No, Bill. Republicans Weren’t Banned From MLK Event

Bill O’Reilly’s crack research team failed him again, apparently. On his show, he was outraged that when they held the 50th anniversary celebration for the March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s famous I Have a Dream Speech, they didn’t invite any Republicans:

On the August 28 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, O’Reilly hosted Democratic strategist James Carville to discuss the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. During the discussion, O’Reilly complained that President George W. Bush was not invited to speak. O’Reilly later claimed that “[n]o Republicans and no conservatives were invited.” O’Reilly went on to respond to Rep. John Lewis’ statement that “we’re all in the same boat” by asking “Where’s the conservative side to that boat?”

Turns out that a whole bunch of Republican leaders were invited, but all declined to show up. The two former Bush presidents declined for health reasons, which is reasonable given that the elder is in very poor health and the younger one just had heart surgery. But the two House leaders:

House Speaker John Boehner was invited to participate, but with Congress – and Boehner — out of town on recess this week, he chose to speak at the congressional ceremony marking the 50th anniversary last month. Boehner’s office also points out that House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also spoke at that ceremony but weren’t in attendance today.

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., released this statement: “Our press office was sent a request to speak 12 days ago. The Leader is travelling in North Dakota and Ohio today. But I do point you to a piece he wrote for Yahoo yesterday.”

The boat sailed without them when they refused to board.

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  • matty1

    “I do point you to a piece he wrote for Yahoo yesterday.”

    An appropriately named venue.

  • abb3w
  • illdoittomorrow

    “O’Reilly later claimed that “[n]o Republicans and no conservatives were invited.”(1) O’Reilly went on to respond to Rep. John Lewis’ statement that “we’re all in the same boat” by asking “Where’s the conservative side to that boat?”(2)

    Even if (1) were true, O’Reilly, feel free to pick up your lower lip before you trip over it.

    (2) You fine folks are busy drilling holes in that side.

  • ““Where’s the conservative side to that boat?”

    Billyblowme, surely you know that a rising tide lifts all boats. The only problem is that one side of the boat is tethered to the mooring of teh partizan burnin’ stoopit, it drags the other side down with it.

    More NOTnews; Fucking assholes will be fucking assholes.

  • @abbew in #2: Indeed. Although only Bill O’Reilly can make an apology sound like he’s lecturing everyone else on how to do fact checking…

  • D. C. Sessions

    “Where’s the conservative side to that boat?”

    Talk about being moored in a Freudian slip! Either that, or a very poor attempt to dogwhistle the segregationists.

  • Michael Heath

    Bill O’Reilly’s concession was used as another attempt to misinform the public regarding his own lack of credibility vs. that of his political opponents who are honest brokers of information. Here’s part of his forty-six second retraction:

    So, here’s the “Tip of the Day” — always check out the facts before you make a definitive statement. And, when you make a mistake, admit it.

    By the way, I’m sorry I made that mistake. It’s very annoying because I know you guys watch “The Factor” for accuracy.

    I have yet to encounter one Bill O’Reilly show where he doesn’t repeatedly lie. He depends on lies. Without lies he’s got nothing; he’s a nobody. Only by being a Liar for Jesus® does the O’Reilly Factor, and Fox News for that matter, thrive.

    A competent media reaction to this concession would be anlayzing why O’Reilly is conceding his lies on this topic relative to the totality of his lies which go uncorrected. Instead some liberal media outlets are claiming this is a first class apology. It’s not even close. Instead we have O’Reilly merely conceding the lie and that this lie was wrong of him to assert.

    O’Reilly in no way addresses the systemic reason he lies or how he’ll be changing the process his show uses in presenting factual assertions in order to reduce future lies. I think we can assert with supreme confidence that O’Reilly will continue to lie even about the very topics relevant to his concession; i.e.,

    a) how the GOP treats black people,

    b) why black people oppose the GOP and its policies,

    c) the behavior and rhetoric of all political players who are not conservative Christians, and

    d) the reprehensible behavior of white conservative Christians towards black people.

    And will we now see Factor segments ad nauseam on why Fox News and the Republican party promote racism against blacks? No we won’t. That true story contradicts the false narrative O’Reilly and Fox have long promoted, promoted in the segment where O’Reilly concedes he was lying, and will continue to promote in future segments. That’s guaranteed; in spite of O’Reilly’s concession here.

  • dingojack

    Ed – “Bill O’Reilly’s crack-fuelled research team failed him again, apparently.”


    Billo – “Where’s the conservative side of the boat?”

    At the back, clearly. I mean aren’t the conservatives/mouth-breeding MRA’s/bigots/Fundies (etc.) the ‘new blacks’ after all? @@


  • @abb3w

    That does actually surprise me. That he would just assume it without checking the facts, that I believe. That he would admit such a mistake frankly gets my goat.

  • garnetstar

    O’Reilly also missed the fact that the only black Republican senator, a Tea Partier whose name I believe is Tim Scott, also declined! His office sent an email in response to the request to attend, saying he could not.

    Kind of a big error on O’Reilly’s part, isn’t it? And on Scott’s.

  • The two former Bush presidents declined for health reasons, which is reasonable given that the…the younger one just had heart surgery.”

    To be fair, the doctors insisted that the heart wasn’t involved, but he wanted to attack it anyway. Colin Powell backed him up in front of the UN with facts and evidence and everything. You’d know how dangerous this organ is if you kept up with Judith Miller’s column in the NYT.

  • magistramarla

    The conservative kooks on my local paper’s public comments were ranting about the same thing.

    I calmly pointed out some links to the facts about Boehner, Cantor and Scott. I also pointed out that this was a large public event that was months in the planning and that any of the Republicans would have been perfectly free to join in on the planning or to even simply show up at the event as a show of solidarity.

    Instead, it certainly appears that there was an unspoken agreement among them to boycott the event and then to criticize the Democrats for not including them.

    There was not a single conservative reply to what I posted.

  • felidae

    Bilious Bill actually admitting to a mistake may be a sign of the coming Apocalypse, when after all, he makes them by the dozen–See: tides, you can’t explain that, moon, where did it come from, 151visits to the White House, IRS commissioner –and stands by them or doubles down without shame

  • unbound

    @matty1 – Very, very few people have read Gulliver’s Travels to the end, so they won’t get that joke. I did get a chuckle out it though. I even educated my children on what Yahoo actually means.

  • What did Carville say in response?