O'Reilly to Rice protester at Boston College: "[T]here are 3,000 people who can't go to your commencement this spring" because they died on 9-11

Video ››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

Bill O'Reilly invoked the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to dismiss Boston College (BC) professor and author Charles Derber's objection to awarding Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice an honorary degree at her upcoming BC commencement address. Derber said that the honorary diploma could be seen as endorsing Rice for being "an architect of U.S. foreign policy and the Iraq war." O'Reilly responded that "BC and the Jesuits and everybody else ought to wise up and wise up fast" because "there are 3,000 people who can't go to your commencement this spring." Asking Derber if he "know[s] why" they can't attend, O'Reilly answered his own question: "[T]hey're dead."

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During a discussion about Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's upcoming Boston College (BC) commencement address on the May 5 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly invoked the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to dismiss author and BC professor Charles Derber's objection to awarding Rice an honorary degree at its commencement. Derber had expressed concern that the honorary diploma could be seen as endorsing Rice for being "an architect of U.S. foreign policy and the Iraq war," which Derber said is "seen widely by the theologians on our campus, by many of our faculty, and by the Jesuit and Catholic community as in violation of the fundamental values we hold dear." O'Reilly responded that "BC and the Jesuits and everybody else ought to wise up and wise up fast" because "there are 3,000 people who can't go to your commencement this spring." Asking Derber if he "know[s] why" they can't attend, O'Reilly answered his own question: "[T]hey're dead."

O'Reilly also said that "to not acknowledge that" the United States "is waging a war on terror" is "[n]ot just an error in judgment" but "morally wrong."

Boston College is a private, Jesuit-operated university.

From the May 5 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: So now, we have two diverse views. You say she isn't, I say she is. She's invited by the university to receive a degree. All right? So the university wants to give her this degree, and they want to hear what she has to say, which is, I'm sure, you would agree as well in the great American tradition that even though you don't agree with what she says, she has a right to say it. And we should in higher academic circles listen to what she says and then evaluate it, correct?

DERBER: Yes. Bill, we don't object to her presence on campus. I would welcome her for a speech at our political science association. We would love to have dialogue. We're going to issue an invitation. And we're not opposing her speaking. It's -- what we're opposing is the conferring of an honorary degree, which is an indication that this person is not only a person -- and she is an accomplished person, and I'm certainly willing to acknowledge that. And she's a scholar. But what she's being honored for, and what she'll be seen around the country as honored for, is as an architect of U.S. foreign policy and the Iraq war. And that is seen widely by the theologians on our campus, by many of our faculty, and by the Jesuit and Catholic community as in violation of the fundamental values we hold dear.

O'REILLY: OK. All right. And I respect your view there. I think you're desperately wrong. I think we're fighting a war on terror, a world war on terror. And BC and the Jesuits and everybody else ought to wise up and wise up fast that if we don't confront people who want to kill us -- you know, professor, there are 3,000 people who can't go to your commencement this spring. Do you know why they can't go, professor?

DERBER: Well, there are lots of people who --

O'REILLY: Yeah, there are 3,000 in particular who can't go. You know why?

DERBER: I know exactly who you mean, yes.

O'REILLY: Yes, they're dead.

DERBER: And we don't condone any --

O'REILLY: Well, wait, just a minute. They're dead. And the reason they're dead is because people attacked us. And whether you agree with the strategy on the war in terror or not, the Iraq invasion or not, to not acknowledge that Secretary of State Rice is waging a war on terror, along with the Bush administration -- you may not agree with the way it's being waged -- but to not acknowledge that, and to diminish the woman by saying she's not worthy of a BC degree, I say to you, professor, is morally wrong. Not just an error in judgment, morally wrong. I'll give you the last word, sir.

DERBER: Well, we think the institution has made a moral mistake because we really value Boston College as a university that stands up for the core values of nonviolence, peace, and justice. And of course, we want to see justice done from 9-11. But we do not want to honor a person who's been associated with a war filled with deception, a war that has killed 30,000 innocent civilians --

O'REILLY: Oh, God.

DERBER: -- a war that is actually turned Iraq into a terrorist state --

O'REILLY: All right. All of these things are debatable --

DERBER: -- and one that's creating violence throughout the world.

O'REILLY: They're all debatable. And we appreciate you coming on and talking to us about it. Thank you very much.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bill O'Reilly
Show/Publication
The O'Reilly Factor
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