowhere to "confront" them—could serve as a road map? That some of your less hinged fans might want to try it out some time because it looks fun? And that while you get your jollies from shoving a camera in people's faces when they least suspect it and without even offering them a chance to come on the program like a civilized human being, some of your viewers might want something a little more substantial out of the encounters?