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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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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