Has Bill O'Reilly's role in George Tiller's murder been exaggerated? Howard Kurtz of the The Washington Post argues it has, Keith Olbermann of MSNBC has a somewhat different take. But what exactly did O'Reilly say about Tiller, and in what context? We offer some key clips below.
O’Reilly and the Surrogate Tiller
On November 3, 2006, O’Reilly interviewed Amy Richards, a feminist and pro-choice advocate who cited living in a five-story walkup as one of her reasons for selectively reducing her triplets to one. Not exactly the highest hanging fruit available in the abortion debate, but O’Reilly used Richards as a stand-in for Tiller and referred to Tiller’s practice as "executing" children.
O’Reilly Threatens Tiller—Almost
On the November 6, 2006, broadcast of The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, O’Reilly said, “[I]f I could get my hands on Tiller—well, you know. Can't be vigilantes. Can't do that. It's just a figure of speech.” But how powerful can a figure of speech be?
On December 12, 2006, O’Reilly interviewed Kelly (no last name given), a woman who received an abortion from Tiller when she was 14. Her description of the procedure is graphic and O’Reilly indicted no one but Tiller—not even Kelly’s parents who drove their daughter to the clinic.
“Blood on His Hands”
In early 2007, O’Reilly followed up his interview with Kelly by devoting his Talking Points Commentary to Tiller, saying he “has blood on his hands.” O’Reilly also states he wouldn’t want to be a Tiller “if there is a judgment day.”
Who’s Exploiting Whom?
June 1, 2009, after Tiller’s fatal shooting, O’Reilly condemned the murder—but didn’t back away from his criticism of Tiller’s practices. O’Reilly also accused the far left of exploiting Tiller’s death to further the pro-choice agenda.