O’Reilly was reacting to a Pew poll that found 62% of Americans oppose a wall along the southern border and only 34% favor it. That’s almost the reverse for Republicans. 63% of them support a wall, 33% oppose. Democrats oppose a wall by 84-13%.
Both O’Reilly and Dobbs were surprised by the numbers. Dobbs immediately took a swipe at Democrats for favoring “wide open borders” with Republicans favoring “border security.” But when there’s a “real public debate” on the subject, he thought, the numbers would “shift dramatically.”
O’Reilly opined, “It depends what the debate is.” But he thought the opposition/support was more like 55/45% because of the way “these organizations” word questions. Then, O'Reilly came up with his own wording:
O’REILLY: Here’s the bottom line on the wall. The wall would save thousands of lives. Maybe millions of lives, because it would prevent the coyotes, these are the human people smugglers who rape, who beat these people up, sometimes kill them. These are the poor migrants trying to get in here, I mean it's a harrowing, harrowing business…
So it eliminates them to most of that extent. So it saves horrors for the migrants themselves, and then the drug trafficking…
Tons of narcotics coming across that border. With the wall, that would stop 80 percent of it. And when people say it wouldn't, you just go, “Go to Israel, OK?” Israel built the wall between them and the Palestinian Authority and it works.
This sudden concern for the lives of migrants reminds me of O'Reilly's “concern” for the lives of poor African Americans: i.e. animosity cloaked in self-serving humanitarianism. But in this case, with less overt hostility displayed.
O’Reilly even let slip what he was up to later in the discussion:
O'REILLY: Do you buy into a wall would save millions of lives?
DOBBS: I absolutely do.
O'REILLY: That's how you sell it.
Watch it below, from the Aprili 18 The O'Reilly Factor.
(Transcript via Media Matters with my own edits.)