Bill OReilly’s Fox News Career Was Rife With Years Of Offensive Comments


Bill OReilly no longer has a job at Fox Newsafter allegations of him sexually harassing female colleagues caused activists to rail against the network and its advertisers earlier this month.

But OReilly, who has worked at Fox News since the network launched in 1996, was a source of controversy long beforeThe New York Times published its bombshell report on the accusations against him. The anchor has a history of making racist, sexist or otherwise inflammatory remarks none of which prompted companies to pull advertisements from his show.

Heres a look back at some of OReillys worst moments in his 20 years at Fox News.

He was previously accused of sexual harassment.

In 2004, Andrea Mackris, who was then a producer at Fox News,sued OReillyfor sexual harassment. Her allegations, which can be found here,include multiple instances of OReilly making lewd remarks during phone conversations.

OReilly denied the charges, butsettled the lawsuit. As HuffPosts Michael Calderone wrote earlier this week, the suit had no lasting effect on OReillys career at Fox News.

Hes also faced domestic violence allegations.

In 2015, Gawker reported on court documents that showed OReilly had been accused of physically abusing his former wife, Maureen McPhilmy. According to the report, OReillys daughter allegedly claimed she had seen her father dragging McPhilmy down a staircase by her neck.

OReilly said the report was 100 percent false. An appeals court, however, awarded McPhilmy primarycustody of the estranged couples two children.

He made racist comments about a congresswoman.

Last month, OReilly mocked Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) hair during a segment of Fox & Friends.

I didnt hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig, he said. Do we have a picture of James Brown? Its the same wig.

OReilly later apologized for his comments, while Waters took him to task during an interview with MSNBCs Chris Hayes.

I am a strong black woman, and I cannot be intimidated. I cannot be undermined, she said.

He aired an incredibly offensive segment on Chinatown.

Last year, The OReilly Factor aired a five-minute segment featuring longtime producer Jesse Watters walking around New York Citys Chinatown and asking residents offensive questions.

The segment drew widespread condemnation for blatantly mocking Asian-Americans and promoting racist stereotypes. OReilly, however, stood by Watters and the decision to air the segment.

Hes not getting fired, OReilly said. We are a program that is not politically correct.

Hes vilified Black Lives Matter.

The Black Lives Matter movement is a frequent target of Fox News scorn, and OReilly is no exception. Hes claimed the group is killing Americans, called it a destructive movement and declared that very few white Americans respect it.

Hes also labeled the movement a hate America group and said Martin Luther King Jr. would not participate in the groups protests.

And blamed Trayvon Martins death on how he was dressed.

In a 2013 interview with former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), OReilly blamed the death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager shot to death by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, on how Martin was dressed at the time.

If Trayvon Martin had been wearing a jacket like you are and a tie like you are, Mr. West, this evening, I dont think George Zimmerman would have any problem, OReilly said. But he was wearing a hoodie and he looked a certain way. And that way is how gangstas look. And, therefore, he got attention.

He alleged former President Barack Obama had deep emotional ties to Islam.

Last July, OReilly argued that the then-president was incapable of fighting the Islamic State group because of his emotional attachment to the Muslim world, ties the anchor said had hurt the USA.

His argument largely hinged on photos appearing to show Obama attending his Muslim half-brothers wedding in the early 1990s, as well as information that his stepfather and father were Muslim (despite little evidence that Obama Sr. ever practiced Islam).

What we can tell you with certainty is that Barack Obama has deep emotional ties to Islam, OReilly said.

Carolyn Cole via Getty Images
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has a long history of offensive remarks.

He used a slur for Mexican immigrants.

In 2003, OReilly described undocumented immigrants from Mexico as wetbacks while discussing security at the U.S.-Mexico border.

During the segment, OReilly argued in favor of using military force at the border.

Wed save lives because Mexican wetbacks, whatever you want to call them, the coyotes, theyre not going to do what theyre doing now, so people arent going to die in the desert, he said.

OReilly later said he misspoke.

I was groping for a term to describe the industry that brings people in here. It was not meant to disparage people in any way, he toldThe New York Times.

He claimed slaves who built the White House were well-fed.

After first lady Michelle Obama made some emotional observationsin 2016 about what it was like as a black woman to live in a house built by slaves, OReilly seized the opportunity to mansplain that, actually, those slaves had it pretty good.

Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802, he said. However, the feds did not forbid subcontractors from using slave labor. So, Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as builders of the White House, but there were others working as well.

He shamed Megyn Kelly for speaking out about harassment she faced at Fox News.

After former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson sued Fox News chief Roger Ailes for sexual harassment (leading to his ouster), Fox News personality Megyn Kelly also came forward with allegations against the executive.

OReilly addressed the allegations on his show andcriticized Kelly for her decision to speak out.

If somebody is paying you a wage, you owe that person or company allegiance. You dont like whats happening in the workplace, go to human resources or leave, he said. And then take the action you need to take afterward if you feel aggrieved. There are labor laws in this country. But dont run down the concern that supports you by trying to undermine it.

Kelly left the network for NBC less than two months later.

He repeatedly compared gay marriage to marrying animals.

While OReillys stance on same-sex marriage appears to have shifted over the years, hes previously claimed that legalizing gay weddings would be a slippery slope toward allowing humans to marry animals, including ducks, goats, dolphins and turtles.

Laws that you think are in stone theyre gonna evaporate, man, he said in 2005. Youll be able to marry a goat you mark my words!

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