This article is from the archive of our partner .

In his ongoing quest to be the "voice of sanity" at Fox News, Bill O'Reilly appeared on Good Morning America Tuesday and gave a nuanced appraisal of the Tea Party. Speaking to co-host George Stephanopoulos, O'Reilly said:

If the tea party people basically attack President Obama personally that diminishes their movement... If they say he's a Muslim if they say he was born in -- where -- Indonesia, this really hurts their overall message of 'Get off our back.'

He of course counterbalanced that remark with a more generous assessment of Tea Party activism:

I say in 'Pinheads and Patriots' that the Tea Party are primarily patriots because they go out and tell people what they believe and they get involved -- that's patriotic. I don't care really what your ideology is, if you are out there and you are sincere and you are telling people 'This the way I see my country and I want to improve it,' you're a patriot.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.