I am constantly amazed at how intolerant the far left has become. Liberals, or "progressives" as they call themselves these days, don't want you to hear any opposing views. They want to stifle all public debate in this country.
The left dominates the mainstream media, including the big three television networks and most of the nation's newspapers. They have hundreds of thousands of Web sites and blogs spewing their propaganda daily.
They have their own radio network, Air America, although hardly anyone listens to it. They've infiltrated every sector of the education system and our courts. They control the Democratic Party.
But they still can't stand it when somebody wants to offer an opposing view. Conservative authors are routinely blackballed from television programs when they try to promote books. Liberals routinely disrupt speeches by conservatives on college campuses.
I was reminded of how intolerant the far left is when I read a letter to the editor by a "progressive" member of the Berks County Chamber of Commerce who apparently doesn't like the choice of guest speaker for the chamber's annual dinner in Reading, Pa.
The keynote speaker for the May 12 chamber event is none other than Bill O'Reilly.
While the letter-writer has the option of staying home when O'Reilly visits Reading, he instead decided to launch unsubstantiated attacks on O'Reilly, the host of "The O'Reilly Factor" on the FOX News network and "The Radio Factor" on hundreds of radio stations and author of several best-selling books.
Here's the text of the April 2 letter published in the Reading Eagle newspaper:
O'Reilly should not speak at dinner
As a member of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce, I was shocked to learn that the chamber has invited Fox News Channel pundit Bill O'Reilly to speak at its annual dinner on May 12.
O'Reilly was sued for sexual harassment by an employee and was forced to settle out of court after sexually explicit telephone transcripts were released.
Furthermore, it has been documented by various watchdog groups that O'Reilly has made overtly racist comments on his shows.
Last October O'Reilly claimed that American GIs massacred Nazi prisoners of war in cold blood at Malmedy during World War II. In fact, it was the Nazis who shot and killed American prisoners from the 82nd Airborne Division.
Even if one were to overlook half of the accusations against O'Reilly, he would still be a terrible example for local business leaders and an inappropriate guest for the annual chamber dinner.
The chamber should cancel O'Reilly's appearance.
Bob Cesca, Spring Township
My favorite part of Cesca's dispatch is the line "it has been documented by various watchdog groups..." Watchdog groups? Did Mr. Cesca list a single "watchdog" group that can offer proof that O'Reilly made racist comments on his show? Of course not. There are no "watchdog" groups. Liberal like to make things up.
What Mr. Cesca meant to say is that "it has been documented by left-wing smear sites and bloggers" that O'Reilly ...
O'Reilly is a favorite target of the left because of his popularity. And because he's not afraid to challenge these radicals.
The problem with liberals is that they get information from far left Internet sites that never let facts get in the way. These sites are propaganda merchants in the truest form. The bigger the lie, the better for these purveyors of deceit.
O'Reilly hosts the most popular news program on cable television (the highest rated cable television show for more than 200 consecutive weeks). He has written a series of No. 1 best-selling books. His syndicated column is carried by hundreds of newspapers. He is a big draw.
The Berks County Chamber of Commerce wants to fill every seat for its forum and wants people to be entertained and informed. That's why they booked O'Reilly.
Mr. Cesca can stay home on May 12 and surf the Internet for more hysterical nonsense from the far left. Or he can tape Rosie O'Donnell on "The View" and catch up on her latest rants.
I'm looking forward to having Bill O'Reilly come to Reading. No one should be afraid to listen to new ideas. Especially ones they disagree with.
Tony Phyrillas is a leading conservative political columnist and blogger based in Pennsylvania. He is a veteran journalist with 25 years experience as a reporter, editor and columnist for several newspapers. Phyrillas received recognition for column writing in 2010 from the Associated Press Managing Editors, in 2007 from Suburban Newspapers of America and in 2006 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Keystone Chapter. A graduate of Penn State University, Phyrillas is the city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. In addition to The Mercury website (www.pottsmerc.com), his columns are featured on more than a dozen political websites and blogs. Phyrillas is a frequent guest (and occasional host) on talk radio and has been a panelist on the "Journalists Roundtable" public affairs TV program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). Phyrillas was named one of the '10 Leading Greek-American Bloggers in the World' in 2007 by Odyssey: The World of Greece magazine. BlogNetNews.com ranked Phyrillas the Most Influential Political Blogger in Pennsylvania for three consecutive years (2007-2010). You can follow Phyrillas on Twitter @TonyPhyrillas