O'Reilly to caller critical of last week's remarks: "You're not a good American. You're a defamation person who is despicable"
Research ››› ››› GABE WILDAU
FOX News host Bill O'Reilly attacked a caller who asked him to apologize for telling a Jewish caller December 3 to "go to Israel" if he didn't like Christmas celebrations in school. O'Reilly told the caller to the December 10 Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly: "You just misquoted me. ... You should be ashamed of yourself. You're not a good American. You're a defamation person who is despicable."
The caller paraphrased O'Reilly's remark to the December 3 caller as follows: "The comment you made about Christmas and the Jew that should go back to Israel if he doesn't like Christmas." As Media Matters for America documented at the time, when a caller on the December 3 Radio Factor objected to "Christmas going into schools" and explained that he "grew up with a resentment because I felt that people were trying to convert me to Christianity," O'Reilly informed him that the United States is "a predominantly Christian nation" and declared, "if you are really offended, you gotta go to Israel then."
On the December 10 Radio Factor, O'Reilly had been attacking the progressive activist group MoveOn.org and Media Matters for America as liars when he took the call:
CALLER: Hi, Bill. I feel your hatred but I think it's misplaced. I'm a MoveOn member. I think one of the personal attacks you're referencing, probably, has got to do with the comment you made about Christmas and the Jew that should go back to Israel if he doesn't like Christmas. I think you should just apologize for that.
O'REILLY: All right, well look, [caller's name], here's the deal, all right? You just misquoted me and proved my point. You're a MoveOn member -- that's not what I said. We discussed it for an hour yesterday. All right?
We played the clip two or three times. And you just proved my point. You are a liar -- what you do is lie. And, you come on here and you said I told a Jew to go back to Israel. It's not what I said. Provable -- we proved it. Everybody heard it. But you and your little defamation pals, on MoveOn, that's what you say.
You should be ashamed of yourself. You're not a good American. You're a defamation person who is despicable. Have I made myself clear?
In a letter protesting O'Reilly's December 3 comments, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) president Abraham Foxman wrote that O'Reilly's comment "plays into one of the oldest anti-Semitic canards about Jews, that they are not full citizens of a country and are not entitled to all of the rights afforded to the majority." The full transcript and audio is available here.
Reacting to Foxman's December 8 letter, O'Reilly called the ADL "an extremist group that finds offense in pretty much everything"; labeled Foxman "a nut"; and called Media Matters "the most vile, despicable human beings in the country."