NY's WABC interviewed Harlem restaurant patrons about O'Reilly's comments

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On the September 24 edition of Eyewitness News on WABC in New York City, co-anchor Liz Cho introduced a segment in which reporter Jeff Pegues spoke with patrons of Sylvia's, the famous Harlem restaurant, about Fox News host Bill O'Reilly's comments following his recent trip to the restaurant with Rev. Al Sharpton. Cho stated:

CHO: Shock tonight over comments made by conservative and controversial talk-show host Bill O'Reilly. On his daily show, O'Reilly made disparaging remarks about African-Americans after eating at a well-known and beloved restaurant in Harlem.

Between interviews with customers outside the restaurant, Pegues aired two clips of O'Reilly's comments while displaying the Media Matters for America item from the website:

O'REILLY: I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks.

[...]

O'REILLY: There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, "M-Fer, I want more ice tea."

Pegues concluded his report from Harlem by noting that CNN had reported O'Reilly's response to the controversy, calling it "a hatchet job by Media Matters":

PEGUES: O'Reilly's remarks found on the Media Matters website. You might remember that that's the same organization that raised concerns back in April about remarks made by radio talk-show host Don Imus about the Rutgers women's basketball team. Tonight, according to CNN, O'Reilly responded to the controversy and the criticism by saying, quote, "There was no racial intent," and, quote, "This is a hatchet job by Media Matters."

Pegues also noted that WABC would continue its coverage of O'Reilly's comments on September 25, prompting co-anchor Bill Ritter to state, "Yeah, we haven't heard the end of that."

From the September 24 edition of WABC's Eyewitness News:

CHO: Shock tonight over comments made by conservative and controversial talk-show host Bill O'Reilly. On his daily show, O'Reilly made disparaging remarks about African-Americans after eating at a well-known and beloved restaurant in Harlem. Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Pegues is at Sylvia's restaurant with more. Jeff.

PEGUES: And Liz, Sylvia's management isn't commenting tonight about Bill O'Reilly's comments, but some of their longtime customers are talking about it. Some of the people we spoke with tonight are outraged, but you be the judge. Did he go too far?

[begin video clip]

PEGUES: Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly stirring up controversy tonight in Harlem. It's what he said about a visit to Sylvia's, a famous Harlem eatery, that has some people upset.

Are you offended by what he said?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wouldn't say offended. I would say that I'm concerned that people are still in that type of mind-set.

PEGUES: Listen to some of O'Reilly's comments. They were made during his radio show on September 19th, when he discussed a recent visit to Sylvia's with the Reverend Al Sharpton.

O'REILLY: I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why would you be surprised? This is not that type of establishment, otherwise she wouldn't be in the business that she's in. I mean, Bill Clinton has eaten here.

O'REILLY: There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, "M-Fer, I want more ice tea."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not offended at all. What I'm really glad about is that he voiced this so that white America can hear this.

[end clip video]

PEGUES: O'Reilly's remarks found on the Media Matters website. You might remember that that's the same organization that raised concerns back in April about remarks made by radio talk-show host Don Imus about the Rutgers women's basketball team. Tonight, according to CNN, O'Reilly responded to the controversy and the criticism by saying, quote, "There was no racial intent," and, quote, "This is a hatchet job by Media Matters."

We'll have more on this tomorrow. We're live in Harlem. Jeff Pegues, Channel 7 Eyewitness News.

RITTER: Yeah, we haven't heard the end of that. Jeffrey, thank you.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Race & Ethnicity
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel, WABC
Person
Bill O'Reilly
Show/Publication
The O'Reilly Factor
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