From the July 27 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
BILL O'REILLY (HOST): On Monday, Michelle Obama said that America has come a long way from the days when slaves built the White House. Some criticized her analysis saying it demeaned the U.S.A. I disagree. And presented the facts of Mrs. Obama's statement last night.
That commentary, 100 percent accurate, providing context to Mrs. Obama's remarks and explaining how the administration of George Washington conducted itself in the construction of the executive mansion. Is not that important to know? Come on. For doing that I was immediately attacked by smear merchants. The rank tabloid New York Daily News wrote, quote, “O'Reilly defends use of White House slaves.” That is a lie. I defended nothing. The publisher of the Daily News Mort Zuckerman allows that kind of stuff on a daily basis. It is despicable. USA Today did the same thing. “Bill O'Reilly defended the working conditions slaves faced while building the White House.” Another lie. Not surprising from a publication that routinely distorts events,especially on its editorial page.
It is a given that slavery is an abomination. But reporting the story behind Mrs. Obama's very valid points does not diminish the horror of enslavement, as these dishonest critics allege. As any honest historian knows, in order to keep slaves and free laborers strong, the Washington administration provided meat, bread and other staples, also decent lodging on the grounds of the new presidential building. That is a fact. Not a justification, not a defense of slavery. Just a fact. Anyone who implies a soft on slavery message is beneath contempt. Some celebrities like Stephen King, Bryan Cranston, Broadway star Audra McDonald immediately sought to exploit the situation on Twitter by buying into the defamation. We have invited all of them on the Factor. Place your bets on whether they will show up.