O’Reilly needs to join Ailes in exile

Michelle Obama has reduced the right wing to spluttering excuses with one simple fact: slaves built the White House. But it’s true! The White House is located in the South, between Maryland, a slave state which didn’t ban slavery until 1864, and Virginia, which fought on the other side in the Civil War. Of course slaves were heavily used in the construction.

But now we’re seeing standard neo-Confederate apologetics on Fox News. But the slaves were treated kindly by their masters, suggests Bill O’Reilly.

After Michelle Obama’s speech mentioned “a house built by slaves” as part of a beautiful rhetorical arc putting the lie to the idea of some fabled perfect America of some unspecified past, the usual suspects have been performing their gymnastics, trying to reclaim the myth of the perfect Founding Fathers. Bill O’Reilly is just one of them, but yup, he uses the phrase “Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government.” He needs to watch Roots again, but the thing that gets me on these usual suspects is, they so often seem to be the same ones bleating “give me liberty or give me death” when confronted with what seem to me to be constraints that are… a little bit less than actual enslavement.

Exactly. People who wax wroth about losing their twitter privileges or having to leave their assault rifle at home are now protesting that slavery wasn’t so bad for the slaves.

O’Reilly needs to be fired. It won’t be so bad…he’s rich, he can count on steady revenue from speaking engagements with the KKK and the League of the South. He’ll continue to be well fed and have decent lodgings. As long as he’s got that, we can do anything we want to him.


  1. johnson catman says

    It is unfortunate that he won’t exercise the clause in his contract that allows him to leave because Ailes was ousted.

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    O’RLY is clearly an avowed hypocrite who writes and says what sells. While O’RLY is vile for feeding the trolls, he would dry up without the trolls paying him for food.
    Telling him to see Roots won’t dissuade him. He’ll of course declare it a common myth being promulgated by the elite hollywooders to disparage the righteous South.

  3. MJP says

    If they think actual slavery wasn’t that bad, then it explains why they compare it with things that aren’t that bad. The comparison isn’t as incongruous to them.

  4. lotharloo says

    I wouldn’t be surprised if later on some (more) sexual harassment accusations come up on O’Reilly. So maybe he will be fired.

  5. says

    I suggest that everybody who goes on about how slavery wasn’t bad gets sent on a journey across the Atlantic. I won’t suggest they be treated like, you know, actual slaves, but with all the decency and comfort of a black US American prisoner, minus the rape.
    I could do with a bit of unpaid labour right now, so they’d be “decently lodged” in our basement and well fed.
    Of course I’d expect them to understand my German instructions and punish them for not understanding them correctly. After 6 weeks they could leave, no pay of course.

  6. Pierce R. Butler says

    “Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government.”

    No way – the government can’t ever do anything well or decently!

    /False Noise

  7. unclefrogy says

    that re-action to the mere mention of slavery elicits in the conservatives is really remarkable especially when considering their squealing over some slight perceived encroachment of their rights and prerogatives it leaves me open mouthed and dumb founded.
    it is also important for me to remember that the while the White House was built by slave labor it was extensively rebuilt during the Trueman administration. The care and reverence with which it was carried out is remarkable they even put in storage the split lath originally used.
    uncle frogy

  8. themadtapper says

    Whenever someone tries to claim we live in a “post-racial America”, or that racism would just fade away if those “race-baiting liberals” would just shut up about it, you need look no further than the perpetuation of the “benevolent slavemaster” mythology to see what an utter delusion that is. Scrubbing away an inconvenient history to hide the source of many modern ills, rewriting the atrocities of the past to glorify racial oppressors while covering up the suffering of the racially oppressed… that’s racism in pure distilled form. That such a sizable portion of the populace subscribes to that mythology, that prominent figures can utter such things not only without consequence but instead with praise, is testimony to the state of racism in this country.

  9. Raucous Indignation says

    Does not O’Reilly have a nice heavy car door in which he can slam his own shriveled, racist scrotum? Seriously.

  10. Jake Harban says

    He’ll continue to be well fed and have decent lodgings. As long as he’s got that, we can do anything we want to him.

    Dude. Not funny.

