Fox News host Bill O’Reilly got into a confrontation with an Obama aide after O’Reilly started screaming at him as he tried to get Barack Obama’s attention following a rally here. O’Reilly eventually did chat briefly with Obama and asked him to be a guest on his show.
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.
John Amato of Crooks & Liars gives us El Falafal’s rather selective version of events:
O’Reilly: Some guy comes over, he’s about six foot eight according to the press reports and he stands in front of the Factor camera. So I asked him fairly nicely, “you’re blocking our shot sir, you need to move a little bit.
…so I had to gently remove him from that position. No scuffle, I just moved him from the spot.. I might have called him an SOB, that’s possible, nothing more than that. No one on this earth is going block a shot on the O’Reilly Factor. It is not going to happen.
At first, the railing where O’Reilly stood wasn’t very populated. Then, as the Obama team saw who was laying in wait, they started to huddle. Staffers started to arrive at the scene. Three policemen showed up, too. One of them stood in front of O’Reilly until O’Reilly asked him to move. One of Obama’s staffers Marvin Nicholson, took up the same post, standing in front of the Fox camera as Obama neared the door.
“You’re blocking our shot,” yelled O’Reilly.
“Oh, am I?” asked the Obama staffer, not entirely sincerely and not moving.
This is not a new trick. When staffers block you because you’re being too aggressive, the standard thing to do is give them a little business and then move to another spot. O’Reilly didn’t do this. He shoved the Obama aide. There was an exchange and a little more shoving. I didn’t fully capture because as I looked at O’Reilly in his black leather Fox jacket, which resembled the kind we wore during football season in high school, I swore I could hear him challenge the staffer to a rumble out by the drive-in.
“That’s really low class, pal,” said O’Reilly.
I have a confession. During the shoving, I found myself yelling at O’Reilly to grow up, which was thoroughly unprofessional, except that I have little kids and I think it’s important to discipline misbehavior immediately. If I don’t dare to discipline, they’ll grow up to be like, well, Bill O’Reilly.
(More @ Memeorandum.)