Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) confronted Bill O’Reilly tonight about his offensive comments that it’s “shocking” that Hawaiians are liberal because Asians are “usually more industrious and hard-working.” O’Reilly contended that Hanabusa had only watched his remarks from an out-of-context Media Matters clip and, therefore, was unqualified to debate him on them. In reality, Media Matters’ clip included the full context of his remarks and there was nothing in the rest of the segment to alter the meaning.
In the original segment, which aired on January 3 and is the first video below, O’Reilly producer Jesse Watters went to Hawaii and asked people why the state is so liberal. Watters clearly had an agenda for the segment. As Priscilla posted, Watters falsely reported that Hawaii has the highest usage of food stamp benefits. And he made the not-so-fair-and-balanced comment that the state has a “liberal and extremely dangerous attitude towards sexual conduct.”
Afterward, with Watters back in the studio, O’Reilly and he had the following exchange, as transcribed by Media Matters:
BILL O’REILLY (host): Now I have to say, Hawaii is one of my favorite places in the world. It’s beautiful.
JESSE WATTERS (Fox News producer): Yeah, it’s beautiful.
O’REILLY: But when I’m there I’m under water. I’m not talking to pinheads. But the state is in enormous debt.
WATTERS: They are.
O’REILLY: Alright. They’ve got a lot of social problems. When you say it’s the biggest homeless thing, it’s because of the addiction.
O’REILLY: The addiction is rampant, all over the place, because they don’t enforce the drug laws.
O’REILLY: And, you know, I think the one person who said, Look, this is a place where people come to to escape. This is, you know, generally speaking. But you know what’s shocking? 35 percent of the Hawaiian population is Asian, and Asian people are not liberal, you know, by nature. They’re usually more industrious and hard-working.
WATTERS: But they did vote for President Obama—
O’REILLY: Big time.
WATTERS: -- and if you add the indigenous native Hawaiian population—
O’REILLY: About 20 percent.
WATTERS: -- to the Hispanic population, they outnumber whites by more than two to one.
Well, OK, Media Matters left off the rest of the discussion:
O’Reilly: Yeah, white population is only about 25% in Hawaii.
Watters: Exactly. So then you have all the rich liberals from California rolling in to Hawaii and it’s just a perfect storm for liberalism.
O’Reilly: It’s the anything goes. You know, and somebody said it: ‘Don’t bother me,’ (unintelligible).
Watters: It’s like Amsterdam.
O’Reilly: Now, I know I’m going to get mail on this. Where did you get the green shorts? Just so we can avoid (unintelligible).
Watters: Somebody actually came up to me and said, ‘Watters, I’m a big fan. But does Bill know what you’re wearing?’
O’Reilly: No, I did not approve the orange shirt with the green shorts.
Watters: Didn’t match? I thought it did. I thought it matched.
O’Reilly: There you go, Watters under cover in Hawaii.
So I’d like to know just what, exactly, O’Reilly would have argued he actually meant. Unfortunately, Congresswoman Hanabusa seemed flummoxed by what was really a sleight of hand as O’Reilly changed the subject away from his comments about Asians and made it about Hawaii’s social problems.
But one thing is clear, unless O'Reilly wants to walk back those comments about Asian Americans, there is nothing in the entire segment to suggest he didn't mean it exactly the way he said it.
It appears that Billdo has just taken himself out of context!
The problem with being bipartisan in critique is that the only site that doesn’t have 15 notable offenses against them for everyone one you see on MM or TPM is Daily Caller. Some of their writers are incredibly fair, so much so that you scroll back up to make sure you’re on TDC.
The sheer ratio makes it hard to look fair. and if the bias is ugly enough, I won’t even be fair to the side going that far. Fairness is wasted on them. But once again…
That’s a pet peeve of mine that applies to both sides of the political aisle.
We have every right to criticize opinions expressed on websites — whether it is MediaMatters or Newsbusters.
But to criticize unedited video content shown in proper context is just silly and intellectually dishonest.
In other words, O’Reilly was being illogical to suggest watching the video of his remarks on television was somehow more valid than watching the same video online just shows his hate for the website that posted the video.
He should be ashamed for misleading his audience. But we know that’s never going to happen. :)
The strong impression from this discussion was that O’Reilly was embarassed about being called out for the Watters segments, and he went into a purely defensive mode. One would hope that O’Reilly would listen to himself and NEVER send Jesse Watters to Hawaii to do a hit piece like this again.
But it’s out of context because she saw it on Media Matters.
Yeah, you keep on trying to explain yourself, Bill.
To his audience, message delivered clearly – anybody from Hi is not of your culture.
Like President Obama, the Kenyan.