Wednesday night in an interview with “Late Night” host Seth Meyers, Bill O’Reilly said that it was a “very sad situation,” but not for the women lining up to accuse Ailes of harassment.
“I’ve worked for Roger Ailes for 20 years,” O’Reilly told Meyers. “Best boss I’ve ever had. Straight shooter, always honest with me. And I believe that, over the years, he’s been in the business for 50 years, 95 percent of the people who have worked for Roger Ailes would say exactly the same thing that I just told you.” O’Reilly was dismissive of Carlson’s claims, saying that the lawsuit was indicative of a legal system that doesn’t punish people who bring frivolous lawsuits and that any “famous, powerful or wealthy person,” such as Ailes, is a potential “target.”
In the U.K., O’Reilly says, “If you file a frivolous lawsuit and you lose, the judge has a right to make you pay all court costs,” where in the United States you have to make the request by the court. “Until we adopt that very fair proposition, we’re gonna have this out of control, tabloid society that is tremendously destructive,” O’Reilly added.
But then host Seth Meyers remarked that O’Reilly kept referring to him as “Meyers,” as if he was writing a column or report about him. “Everyone else calls me Seth. I feel like it’s a weird thing when you call me ‘Meyers.’
O’Reilly’s excuse was that he wanted to make the late-night host seem more masculine. “I just think that Meyers is more macho and it might help you a little bit,” he said before clarifying, “the Seth thing is a little day-camp if you know what I’m talking about.”
O’Reilly went on to praise President Barack Obama for accomplishing so much in his life despite overwhelming odds, but he attributed it not to Obama’s intelligence, hard work or support from a loving family, instead he attributed it to America.
When it comes to the profound contempt that Fox News viewers have for Obama, O’Reilly explained that they’re not exactly forming their opinions with their brains. “It’s all about emotion, you know, I don’t think it’s about rational thought. I think the people who like President Obama love him no matter what he does and they don’t like him, he could walk across Lake Huron and they wouldn’t like him. So, I don’t like that emotional evaluation of people. I know Barack Obama, I’ve interviewed him three times. I think he’s a patriot, I’ve said that.” O’Reilly qualified that he disagrees on policy, not on the person and that people shouldn’t be hateful.
When it comes to Black Lives Matter, O’Reilly was less respectful, calling it a “destructive movement” and he doesn’t believe that the intended message conveying systemic racism is one that is being conveyed.
“If you look at the Black Lives Matter leadership, it’s a movement based upon that America is inherently an evil country based on white superiority, alright, that’s what they believe. They don’t want to solve the problem, they want to break the system down,” O’Reilly said, oddly echoing the words of GOP nominee Donald Trump that the system is rigged.
Meyers rejected the assessment that all BLM protesters want to overthrow the government and tear the system down, so O’Reilly encouraged other groups to come out under a different banner.
Martin Luther King, Jr. “would never be in Black Lives Matter,” O’Reilly claimed. “Because it’s too volatile.”
Meyers asked if MLK was here today if he would see the situation and ask, “After everything we did, how is it still like this?”
O’Reilly chalked it up to not being in a perfect world.
“I think we’re often asking for patience from people who have given us hundreds of years to solve problems,” Meyers countered. O’Reilly clarified he isn’t asking for patience but rationality. He then railed against BLM protests for throwing rocks at police and burning stores down. “If there’s a legitimate grievance, let’s bring it to the floor, debate it, and solve it and I think that’s what Dr. King would want.”
When it comes to the ridiculous things in the GOP party platform, O’Reilly says he doesn’t read about any of it because it’s all a bunch of “bull.” He ultimately clarified that both sides had things in their platform that were nonsense. “These conventions are the biggest dog and pony show. If they weren’t paying me an enormous amount of money I would never go… and it would have to be enormous to get me to go.” He anticipates that it will be boring, “except when Trump comes on. He could say anything. He could do anything. I mean, he could throw stuff at you.”
Meyers broke in and asked if O’Reilly thought that was okay for someone who wants to be president of the United States. “I don’t know,” O’Reilly said, as the audience laughed. “It depends what he throws.”
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