I was watching Bill O’Reilly yesterday, and was struck by something in his daily “Talking Points” piece (http://video.foxnews.com/v/4492969/when-law-enforcement-goes-political/). The title of yesterday’s was “When Law Enforcement Goes Political.” O’Reilly showed video of Sheriff Dubnik talking about how right-wing rhetoric had contributed to Saturday’s spree killings in Tucson. O’Reilly’s point was that, as an elected law enforcement officer, it was inappropriate for Dubnik to venture into these political waters. So far, so good. I completely agree with O’Reilly on that point. I think Dubnik was out of line expressing those views, especially in a public way.

Here’s the crazy part, though. Immediately after he was through with the Talking Points, O’Reilly brought on Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County. Consistent with Sheriff Arpaio’s high-profile reputation, O’Reilly characterized him as “180 degrees opposite of Sheriff Dubnik” and “as conservative as Dubnik is liberal.” Perhaps not verbatim quotes, but very very close. And just how does O’Reilly know this? Only one way: Arpaio does exactly the same thing that Dubnik now is doing: using the media to espouse his political views. Arpaio has been doing this incessantly for years.

What a profound double standard. Dubnik is attacked as an example of law enforcement “going political,” and here the most politically-charged sheriff in Arizona — and arguably in the nation; outside of my own county, I could not begin to name a single other sheriff from anywhere — is used to emphasize the point.

I wish this were astonishing.