O'Reilly to P. Diddy: “You should be a Republican”

FOX News Channel host Bill O'Reilly told his guest, recording artist Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, “You should be a Republican,” after Combs explained the philosophy behind his minority youth voting initiative, Citizen Change. When Combs asked why O'Reilly thought that, the host responded, “Because you're self-made,” apparently having accepted the stereotype that Republicans are self-sufficient while Democrats rely on government assistance. But as Media Matters for America has noted, an August 2003 report by the Tax Foundation suggests that stereotype is inaccurate.

In the aggregate, the Democratic-leaning “blue” states paid more in federal taxes than they received in assistance from the federal government, while the Republican-leaning “red” states received on average more in federal spending than they contributed in federal taxes.

O'Reilly also appeared to be impressed when Combs agreed with him that federal education funding was being wasted and pilfered. From the September 2 edition of FOX News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor:

COMBS: They [disadvantaged youth] should be given the opportunities. There's so many -- the school systems and most of the inner cities don't provide you with the proper tools so you could compete in the job market. There aren't even up-to-date computers in our schools.

O'REILLY: But look at all the billions they're spending on it. Title I, and money flow, record amounts of money flow.

COMBS: It's not going into the school.

O'REILLY: It isn't. Where is it going?

COMBS: It's going in somebody's pocket.

O'REILLY: You think so?

COMBS: I know for a fact.

O'REILLY: I believe you.

COMBS: I know for a fact. You know, I went --

O'REILLY: I believe you.

COMBS: I looked at the schools and all the various inner cities --

O'REILLY: Yes, people are stealing.

COMBS: -- and hardly no money is going in. And this has to change.

O'REILLY: Right.

COMBS: And in order for it to change, we as a community of voters have to vote. Like you have the NRA [National Rifle Association], the AARP. The youth of America have to stand up and be heard. Minorities have to stand up and be heard, so they have a community of voters that could put somebody in the office or take their butts out of office.

O'REILLY: All right. You should be a Republican? You know why?

COMBS: No. Why should I be a Republican?

O'REILLY: Because you're self-made. Did anybody ever give you anything?

COMBS: I mean, what I should do is inspire young people to --

O'REILLY: But did anybody ever give you anything? The government ever give you anything?

COMBS: No, I can't really say anybody ever gave me anything.

O'REILLY: All right, so you made it on your own, right?

COMBS: Yes, I did.

O'REILLY: All right, so you made it on your own, right?

COMBS: Yes, I did.

O'REILLY: You're like me.

COMBS: Yes, but I don't want to be a Republican or a Democrat.

O'REILLY: Why? You just want to be an Independent guy?

COMBS: I want to be an Independent. To me, it's not about the party. It's not voting the party. It's about voting for the best person.

O'REILLY: But you know that the more independent and self-reliant you are the better off you are. Isn't that correct?

COMBS: Yes. But at the same time, there are some people out there that need help.