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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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