On Thursday night’s episode of The O’Reilly Factor, the usually intolerable Bill O’Reilly started off cold as usual when discussing the case of Eric Garner (“Garner was a low-level street dealer”). But within minutes, you could see that he wasn’t denying the sadness of his death and the absurdity of the Staten Island’s Grand Jury decision to not indict Officer Daniel Panatelo for killing Garner by an illegal chokehold. He actually said, with the most sincerity for any Black person we’ve seen from him: “Eric Garner did not deserve to die”.
We gave up on listening to the obnoxious ramblings of FOX News anchorman Bill O’Reilly a long time ago, but maybe the tide is turning.
In describing how the 43-year-old died, O’Reilly placed himself in the shoes of Panatelo, saying he would’ve loosened his grip after hearing Garner say repeatedly “I can’t breathe“. The fact that Panatelo was not moved to stop his excessive force by this plea, the infamous FOX News host admitted he felt “disturbed”.
After years of watching O’Reilly villify every Black or brown person in America he could–even taking issues with Beyoncé and rappers on separate occasions–watching him express compassion and disbelief for the reckless murder of unarmed Garner, really shows that even some right-wing political followers are embarrassed by the our judicial system.