Bill O’Reilly claimed he was speaking “totally in jest” when he said at a party, “I would love just to get my big hands around [CNN reporter] Jim Acosta’s neck.” I doubt anyone at CNN is laughing. Especially since O'Reilly's daughter reportedly witnessed him choking her mother.
Bill O’Reilly was a surprise guest, and said in a speech to the crowd, which included Sarah Huckabee Sanders, that “heads would have rolled” if he’d been at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and, “I would love just to get my big hands around Jim Acosta’s neck.”
The Daily Caller followed up:
The former Fox host told TheDC that that comment was made just to “scare” Acosta.
“I don’t want to hurt him,” O’Reilly stated. “Just scare him.”
O’Reilly went on to say that the comments were “Totally in jest.”
But it was no joke in 2015 when court transcripts for O'Reilly's custody case revealed that his daughter told a court-appointed forensic examiner she had witnessed O’Reilly “choking her mom” as he “dragged her down some stairs” by the neck.
I can just imagine the 24/7 Fox outrage had, say, Don Lemon or Rachel Maddow made such a comment about Ed Henry, even without the kind of history of predatory behavior that O'Reilly has. But I haven’t heard a peep on the network about this today.
(O’Reilly caricature by Nina Brodsky)
This is the sort of moment people should keep in mind (along with the famous “WE’LL DO IT LIVE!!!” video) when O’Reilly renews his bid for “Elder Statesman” status in another year or so. Keep in mind that this was O’Reilly’s final ambition, and something he’d hinted at for some time in 2015 and 2016 – that he could get a paid position at a major network (Fox News would be his only option) as a once or twice weekly bloviator, where’d be able to just opine from on high about whatever the President or the Congress is or should be doing today. In his mind, that would indicate he’d achieved a level of personal and professional respect – kind of like the Cronkites and the Murrows of yesteryear. Instead, all he’s got to show for 20 years of hate speech on Fox News is the millions he has left after all the bad-behavior settlements. And his weekly bloviating is now limited to Glenn Beck’s low-end radio show and an occasional interview with Newsmax. And he still has his website, which no longer has much traffic after losing the cache of being attached to a Fox News program.
I realize O’Reilly must be frantic at his current situation, but it’s a bed he made for himself. When his epitaph is written, history will dismiss his antics as it does all the others of his ilk.
No one wants to be around this hot-tempered volcano. The Second Floor at the Foxies had to deal with this old hack.
NOTE TO BILLY
You should retire and live in Northern Ireland, you old capall.