O'Reilly failed his own "civics test"; will he deport himself to Canada?April 27, 2006 4:25 PM EDT ››› JULIE MILLICAN
On the same edition of his nationally syndicated radio show in which he incorrectly identified the energy secretary, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly proposed a "bill" to deport to Canada "high school kids in this country [who] couldn't pass a civics test," because they "don't know what the House of Representatives is; they don't know what the judicial branch is."
Early in the April 25 edition of The Radio Factor, O'Reilly sought to criticize the secretary of energy for failing to do anything about the rising cost of gasoline. He stated: "Spencer Abraham ... in case you didn't know, because nobody does ... is the secretary of energy. Spencer Abraham ... he's the invisible man. Only his hat shows up for work." Minutes later, O'Reilly corrected himself, stating: "Spencer Abraham is the former secretary of energy. Samuel Bodman is the current." Bodman has been energy secretary since February 1, 2005. O'Reilly called himself a "pinhead," but insisted that Abraham and Bodman are "really, the same guy," because Bodman is also an "invisible man."
Despite his error, at the end of his broadcast, O'Reilly asserted that "most high school kids in this country couldn't pass a civics test" because "[t]hey don't know anything." He then declared: "So, I have a bill that would throw all those kids out. All right? Let's do that. Let's get rid of all these dopey kids. OK? Y'all with me on that one? Can't pass the civics test, Seymour? Say hello to Canada."
From the April 25 edition of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: So, there are people who -- Bill -- they just say, "Look, I don't care what these companies do. It's OK. It's OK. Hit me again. Beat me. Mock me, spit at me. It's OK, because that's the system we have -- capitalism." You know, and I'm sitting there and I'm just going, "I can't believe that you guys, after all the interviews that we've done" -- we had a very instructive interview last night with a very smart guy -- and they basically say, "It's the middle of the time of war. The -- the oil companies don't have to raise prices. They're making record profits. They can keep them where they are and still make record profits, yet it's not enough. They raise it." If this happened in World War II, they would've been in jail. FDR [former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt] would've put them in jail. Profiteering during a time of war -- because the oil prices are going up because of the "war on terror."
Does everybody understand that? Well, Spencer Abraham doesn't understand it. He is -- in case you didn't know, because nobody does -- he is the secretary of energy. Spencer Abraham. And he's the invisible man. Only his hat shows up for work. He sits at a desk and all you see is the pen. You can't see him, he's invisible. But he did make a statement. Roll the tape.
SAMUEL BODMAN [audio clip]: Worldwide production is just about able to keep up with demands. We got spare, very little spare refining capacity, very little spare production capacity, and that's surprisingly, therefore, you got a tight market.
O'REILLY: Well, that's not true. OPEC [Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries] says there's more than enough oil, and if you want to buy it, just go over there with a fistful of dollars, and they'll sell it to you. Now, the refining capacity is true. The United States hasn't built a refinery in 30 years and that's thanks to the far left. So, they take their lumps here. OK?
But Spencer Abraham is not a leader. He doesn't know what he's doing. You know, he has no agenda here. Yeah, OK, refinery capacity is tight. What have you done about it for five years, Bush administration? Nothing.
O'REILLY: OK. I am a pinhead. There's no question about it today. Spencer Abraham is the former secretary of energy. Samuel Bodman is the current. Now, I made the mistake because they're the same person. They are. People don't know that, but they are. Have you ever seen them together?
E.D. HILL (co-host): Nope. Never.
O'REILLY: OK. So, Spencer Abraham and Samuel Bodman -- really, the same guy. It's just they changed -- they had a name change when -- because they -- now, nobody on earth knows that the energy secretary is Samuel Bodman. Why? Because Samuel Bodman is the invisible man. That was the riff I was doing. Who is he? Nobody knows, and he doesn't know he's energy secretary and that's the tragedy. They wake him up every day and he goes, "What do I?" "Oh no, you're the energy secretary." "Really, I am?"
HILL: What should I do?
O'REILLY: Right. What does that mean? Do I get a discount on gas 'cause I'm the energy secretary? I mean this is how lame it is. This is how lame it is.
CALLER: The point is, it's unfair to those who have had to work, have had to study, have had to literally slave to a foreign language, in a foreign language, to gain citizenship to this country.
O'REILLY: Yeah, but in the bills, you would have to learn English, so that is one good part of all the bills that are being considered in Congress. Before you become a citizen, you've go tto pass an English test, as your grandparents did, and a civics test. So, you've got to know how the government works and all of that.
Now, I submit to you, most high school kids in this country couldn't pass a civics test. They don't know what's going on. They don't know what the House of Representatives is; they don't know what the judicial branch is. They don't know anything.
So, I have a bill that would throw all those kids out. All right? Let's do that. Let's get rid of all these dopey kids. OK? Y'all with me on that one? Can't pass the civics test, Seymour? Say hello to Canada.