Leave it to Bill O’Reilly to keep lowering the bar of journalistic integrity.
On Tuesday, because he just can’t help himself, the Fox News host responded to Michelle Obama’s comments she made during her wonderful speech at the DNC where she factually pointed out that the place in which she currently lives (the White House) was built by slaves. O’Reilly admitted that her comments were accurate, but he went on to point out that the slaves who did help build the White House were “well-fed and had decent lodgings.” Because that makes slavery better, apparently.
“Slaves that worked there were well fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802,” O’Reilly said. “However, the feds did not forbid subcontractors from using slave labor. So, Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as builders of the White House, but there were others working as well.”
Yes, that’s actually the most watched and popular person on Fox News saying that the practice of owning other humans like pieces of construction and farming equipment wasn’t all bad because, well, some were “well-fed and had decent lodgings.”
That’s like saying Auschwitz wasn’t completely terrible because at least most of the Jews imprisoned there were given a place to sleep and a roof over their head.
I don’t give a damn if the slaves who helped build the White House were provided with soft beds, prime rib every night for dinner and their clothes were made from the finest silk — they were still slaves!
Naturally, O’Reilly’s comments didn’t set well with a lot of people. Within hours this story was nearly everywhere, with most condemning the mind-boggling idiocy of anyone who’d remotely try to put a positive spin on slavery.
Well, on Wednesday, O’Reilly responded to the backlash by claiming that those who are upset by his idiotic comments are just far-left radicals who literally want to see him dead.
“This is a designed attack, came out of Media Matters, spread to Mother Jones and the other smear publications, and then into the Daily News and USA Today, designed to diminish me and to harm the Fox News channel,” O’Reilly told fellow Fox News host Eric Bolling. “That’s what it is designed to do.”
Yeah, because it was the “liberal media” who forced him to say comments where he actually tried to put a positive spin on slavery.
After some more back and forth where O’Reilly, Bolling and Geraldo Rivera continued to try to claim that the outrage over his slavery comments was nothing more than liberals being out to get him, that’s when O’Reilly snapped.
“This is provocation. These people are doing this. They want me dead, Bolling, literally dead,” O’Reilly said.
A somewhat stunned Bolling tried to downplay O’Reilly’s comments, only for the Factor host to double-down on his insistence that liberals literally want him dead.
Talk about trying to play the victim.
Nobody took his comments out of context. The “liberal media” didn’t “twist his words.” All anyone did with this story was quote him verbatim from a segment where, while he didn’t say slavery was a good thing, he did try to find a “bright side” to the indisputable reality that slaves were used to help build the White House.
However, instead of simply admitting that his comments were rather ignorant, he not only defended his ignorance — he then accused those calling him out of “being out to get him.”
I wish I could say I was shocked by O’Reilly’s reaction to valid criticism, but I’m not, because this is exactly who he’s proven himself to be time and time again.