Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Wednesday night defended his comments from earlier this week that the slaves who helped build the White House were “well fed,” lashing out against his critics.
During his show on Wednesday night, O’Reilly said that his comments on the slaves who helped build the White House were “100 percent accurate” and provided “context” to First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic convention. He said that it was “not a defense of slavery.”
“For doing that, I was immediately attacked by smear merchants,” he said. “It is a given that slavery is an abomination, but reporting the story behind Mrs. Obama’s very valid points does not diminish the horror of enslavement as these dishonest critics allege.”
He then brought on fellow Fox News personalities Geraldo Rivera and Eric Bolling to discuss the topic. O’Reilly said that Fox News hosts need to work harder to defend themselves.
“I think the time has come now, where this whole network is going to have to band together, all of us, and we’re going to have to call out the people who are actively trying to destroy this network, by using lies and deception and propaganda. We’re going to have to start to call them out by name, because that’s how bad it’s become,” he said.
Rivera then mentioned an encounter he had with protesters outside of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, when a protester dumped water on Rivera’s head. Rivera mentioned Black Lives Matter and noted that many in the group are “reasonable and responsible,” but he said others are “race warriors” who want to pit white people against black people.
O’Reilly, responded, telling Rivera that “it’s getting to the point of danger,” arguing that it’s tough for Fox News reporters to go out in the field.
“Jesse Watters goes on the floor of the Democratic convention, and some photographer comes up and starts swearing at him and cursing at him right in his face? This is provocation,” he continued. “These people are doing this. They want me dead, Bolling, literally dead.”
Bolling responded to O’Reilly, “I’m not sure they want you dead.”
“Oh they do, believe me,” O’Reilly said.
Watch part of the segment via Media Matters: