Bill O'Reilly Doubles Down On How Well Fed Slaves Who Built White House Were

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

On Tuesday night, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly responded to first lady Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention — in which she alluded to waking up every day in a "house built by slaves" — by trying to tell the whole story.

The whole story, according to O'Reilly, is that the slaves who built the White House were well-fed and adequately housed by the standards of the time. It was an odd point to raise, unless the intent was to minimize the pain and suffering of the people involuntarily forced into labor on the White House.

Source: YouTube

On the Wednesday edition of The O'Reilly Factor, the eponymous host lashed back at progressive media outlets that took umbrage to his prior remarks, liberal group Media Matters posted.

O'Reilly called his remarks "100% accurate providing context to Mrs. Obama's remarks," criticizing liberal "smear merchants" like the New York Daily News who called the remarks an endorsement of supposedly benevolent slavery, and soon doubled down on his original point.

Source: YouTube

"It is a given that slavery is an abomination," O'Reilly told the audience. "But reporting the story behind Mrs. Obama's very valid points does not diminish the horror of enslavement as these dishonest critics allege.

"As any honest historian knows in order to keep slaves and free laborers strong, the Washington administration provided meat, bread and other staples, also decent lodging on the grounds of the new presidential building," he concluded. "That is a fact. Not a justification, not a defense of slavery. Just a fact. Anyone who implies a soft on slavery message is beneath contempt."

Great. So, you see, like South Park's Eric Cartman, O'Reilly was just asking questions, and if they make politically correct liberals angry, it's not his fault.

O'Reilly then challenged his celebrity critics, including Stephen King, Bryan Cranston and Audra McDonald, to debate him on his show if they're so angry.

One person who might disagree with O'Reilly's analysis of the slavery situation at the White House site is former First Lady Abigail Adams, who in the year 1800 wrote how the slaves she could see from her window were "half fed, and destitute of clothing." As the Atlantic noted on Wednesday, many contemporary accounts from slaves at the time described abysmal conditions.

Read more:
• At the DNC, Bernie Sanders Die-Hards Turn to Jill Stein — and Focus on the Grassroots
• Prosecutors in Freddie Gray Case Drop Charges Against All Three Remaining Officers
• How to Switch Jobs and Launch the Career You Really Want

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Burned Quran stuffed with bacon found outside California mosque

This isn't the first time bacon has been used as an act of provocation against Muslims.

Charleena Lyles was a "powerful lady" — until she faced Seattle's flawed criminal justice system

Like Charleena Lyles, women who experience mental health instabilities have been more likely than men to encounter a criminal justice system that is ill-equipped to treat them.

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.

Judge declares mistrial in retrial of officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose

The jury spent five days deliberating Ray Tensing's fate.

University of Missouri to revoke Bill Cosby's honorary degree

The president of Mizzou said Cosby's actions were not in line with the university's core beliefs.

Burned Quran stuffed with bacon found outside California mosque

This isn't the first time bacon has been used as an act of provocation against Muslims.

Charleena Lyles was a "powerful lady" — until she faced Seattle's flawed criminal justice system

Like Charleena Lyles, women who experience mental health instabilities have been more likely than men to encounter a criminal justice system that is ill-equipped to treat them.

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.

Judge declares mistrial in retrial of officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose

The jury spent five days deliberating Ray Tensing's fate.

University of Missouri to revoke Bill Cosby's honorary degree

The president of Mizzou said Cosby's actions were not in line with the university's core beliefs.