Bill O'Reilly: 'Is the Media Now Inciting Racial Violence?'

In the wake of the press's nonstop hyperventilating regarding the Trayvon Martin issue, Fox News's Bill O'Reilly appropriately asked Friday, "Is the media now inciting racial violence?"

In his opening Talking Points Memo, O'Reilly also pointed a finger at Al Sharpton and Roland Martin saying, "MSNBC and CNN to some extent have a vested interest in seeing Zimmerman punished because they've already found him guilty on the air" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

BILL O'REILLY: Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.

Is the media now inciting racial violence? That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points" memo. It was pathetic last night watching the prime time cable opinion programs whip up the Trayvon Martin case to dangerous levels. As "Talking Points" has been reporting the media is exploiting the terrible death of 17-year-old Trayvon by convicting the man who shot him, George Zimmerman, of wrong doing on television.

Now let's step back for a moment. What if the Florida special prosecutor decides there is not enough evidence to prosecute Mr. Zimmerman? What if that happens? It could because of Florida's complicated "Stand Your Ground" law which has muddled the case.

MSNBC and CNN to some extent have a vested interest in seeing Zimmerman punished because they've already found him guilty on the air. So they are not going to respect any verdict but guilty. Therefore those entities will tell the American public that racial injustice has been done if there is not a conviction and that could very well lead to violence as we saw in the Rodney King case.

Those riots in 1992 and I was right in the middle of them led to 58 people -- 58 being killed and a billion dollars worth of damage. That absolutely could happen in the Trayvon Martin case. Leading the charge to convict Zimmerman is Al Sharpton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This is not about self-defense. This is about a man deciding somebody based on who he was, was a suspect and that he would take matters in his own hands.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Sharpton as you know has a daily one hour program on MSNBC and as I said has already found Zimmerman guilty on the air.

The same thing with CNN commentator Roland Martin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTIN: They gave George Zimmerman the benefit of the doubt because of who he is and they simply saw Trayvon Martin and I guarantee you in their minds they probably saying oh, young black kid, wearing a hoodie George has got to be right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: All right, so you can seen the racial animus is already being stirred up on national TV. Now that's flat out dangerous. And the media companies responsible should be held accountable if any violence breaks out.

Now it is perfectly legitimate for the parents of Trayvon Martin to say whatever they want to say. If your son was dead you would certainly want justice and aggressively campaign for it. I have no problem with Trayvon's parents and the lawyers representing them demanding fair play.

I also have no problem with Mr. Zimmerman, his friends and family defending him on television. His life hangs on the balances.

But again, pundits who have no blanking idea what happened that night are putting innocent people in danger by commentary based on emotion not facts.

And that's the memo.


Sadly, the media are never going to learn.

They whipped the nation into a frenzy over the Duke lacrosse incident prosecuting that case without all the evidence to later find they were 100 percent wrong.

They did roughly the same in that year's Jena Six matter in Louisiana.

Now, armed with little of the actual facts, America's media have once again prosecuted a trial - in this case before an arrest has even been made.

With this in mind, O'Reilly has made a great point: what if the Florida district attorney doesn't find enough evidence to prosecute Zimmerman.

With folks like Sharpton already calling for civil disobedience, we could see Rodney King-style riots throughout the country.

So much for the post-racial society these same media members promised if Barack Obama were elected president.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.