Colonel To O’Reilly: Stop Saying You Care For Soldiers

Col. David Hunt is a Fox News analyst and the author of the Colonel’s Corner on His most recent column addresses the debate over homeless veterans that has erupted between John Edwards and Bill O’Reily.

From the outset he is clearly upset with the plight of former soldiers who are now suffering from both physical and psychological hardships. He passionately denounces the circumstances that have led to this sorry state of affairs, as well as those who are not sufficiently outraged:

“…if this does not piss you off, finally get you off your butts, run outside naked while screaming mad, make you paint your face and do a protest dance in front of the White House, then my friends, you are dead from the neck up – and you need to forever stop saying you care for soldiers…”

Are you listening Bill O’Reilly?

The bulk of the article summarizes the gravity of the challenges that homeless vets face and the insufficiency of society’s resolve to respond. On the whole, it is a heartfelt plea from an old war horse to end the smarmy and disingenuous demagoguery and hammer out some practical solutions. Unfortunately, Col. Hunt can’t bring himself to direct his aim at the most abundant source of misinformation on the subject. In his column he doesn’t even distinguish between who is the advocate for homeless vets and who is the denier.

“On his radio and TV shows, Bill O’Reilly commented on Sen. John Edwards’ remarks on the plight of homeless veterans […] The commentary of Bill O’Reilly about John Edwards at least had the issue on the front pages and on TV.”

The problem is that what O’Reilly was putting on TV was entirely contrary to the facts. O’Reilly began his malicious mutterings on the issue by flatly asserting that there were no homeless veterans. From there he was forced to concede that the problem was real but he still insisted that it was trivial because it only affected those who were mentally ill or substance abusers, as if that disqualified them from gratitude or compassion. And never mind that those conditions were probably a direct result of their military service in the first place.

I don’t know if Col. Hunt’s timidity is based on O’Reilly being a friend, or if he is just reticent to squabble with a colleague at Fox News, or if he just wants to keep the focus on the issue, but he is making a mistake by letting O’Reilly off the hook. Two and half million people watch the Factor every day and O’Reilly’s lies are likely to impact the resolve of his audience to seek solutions. If Hunt really cares, he should call his pal and insist on appearing on the program to set the record, and O’Reilly, straight.

Email Col. Hunt and tell him not to let O’Reilly’s lies go answered.