Last night, Bill O’Reilly did what he does so well: he doubled down on a stupid, trivial argument intended to make more people watch his television show. It, as it generally does, worked.
O’Reilly took umbrage with Michelle Obama’s line during her speech at the Democratic National Convention that every morning she “wake[s] up every morning in a house that was built by slaves.”
Because this it is exactly how he fills every second of his embarrassing programming, Bill O’Reilly decided to well actually Michelle Obama’s anecdote.
“Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802,” said O’Reilly on his show Tuesday evening, according to Media Matters. “However, the feds did not forbid subcontractors from using slave labor. So, Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as builders of the White House, but there were others working as well.”
He, of course, knows that this is not the point. Michelle Obama did not say that every brick of the building was laid by slaves because the larger point is that free slave labor built the infrastructure of this country and laid the groundwork for our economy. That same slave labor also was used to build a few national monuments dedicated to freedom and equality.
There’s also the fact that the idea of a well-treated slave is a logical fallacy. Being the property of another human being is inherently and inarguably very poor treatment and not simply starving someone does not translate to being “well-fed.”
Bill O’Reilly knows this, but again, he’s got Megyn Kelly breathing down his neck and lawsuits to pay for.
Do not let this silly man get a rise out of you. Bill O’Reilly, while generally bigoted, is not a complete idiot, if only because he’s built a successful career doing stupid shit like this. Today he again clarified that Michelle Obama is indeed correct—as those of us who don’t work at ABC News already knew.
His idea of providing facts includes throwing out information that’s mostly irrelevant to the topic at hand and hoping the soundbite is pithy and shocking enough to make it into the news cycle.
Still, do not let this watermelon-headed man—who spends his days inciting panic amongst those who hate black people and brown people and Muslims and any notion that doesn’t pander to the delusion that white people alone have made America successful—do not let him get to you.
Do not allow him to troll you into even a moment of frustration or a futile urge to educate those who prefer to remain ignorant. Save your indignation and save you strength. In case you haven’t heard, we’ve got some very serious insanity happening elsewhere and I don’t know about you, but my energy supply tasked with making it through this godawful year is already rather depleted.