  11. jamesramsey says

    For all his many faults, this quote from Robert Heinlein comes to mind

    “I still have trouble believing there is such a thing as slavery.”
    He shrugged. “Ten lashes will convince anybody.”
    “Thor! You don’t mean they whipped you?”
    “I don’t remember clearly, but the scars are on my back.”

  12. says

    American conservatives like to pretend slavery didn’t happen or wasn’t all that bad until they get to point to the Democratic Party as the party of slavery. At that point they pretend the Southern Strategy never happened.

  13. mnb0 says

    “Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government.”
    Actually I like this comment (the slaves involved have been dead since long, so I hope they won’t mind too much). See, apologists always like to argue that Biblical slavery actually was OK-ish, totally uncomparable with the terrible slavery of the 16th until 19th Century.
    Apparently it is.
    And ‘cuz the Bible says so these apologists – like O’Reilly – should be OK with reintroducing slavery in modern society. Well. I’d like to buy his daughters. What’s his price?

  14. says

    Cross posted from the Moments of Political Madness thread.

    A few more reactions to Bill O’Reilly’s comments about slaves who built the White House being “well-fed [etc.]”:

    From Shonda Rhimes: “Bill: Chat about cuisine after they steal ur name, homeland, family then beat u, breed u and make u work for free.”

    From Rabia Chaudry: “I will provide decent lodging and food to Bill O’Reilly if he becomes my slave. Need a shed built.”

    From Ken Jennings: “Persistent wage gap between slaves and non-slaves largely a result of the slaves’ lifestyle and family choices”

    From Leon Wolf: “For his next hot historical take, Bill O’Reilly will tell us about the free dental care at Auschwitz.”

    From Paul Krugman: “Sometimes they’re worse than you could imagine, even taking into account that they’re worse than you can imagine.”

    Read more: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2016/05/08/discuss-moments-of-political-madness-4/#ixzz4FdwmvVHU

  15. says

    From Quest Love:

    Slavery was inhumane. Slavery was sadistic. Slavery was uncomfortable. Slavery was unjust. Slavery was a nightmare. Slavery was a despicable act. Slavery is the pebble whose ripple in the river still resonates on and on and on and on.

    I’d like to think most of you have common sense. But there is nothing more dangerous than a man in a suit pretending to be a journalist giving revisionist history on the ugliness that was slavery. […] being flogged? being malnourished? living in high stress conditions? forced to lay in your own feces? being sold in a heartbeat?

    suppressing ANY emotion (with the surprising exception of singing it was illegal) —lashes or death–to read, write, “talk back” or “sass”, cry […], get angry, or even more surprising LAUGHING (a plantation barrel of water was always in proximity to dunk ones head in so one could express emotions and suppress the sound as to not alert your overseer of your “sassing”—

    deep history I just learned about laughing and the slave period—the first recorded song “The Laughing Song” was the defiant “F%^k Tha Police” of its day (also where the term “Barrel Of Laughs” gets its origin)—I’m getting beside the point.

    I dunno if that man’s (never say his name) point is to troll at any cost whatsoever but his entire existence is a 5 steps backwards for any progress made in humanity. My dismay is the percentage of people who get their news from memes/headlines/& sources to whom they have 0 clue is feeding them false information.

    Human Trafficking in any form from today’s underage prostitution, to the private Prison System we exercise here in the US, to the Holocaust to 500 years of Slavery–and all other examples I’ve not mentioned is INHUMANE & Evil. —watch where you get your information from and the company you keep people.

  16. says

    From Jay Bookman: “We have an eyewitness, First Lady Abigail Adams, who said those slaves were ‘half fed, and destitute of clothing’.”

  17. robro says

    This “slaves were treated well” BS is a common lie in the South when there is plenty of evidence of the exact opposite. Someone should ask BO’R how he knows they were treated well. As the article blf links to at #5 notes:

    “Indifference by earlier historians, poor record keeping, and the silence of the voiceless classes have impeded our ability in the twenty-first century to understand fully the contributions and privations of those who toiled over the seven decades from the first cornerstone laying to the day of emancipation in the District of Columbia,” Senate Historian Richard Baker and Chief of the House of Representatives Office of History and Preservation Kenneth Kato wrote in a foreword to the report.

