Watch Bill O’Reilly Confront S.C. State Rep Who Connected Fox News To Charleston Shooting
O’Reilly Factor host Bill O’Reilly engaged in a heated battle with South Carolina Democratic Representative Todd Rutherford on Thursday evening over Ruthford’s dubious claims that he made hours earlier about how the alleged gunman in the deadly Charleston church shooting had sought guidance from “things like Fox News” as it supposedly offers “hate speech.”
The roughly three-minute exchange revolved mainly around Rutherford’s belief that alleged shooter Dylann Roof was a viewer of the Fox News Channel (FNC) where it “continues to cover stories as to whether the President is truly the President” and inferred that it enabled him to claim during the massacre that “black people are raping white women.”
Before things got heated, O’Reilly played a clip of Rutherford’s original comments in which told CNN’s Jake Tapper that:
And he [Dylann Roof] did so based on some ill gotten belief on some wrong belief that it’s okay to do that. He hears that because he watches the news and he watches things like Fox News where they – where they talk about things that they call news but they are really not. They use that coded language, they use hate speech. They talk about the President as if he is not the President.
Recognizing that Rutherford is “upset and I know it’s an emotional day” in having lost a friend in State Senator Clementa Pinckney, O’Reilly gave him an opportunity to further explain his remarks, but Rutherford doubled down:
No, no, it is disturbing but it is disturbing to most African-Americans to watch as Fox News continues to cover stories as to whether the President is truly the President and whether he was born in this country, whether his birth certificate is legitimate.
After asserting O’Reilly didn’t know “know anybody on this network who does that,” he continued on: “Now, you say that this Roof kid watches Fox News. Do you know what he watches Fox News?”
Rutherford then repeatedly tried to excuse his comments by stating that Roof sought outlets “like Fox News” and asserted that it led to him allegedly referencing during the shooting that “black people [are]raping white women.” O’Reilly, who seemed shocked, asked: “You are equating what Dylann Roof did in our church to our commentary here?”
Without explicitly giving an answer, Rutherford suggested that Roof “didn’t make it up” or “generate that out of the sky.” Going back to the President, Rutherford again contended that FNC perpetuates birtherism stories concerning the President and if his presidency itself is legitimate.
After asking Rutherford to slow down and let him speak, O’Reilly flatly wondered: “Are you going to stand there tonight and say that Fox News justifies brutal crimes against black Americans? Is that what you are going to do?”
Rutherford denied that premise and again deployed a red herring by throwing O’Reilly’s question back at him: “No. That’s you saying that and you are, again, inflaming the rhetoric.” More