O'Reilly on 2003 Glick interview: "If I could have whacked him, I would have"
Video ››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN
On Fox News' The Lineup, Bill O'Reilly said that his 2003 interview of Jeremy Glick -- whose father was killed during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center -- was the interview he "got most offended by." O'Reilly said the interview was "just revolting," and made him "so angry and appalled" that, "[i]f I could have whacked him, I would have."
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During the May 28 edition of Fox News' The Lineup, Bill O'Reilly, host of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, informed guest host Megyn Kendall that his 2003 interview of Jeremy Glick -- whose father was killed during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center -- was the interview he "got most offended by." O'Reilly said the interview was "just revolting," and made him "so angry and appalled" that, "[i]f I could have whacked him, I would have." Glick appeared on the show to discuss his signing of the "Not in Our Name" petition, a statement that "call[ed] on all Americans to resist the war and repression that has been loosed on the world by the Bush administration."
O'Reilly has frequently distorted comments Glick made during the interview, repeatedly claiming Glick stated that President George W. Bush and former President George H.W. Bush were "directly responsible for 9-11." In his May 28 comments, O'Reilly revised his accusation, this time asserting that Glick "impl[ied] the U.S. government had something to do with" the 9-11 attacks. In fact, as Media Matters for America has previously documented, Glick noted U.S. involvement with training the Afghan mujahedeen during the late 1970s and early 1980s while discussing the 9-11 attacks and his opposition to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.
During his February 4, 2003, appearance on The O'Reilly Factor, Glick argued that CIA support of anti-Soviet Afghan fighters in the '70s and '80s had provided the training for what would later emerge as Al Qaeda -- the organization responsible for the terrorist attacks. Glick stated:
GLICK: [S]ix months before the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, starting in the Carter administration and continuing and escalating while Bush's father was head of the CIA, we recruited a hundred thousand radical mujahedeen to combat a democratic government in Afghanistan, the Turaki government.
Our current president now inherited a legacy from his father and inherited a political legacy that's responsible for training militarily, economically, and situating geopolitically the parties involved in the alleged assassination and the murder of my father and countless of thousands of others.
While now professing the desire to "whack" Glick, O'Reilly has previously claimed that it was Glick who was "out of control." As Media Matters noted, O'Reilly claimed that "security actually had to take the guy [Glick] out of the building, he was that out of control." Yet, during the interview, it was O'Reilly who repeatedly told Glick to "shut up"; and ended the interview by saying, "Cut his mic. I'm not going to dress you down anymore, out of respect for your father." According to Glick, as documented in the film Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism (2004), "The executive producer and the assistant encouraged me to leave the building because they were, quote, 'concerned that if O'Reilly ran into me in the hallway, he would end up in jail.' "
From the May 28 edition of Fox News' The Lineup:
KENDALL: How about this: most offensive interview, the one that you got most offended by?
O'REILLY: Jeremy Glick. This guy comes in after the attack on 9-11. His father was killed in the World Trade Center, and he comes in. He signs an advertisement that says America is a terrorist nation. I get him in here, and then he says the "alleged attack" on the World Trade Center, implying the U.S. government had something to do with it. I was so angry and appalled, and the far left has made this guy into a hero, this Glick guy. And, it was just revolting. And if I could have whacked him, I would have. I got 29 people in my area in Long Island dead, and this guy is saying the U.S. government -- implying, I should say -- the U.S. government had something to do with this? It was just off the chart! I am glad I gave him what-for. I did give him what-for, you might remember that. I'm glad I did.
KENDALL: I do. That was one of the more watched interviews. What about -- this last question: What about, you know, the one interview that stands out as sort of touching you -- somebody who really got to you. You interview so many people, so many families of people who died in Iraq or 9-11. Is there anybody stand out like that?
O'REILLY: Well, first of all, I have no feelings, as everyone watching the Factor knows. I mean, just totally numb. I am a sociopath. Look --
KENDALL: You said that, not me.