Bill O’Reilly defends show, explains satire to outraged Muslim CAIR; ‘Lighten up’

Watters WorldBill O’Reilly confronted a representative from the Council on American-Islamic Relations over a segment that aired earlier this week which the organization found offensive to Muslims.

In the “Watter’s World” segment of Fox News’ “O’Reilly Factor,” correspondent Jesse Watters traveled to Dearborn, Michigan, a city with a large Muslim population, and asked residents their thoughts on Sharia, terrorism, Muslim customs and America in general.

O’Reilly explained that “Watter’s World” is a satirical segment, with a similar piece on Catholics in the prior week’s episode. But CAIR didn’t see it as lighthearted fun.

“It would be difficult for anyone to pack more racist and Islamophobic stereotypes and misinformation into a single segment,” CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid said in a statement posted to the group’s Facebook page. “Once again, instead of a nuanced look at America’s rich ethnic and religious diversity, Fox News offers only crude caricatures of Muslims and Arab-Americans.”

Walid appeared on the “O’Reilly Factor” Thursday to complain that the segment “really shows old, tired and really bigoted frameworks about the community here in Michigan and Dearborn here in particular.”

O’Reilly ceded that there should have been clarification on some factual errors by people Watter’s interviewed, but added that CAIR and Walid have “got to lighten up a little bit.”

Watch the segment with Walid, and the original “Watter’s World” segment below.

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Carmine Sabia

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