Flack Over O'Reilly Remarks Grows
September 26, 2007 at 5:41 AM (PT)
After sitting down to eat coconut shrimp at Harlem's most famous soul food restaurant with the REV. AL SHARPTON, FOX TV and syndicated radio talk show host BILL O'REILLY told his radio listeners he was surprised that SYLVIA's was a perfectly normal, civilized restaurant, reports THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS.
"I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between SYLVIA's restaurant and any other restaurant in NEW YORK CITY. It was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks [and has a] primarily black patronship," O'REILLY said. "There wasn't one person in SYLVIA's who was screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more iced tea!'"
"It was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people [who] were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn't any kind of craziness at all," he said.
O'REILLY was apparently trying to say that not all black people are into profane gangsta rap culture. The comments, made in an hour-long show about race last WEDNESDAY and then publicized by the liberal watchdog group MEDIA MATTERS, prompted jeers, outrage and guffaws yesterday.
"It is very insulting," said restaurant manager TRENNESS WOODS-BLACK, granddaughter of the famous SYLVIA WOODS. "O'REILLY's knowledge about the African-American community is limited and his statements are outrageous and unfortunate."
O'REILLY insisted on "THE O'REILLY FACTOR" last night his remarks were meant to show "there was no difference" between whites and blacks and "stereotypes are not true." He branded CNN and MEDIA MATTERS, which monitors "conservative misinformation in the U.S. media," as "smear merchants" for reporting the story. CNN, he opined, is "out to destroy me and FOX NEWS" to protect its ratings.