During an appearance yesterday on the O’Reilly Factor, Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos was asked by Bill O’Reilly whether he and his network could cover Trump objectively, since they have already denounced Trump’s immigration “plan,” his beloved wall.
When Ramos explains that many in his audience consider Trump to be a racist, O’Reilly pounces: “But that’s a subjective thing!” He proceeds to read Donald Trump’s infamous line about Mexicans from his June campaign announcement.
When Ramos protests, obviously, that Mexican immigrants aren’t inherently criminal, O’Reilly replies, in complete sincerity: “He didn’t say all of them were.”
Ramos, naturally, seems to finds the whole exchange ridiculous: “You have to be tougher on Donald Trump,” he said. “You let him get away with anything.”
“I’m not promoting Donald Trump in any shape or form,” retorted O’Reilly.
His history on this is checkered.
For one thing, O’Reilly has admitted that he has been friends with Donald Trump for decades, which became apparent when he tried to persuade the Republican frontrunner to attend the Jan. 28 Fox News debate (he was boycotting because Megyn Kelly embarrassed him in August when she asked him to justify his misogynist comments).
Despite O’Reilly’s assertion that the difference between him and Ramos is that he’s a commentator, not a straight newsman, this is still a major conflict of interest.
Donald Trump has caused plenty of headaches for news anchors, both in and outside of Fox News. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski have been accused of being too soft on Trump, Cokie Roberts was reprimanded by NPR was calling him a racist, and prominent political anchors from Jake Tapper to Chuck Todd have been caught struggling to fight against the current of Trump’s continuous lying. Journalists at Breitbart have resigned over the outlet’s overt propaganda for the campaign and Fox News itself was divided on the news organization’s treatment of Trump when he attacked their star anchor, Megyn Kelly.
But Bill O’Reilly, who has his own feud with Megyn Kelly, is being “Fair and Balanced” when it comes to his friend.
Screenshot via Fox News