Bill O’Reilly did. In an interview with Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, turned internet dirty word, turned presidential hopeful, turned nobody, Bill O’Reilly, host of FOX’s O’Reilly Factor, called Nelson Mandela a communist on the night he died.
Transcription of the exchange, which resulted in Santorum suggesting that Obamacare was “cool”, and would help Republicans win the 2014 midterm elections, supplied by Raw Story.
“Nelson Mandela just died,” O’Reilly said. “I don’t know if you’re aware. Ninety-five years old. Nelson Mandela — I spent some time in South Africa, he was a communist, this man. He was a communist. But he was a great man anyway. The sacrifices he made for his people were just stunning. But he was a communist. A great man, but a communist.”
“I would never attack Nelson Mandela,” O’Reilly continued. “I told Bishop Tutu, who’s like that too, but I told him ‘I respect you.’ Why can’t you guys in the Republican Party bring that to the forum?”
“Well, Nelson Mandela stood up against a great injustice,” Santorum replied. “And he was willing to pay a huge price for that. And it’s for that reason he — he — he is mourned today, because of that struggle he performed. But what he was advocated for was not necessarily the right answer, but he was fighting against some great injustice.”
“I would make the argument,” Santorum continued, “that we have a great injustice going on too, in this country, with an ever-increasing size of government that is taking over and controlling people’s lives, and Obamacare is front-and-center in that.”
“And I agree with [O’Reilly’s] talking points earlier, that the center focus of the 2014 election must be Obamacare and all of its aspects,” he concluded.
“And the cool thing about Obamacare is that it’s not only bad for the economy, not only bad for people’s health, it’s also bad for freedom of conscience — it’s also bad for a whole variety of issues that will energize all across America.”
Even before the body of Nelson Mandela had gone cold, and the world could even begin to grieve the monumental loss of such a powerful and transformative human figure, FOX News, along with Rick Santorum and Bill O’Reilly had to send Mandela to his grave with a final parting shot of this low and disgusting calibre.
What do you think? Were these comments appropriately delivered, or could FOX have waited at least until Mandela was buried to start attacking his character and his life? Leave a comment below.