Fox News host Bill O’Reilly says that by shouting “bullshit” and insisting liberal contributor Alan Colmes was “lying” when he said President Barack Obama had offered to reform Social Security, he has actually “elevated” the discussion for “the whole world.”
O’Reilly opened his Fox News show on Monday by defending himself against accusations that he gone too far last week when he angrily yelled that Colmes was “lying” and that the president had not offered to cut “one damn program.”
“In order to get everybody’s attention, I got angry with Colmes,” the Fox News host explained on Monday. “And I believe my anger was absolutely justified.”
“I’m not sure I agree with you,” Fox News contributor Alan Colmes told O’Reilly. “I think Alan is right. I think the president has reduced the trajectory of spending in our country. But when you stand up and make the case, I listen, Bill. And I must tell you something, I don’t think it helps you when you yell ‘liar,’ when you call people ‘B.S. agents’ and all that.”
“Look, I said that the use of the word ‘liar’ was not a good — that I shouldn’t have done that,” O’Reilly admitted. “But Colmes wasn’t telling the truth. Simple as that.”
“Don’t you understand that when I engage in this kind of hyperbole with Barney Frank or Geraldo or Alan Colmes, that the whole nation, indeed the whole world is engaged then on the subject,” he added. “The discussion about the federal debt was then elevated. So, even the people who don’t pay attention, don’t care, they [say], ‘What’s that all about?'”
Conservative pundit Mary Katherine Ham agreed with O’Reilly that “sometimes it takes some anger” to get the public’s attention, but “you can also bully people into ignoring the facts.”
“You can emotionally bully people into not dealing with the facts, and I don’t think that helps the situation,” she explained.
“I get accused about this bullying thing all the time,” O’Reilly replied. “We don’t invite any guest on here that we don’t think is intellectually equipped.”
Watch this video from Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, broadcast March 11, 2013.
(h/t: Media Matters)