    Emphasis added.

  18. F.O. says

    Duh! 2nd Amendment, the pursuit of happiness, freedom & democracy (TM) are only for upstanding white people!

  19. themadtapper says

    This “slaves were treated well” BS is a common lie in the South

    Indeed it is. I couldn’t count how many times I’ve heard it down here. Always the same underlying “logic” behind it too:

    “Well slaves were used like farm animals, so obviously a smart slave owner wouldn’t hurt them badly. You don’t see farmers beating or starving their horses and cattle do you? They’d want strong healthy slaves to get a better return on their investment. It’s just common sense!”

    Putting aside that “well-treated” here basically boils down to “treated them like farm animals”, which any reasonable person would recognize as NOT well-treatment of another human being, they seem to completely miss the point that there is a big fucking difference between a domesticated farm animal and a free-thinking human being. Farm animals have been selectively bred for millennia to be docile, subservient, and trainable. Humans are independent creatures with a will of their own, and whether captured by slavers or raised in captivity, aren’t particularly inclined to simply lie down and accept that kind of fate without some seriously strong motivation. Physical and psychological violence, starvation, death, and the fear and threat thereof, are precisely the kind of things a slavemaster would need to use to keep slaves in line. Not only is the myth of the “benevolent slavemaster” demonstrably false because we have records of how slaves were actually treated, the very concept is intellectually bankrupt. And the people who perpetuate it are both intellectually and morally bankrupt.

  20. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    The depths of O’Reilly’s depravity and idiocy knows no bounds.

    Cruel slave owners who mistreated their slaves, in an ironic way, allowed the slaves to see the inequity of the society in which they lived. For example see @16 Lynna, OM’s quote above. Those slaves were acutely aware of the daily oppression in which they lived. (The part about the barrel was fascinating and horrifying. Thank you for that)

    Lets say by relative comparison, a slave owner didn’t employ corporal punishment. They provided proper medical treatment. They allowed their slaves some education, good food. Hell, maybe the slave owner gave vacation days. O’Reilly’s argument is that three hots and a cot means some slavery isn’t so bad. In truth, the kind slave owner was worse. Thier kindness not only denied the slave their inalienable rights and self determinaion, they denied the slave the ability to perceive the corrupt nature of the institution in which they exist. Kind slave owners not only made it harder, if not impossible, for slaves to recognize the inequity of their lives. Kind slavery made slavery tolerable, which immeasurably perpetuated that institution.

    In his own ham handed, authoritarian apologetics, depraved fashion, O’Reilly’s arguing that maybe some slavery wasn’t so bad. But that’s a typical inversion of reality that you can expect at the “no spin zone”. Cruel slavery was bad enough. Kind slavery was worse.

  21. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    Part of the above should read
    “The kind slave owner not only denied the slave their inalienable right and self determination, their kindness denied the slave the ability to perceive the corrupt nature of the institution in which they exist”.

    I should use that “preview” option before I hit post.

  22. dannysichel says

    @21 – actually, I’m a little dubious about the ‘barrel’ line; I’m not saying it’s false, just that I’d like to see a source. I’m reminded of the Cecil Adams principle of etymological history: the more fascinating the story of how a term arose, the less likely it is to be true.

  23. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    @24 dannysichel
    True. I always thought the term originated from sailors and barrels of rum, or something to that effect. I have a wooden barrel outside and some rum on hand in fact. I should spend tomorrow getting to the bottom of this mystery. It’s bottom of the barrel science. Okay I reached my pun limit for this thread.

  24. Ichthyic says

    Oh wait… that was Limbaugh.. for some reason I easily get my negaknowledge promoters confused.


  25. Ichthyic says

    That’s right, Oreilly was the one that said he would leave if Sanders got elected.

    NOW I understand why Bernie supporters were really so upset.

  26. blbt5 says

    O’Reilly should be committed to Virtual Slave Camp for a minute, or a day, or for however long it takes for the concept to sink into his thick head.