Fox News host Bill O’Reilly called out a South Carolina lawmaker over remarks he’d made earlier on a rival network, casting blame for the shooting at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on the “hate speech” depicted on “things like Fox News.”
After O’Reilly played a clip of Democratic Rep. Todd Rutherford’s interview with Jake Tapper on CNN, the host asked Rutherford, “Are you gonna stand by that?”
“It’s disturbing,” O’Reilly continued. “I know you’re upset. I know it’s an emotional day,” he said, giving Rutherford an out. But he didn’t take it.
“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,” the lawmaker said.
O’Reilly shot back: “I don’t know anybody on this network who does that. No one, and I see everything here.”
“Now, you say that this Roof kid watches Fox News. Do you know that he watches Fox News?” the host added.
Rutherford continued espousing the idea that the alleged shooter got ideas of “black people raping white women” from “things like Fox News.”
“You are equating what Dylann Roof did in our church to our commentary here?” O’Reilly asked.
Rutherford surmised that the shooter must have picked it up somewhere. Why not Fox?
Roof “didn’t make it up,” he said, or “generate that out of the sky.”
“Are you going to stand there tonight and say that Fox News justifies brutal crimes against black Americans?” O’Reilly finally asked. “Is that what you are going to do?”
“No. That’s you saying that and you are, again, inflaming the rhetoric,” Rutherford said before once again launching into a diatribe against Fox News.
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