The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that Bill O’Reilly had a less than cordial encounter with an aide to Barack Obama at a New Hampshire campaign event. Apparently The Fester wasn’t getting the preferential treatment to which he was accustomed. Here is Lynn Sweet’s account of this developing story:
The incident was triggered when O’Reilly–with a Fox News crew shooting–was screaming at Obama National Trip Director Marvin Nicholson “Move” so he could get Obama’s attention, according to several eyewitnesses. “O’Reilly was yelling at him, yelling at his face,” a photographer shooting the scene said.
O’Reilly grabbed Nicholson’s arm and shoved him, another eyewitness said. Nicholson, who is 6’8, said O’Reilly called him “low class.”
“He grabbed me with both his hands here,” Nicholson said, gesturing to his left arm and O’Reilly “started shoving me.” Nicholson said, “He was pretty upset. He was yelling at me.”
Secret Service agents who were nearby flanked O ‘Reilly after he pushed Nicholson. They told O’Reilly he needed to calm down and get behind the fence-like barricade that contained the press.
Obama had his back turned at this point and did not see any of this.
O’Reilly yelled “sir” at Obama and Obama walked over, not aware of what happened and told him he had an overflow crowd to visit.
This part is a little creepy:
Mr. O’Reilly said he thought Sen. Obama was great and that he loved him and loved to have him on the show and said he would think about coming on after the primaries.
O’Reilly “loves” Obama? With friends like that, who needs enemas? For all of O’Reilly’s obstreperousness, his only purpose in forcing his way up to Obama was to beg him to appear on The Factor. He didn’t even try to ask a substantive question. Since Obama and Edwards have refused to appear on Fox, I guess they feel they need to go out and stalk them. And I certainly hope that after Obama thinks about it, he will continue to decline to appear on Fox and particularly on O’Reilly’s program.
A few minutes ago (approx. 12:05pm), O’Reilly called in to Brian Wilson anchoring the Fox News broadcast. He denied that there was a scuffle but said, laughing, that he might have used profanity (called the aide an SOB). At the end of the call he menacingly warned mankind that “No one on this earth is going to block a shot from The O’Reilly Factor. It is not going to happen.”
Wilson, said that there will be limited video later today and that O’Reilly will show the whole thing on his show on Monday (presumably after having had time to edit/alter it).
I will try to stay on top of this and post video if it becomes available.
Update: Now Wilson says that the video will only be available on The Factor this Monday. Since when does a news channel withhold newsworthy video for two days? Since the video features their #1 personality and can’t be cleared for airing until they make sure it doesn’t reflect badly on him.
Update: For good measure, O’Reilly also crashed a Clinton campaign event (YouTube) earlier the same day and attempted to plant a question with a member of the audience. The woman stood up and fingered O’Reilly who Clinton then pointed out before answering the question.