Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Group Points Out O'Reilly Race Comments

NEW YORK (AP) -- After eating dinner at a famed Harlem restaurant recently, Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly told a radio audience he ''couldn't get over the fact'' that there was no difference between the black-run Sylvia's and other restaurants.

''It was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun,'' he said. ''And there wasn't any kind of craziness at all.'' O'Reilly said his fellow patrons were tremendously respectful as he ate dinner with civil rights activist Al Sharpton.

The comments were made during O'Reilly's nationally syndicated radio broadcast last week. The liberal media watchdog Media Matters for America called attention to them by distributing a transcript and audio clip on the Internet....


(FNC's Juan) Williams concurred that too many people believe there's little else in black culture beyond profane rap. ''That's right,'' O'Reilly said. ''There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, `M.F.-er, I want more iced tea.'''

Sharpton said he was taken aback that anyone would be surprised at how blacks acted at Sylvia's and will ask O'Reilly on ''The O'Reilly Factor'' Wednesday to explain what he meant. Nothing O'Reilly said at the dinner was offensive, said Sharpton spokeswoman Rachel Noerdlinger. Karl Frisch, a spokesman for Media Matters, called O'Reilly's comments ''ignorant and racially charged.''

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