Unlike President Obama, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly cut short his vacation to offer an impassioned assessment of the media’s coverage of the civil unrest in Ferguson, Mo., to include a blistering attack directed at NBC News for paying agitator Al Sharpton “to deliver garbage.”
“I came back from vacation because I’m furious,” O’Reilly said on Wednesday’s show. “Furious about how the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown is being reported and how various people are reacting to it.”
He defended the release of a video showing Brown roughing up a convenience store clerk while stealing, saying “this goes to Mr. Brown’s state of mind on the day he was killed.”
“Americans have a right to know what happened leading up to the shooting,” O’Reilly said.
O’Reilly was critical of the looting, and noted that most of those arrested are from outside the area.
“The people rioting and looting in Ferguson are dishonoring the memory of Michael Brown and his grieving family,” he said. “They are insulting them.”
But O’Reilly reserved his most stinging criticism for NBC News and Sharpton. After playing a video clip of Sharpton declaring, “We have had enough,” the Fox News host pointed to FBI statistics that show out of 12 million arrests a year, there are only 400 fatal shootings — with many of them justified.
“And Al Sharpton has the nerve to insult the American police community, men and women risking their lives to protect us,” O’Reilly said. “This charlatan has the gall to do that and NBC News is paying him.”
“My god — why is that acceptable?” he deplored.
O’Reilly spoke of the “lynch mob justice” some are seeking, saying they’ll never accept anything other than a conviction of murder in this case.
“But Officer Wilson is entitled to the presumption of innocence that we all have under our constitution — something Al Sharpton will never give him because Sharpton only cares about his own self-aggrandizement,” he charged. “And if he has to stoke racial hatred to get that, that’s what Sharpton will do.”
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