The Rev. Al Sharpton on Wednesday accused Bill O’Reilly of having advanced the cause of “white nationalism” during his years as a Fox News host, the Washington Examiner reported.
O’Reilly lost his job earlier in the day as a result of several women having charged him with sexual harassment. The network’s parent company has already paid $13 million in settlements to resolve cases involving five women, according to The New York Times.
Sharpton, on the MSNBC news show he hosts, argued that O’Reilly is racist as well as sexist. The Fox News commentator “certainly promoted a very clear and in no way nuanced white nationalism, and saying he said the white establishment, like he was a spokesman for it,” Sharpton declared.
MSNBC showed several video clips in which O’Reilly made racially charged statements. On the night that President Obama won re-election in 2012, the host of “The O’Reilly Factor” lamented that the “white establishment is now the minority.” According to Sharpton, the comment was “in its own essence race-based and he, I think, really felt that way in all that he expressed.”
In another video, O’Reilly can be heard joking that Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters’ hair resembled a “James Brown wig.” During a 2007 dinner in Harlem that both commentators attended, the Fox News commentator spoke of the event’s “primarily black patronship.” He seemed surprised when he noted that “there wasn’t any craziness at all.”
Sharpton told his viewers that O’Reilly “became the spokesman for the right wing in this whole kind of going back to the pre-civil rights days.” The Examiner recalled O’Reilly taking shots at Sharpton over the years. He once called his rival a “race hustler” because of his advocacy of civil rights.
During O’Reilly’s final days at Fox News, more than 50 advertisers decided to no longer sponsor his show, according to the Times. The host’s departure is just the latest embarrassment for the network. Last year, its founder and chairman, Roger Ailes, was forced to resign after several women accused him of sexual harassment.
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) April 20, 2017
Source: Washington Examiner