Fox News hosts Megyn Kelly and Bill O’Reilly got into a lively debate on Thursday’s “The O’Reilly Factor” over whether income inequality actually “exists.”
The jumping off point for the discussion was a Facebook video posted by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to promote her forthcoming memoir, in which the potential 2016 presidential contender references the “cancer of inequality.”
“Listen, on the issue of income inequality, it’s a good issue for the Democrats because there is no question that it exists,” Kelly said.
“It’s always existed,” O’Reilly replied.
“It’s worse now than it’s been since 1920, according to the stats,” Kelly said. “But both parties agree with that. The only difference is how we got there and what we do about it.”
Kelly added that Democrats are trying to “stoke resentment” toward the rich among the middle class, but that didn’t satisfy O’Reilly.
“You’re buying into this fraud, Kelly, and I’m very disappointed,” he said.
O’Reilly then argued that inequality will always exist in a free marketplace. Government policies don’t create inequality, he said, but technology is causing the wealth gap to expand. He then used Kelly’s own personal story — a girl who grew up without much money goes on to law school and then Fox News — to refute her argument.
“You can’t get out of this income inequality situation by saying it doesn’t exist and it’s all a fabrication,” Kelly chided him.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.