Larry Flynt Issues Call to ‘Pray’ for Death of Bill O’Reilly
Marc Morano, CNSNews.com
Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2003
Television commentators of all stripes have raised the ire of liberals and conservatives for years, but one is now the subject of a prayer vigil for his death.
Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt called for a “National Prayer Day” on Aug. 5 to “pray for the death of [FOX News Channel host] Bill O’Reilly.”
The pornography publisher and California gubernatorial candidate’s event is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. PDT in Los Angeles, and Flynt’s political Web site offers a sample “prayer” describing in explicit and graphic terms how O’Reilly’s death might come to pass.
“Dear (God/Allah/Buddha/other entity of your choice), we ask you to afflict Bill O’Reilly with a brain aneurysm that will lead to his slow and painful death,” the “prayer” reads.
O’Reilly spokesman Robert Zimmerman told CNSNews.com, “We are not going to dignify it with a response.” O’Reilly, the host of “The O’Reilly Factor,” presides over the highest-rated prime-time news program on cable television.
Louis Giovino, spokesman for the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, called the Flynt event “an expression of evil.”
“If this wasn’t Larry Flynt, we would think it was just another wacko looking for PR, but since it is Larry Flynt and given his track record of hate, this is more than a sick joke, this is an expression of evil,” Giovino told CNSNews.com.
Sean Carney, spokesman for the Flynt event, believes that O’Reilly uses “racist” rhetoric in order to appeal to the “common man.”
“This guy even has a degree from Harvard, an M.B.A., but he sprinkles racist and inflammatory terms throughout his conversation to show that he is like one with the common man,” Carney told CNSNews.com. Carney also serves as an editorial assistant at Flynt’s Hustler magazine.
Flynt and his supporters are particularly angry with O’Reilly because of his stances on certain rap artists and pornography.
“He has attacked some people that we really love, like [rap singer] Ludacris and [porn movie actress] Jenna Jamison. Bill O’Reilly treated them terribly and tried to ruin Ludacris’ career – really awful stuff,” Carney explained.
The sample “prayer” states that O’Reilly “would like America to believe he’s a voice for the populace, but he’s nothing more than a right wing shill who tries to destroy the careers of those he disagrees with.”
Flynt will be unable to attend the service because “he is busy in his run for [California] governor,” according to Carney.
Carney also made an effort to distance Flynt and his enterprises from the death prayer, calling the effort “clearly a spoof.”
The suggested “prayer” includes a disclaimer that reads: “Prayer parody. However, if Bill O’Reilly dies, it must be God’s will.”
I think I might actually start praying.