Author Bill O'Reilly says he accurately predicted the kind of political violence that unfolded this week when an armed gunman attacked congressional Republicans in Alexandria, Virginia.
The former Fox News Channel star told One America News Network’s Patrick Hussion Thursday evening that he made prophetic warnings months ago as activists began a “resistance” movement against President Trump, saying that a new media paradigm, a “no-rules” culture and violent rhetoric by cultural influencers created a toxic atmosphere ripe for bloodshed.
“The first rule in journalism when I was in Boston University was seek the truth. Gone. Now, we have an ideological media, both on the left and the right,” Mr. O'Reilly said. “On the left, because of Donald Trump’s election, they’re so hateful in the media and in the real ideological precincts, that all rules are out the window. We saw that with the comedian [Kathy Griffin] holding the head, with other people saying vile things about Donald Trump, with the ‘resistance’ movement — that ‘we’re not going to support anything the president does no matter how good it might be for the country — we’re not going to support it. And, indeed, we’re going to try and destroy him at every turn.’”
The pundit said it was those components, which he talked about on “The O’Reilly Factor” prior to leaving Fox, that led to 66-year-old gunman James Hodgkinson shooting Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise and three others on a baseball field.
Mr. Hodgkinson, who died of wounds suffered in the resulting shootout with police officers, was a former volunteer for Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders’ presidential campaign. His social media pages were filled with anti-Trump and anti-GOP content.
“Once you have that [environment], it is not only an attack on the president, but an attack on everybody who voted for Donald Trump,” Mr. O'Reilly said. “So you’ve got this tremendous hatred developing between the two camps. So I said, months ago, if this continues, and it obviously is, you are going to have enflamed people going out, and they are going to start to physically hurt people with whom they disagree. Unfortunately, my prophecy came true yesterday.
“That was a political shooting — there was no other motive for it,” he said. “This guy is a crank, he’s demented, he was deeply enmeshed in the far left, and he decided to get guns and go out and kill as many Republicans as he could. It was only because, as everybody knows by now, the Capitol Hill police were there guarding Congressman Scalise that all of the Republicans on the baseball diamond as we’re killed, which should really send a chilling message to every single American citizen.”
Doctors said Friday that Mr. Scalise, the House Majority Whip, will be hospitalized “for some time” while he continues to recover from internal injuries related to a gunshot wound to the hip.
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