Bill O’Reilly Had the Worst Response to Michelle Obama’s Convention Speech

The Fox News host attempts to “fact-check” the first lady’s address.


On the first night of the Democratic National Convention, Michelle Obama delivered a stirring speech that was widely praised on both sides of the aisle. Even Donald Trump commended the first lady’s performance, despite being the unnamed target of her forceful rebuke.

But there was one line in her remarks that Fox News historian Bill O’Reilly felt needed more explanation. The line below:

“I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves,” Obama said. “And I watch my daughters—two beautiful, intelligent, black young women—playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. Because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all of our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.”

On his show Tuesday, O’Reilly lauded Obama for “referring to the evolution of America in a positive way.” But he then proceeded to fact-check her statement in a way that appeared to excuse the US government’s use of slave labor.

“Slaves that worked there were well fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802,” he said. “However, the feds did not forbid subcontractors from using slave labor. So Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as builders of the White House, but there were others working as well. Got it?”

And there you have it—the worst response to Michelle Obama’s 2016 Democratic National Convention address.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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