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Bill O'Reilly duels Tavis Smiley over race and Norfolk mob attack

May 3, 2012 | 11:55 pm

 

America's latest racial controversy got things heated on Thursday's "The O'Reilly Factor."

Host Bill O'Reilly debated guest Tavis Smiley over an alleged "mob attack" in Norfolk, Va., last month, when two white reporters said they were attacked by a group of blacks. The reporters work for the Virginian-Pilot newspaper, which has drawn criticism for not publishing anything about the incident for two weeks. Police charged a teenager in connection with the case on Thursday.

O'Reilly prodded Smiley -- a PBS interviewer and co-author of the new book "The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto" -- by arguing that the media would have reported immediately such an attack on a black couple.

"I don't know that," Smiley said. 

"You don't think they would cover that?" O'Reilly replied incredulously.

Smiley said another current racial controversy, the shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin case, took weeks to get coverage, "but inside black America, it was being discussed every day."

"When we first heard about Trayvon Martin, we got on it," O'Reilly said of Fox News. "I can't acknowledge that [delay], because I don't know the timeline."

"Come on, this is the No-Spin Zone!" Smiley said, alluding to O'Reilly's famous slogan. "It's the white babies in this country who end up on the milk cartons."

What do you think? Are the media partly to blame for the racial controversies currently sweeping America?

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Bill O'Reilly debates Jon Stewart

Geraldo Rivera backtracks from Trayvon Martin remarks

-- Scott Collins
twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT

 

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