Bill O’Reilly has brought back cop-killer apologist Marc Lamont Hill as a commentator on his highly-rated cable show, which he calls the “No Spin Zone.” Curiously, this follows the firing of Hill by O’Reilly’s boss, Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corporation.
There has been no explanation, not even spin, from official Fox News representatives for this strange situation. How can Hill be showing up on the same channel that fired him?
On his show, O’Reilly postures as a defender of police officers and law enforcement authorities. He frequently taunts public officials for going soft on child predators and other criminals.
But Hill, a hip-hop professor at Columbia University, is a public advocate of convicted cop-killers Mumia Abu-Jamal and Assata Shakur. He claims they were wrongly convicted for their crimes.
Maureen Faulkner, the widow of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, who was murdered by Abu-Jamal, has written personally to O’Reilly, asking why he has the “pinhead” Hill on his show. (O’Reilly regularly denounces people who say or do extreme things as “pinheads.”)
Hill has referred to Abu-Jamal as “Brother Mumia,” a “freedom fighter,” and a “political prisoner.” The official Daniel Faulkner website rebuts the misinformation that attempts to suggest that Abu-Jamal is somehow not guilty of this murder.
Hill’s support for convicted killer Assata Shakur, who murdered New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster, included putting police mug shot photos of her on his Twitter page. Shakur escaped from prison and fled to Communist Cuba with the help of members of the terrorist Weather Underground.
Hill is so extreme that he went on O’Reilly’s show to defend a protest in honor of Lovelle Mixon, a suspected rapist with a lengthy criminal record who had murdered four Oakland police officers.
In addition, Hill labeled racist Khallid Muhammad, known as “America’s Black Hitler,” a mentor, teacher and “revolutionary hero,” and lists a speech before a communist group on his official academic Curriculum Vitae.
Nevertheless, Hill is back on “The O’Reilly Factor” as a respectable advocate of the liberal point of view.
After being alerted to a Hill appearance on the O’Reilly show by David Horowitz of Frontpagemag.com, Accuracy in Media investigated Hill’s background and labeled him “the Van Jones of Fox News” because of the channel’s obvious failure to “vet” his controversial record before hiring him. Jones is the communist whose record resulted in his ouster from a White House job.
Both Jones and Hill were ardent supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
After AIM’s columns began exposing his real record, controversial items started disappearing from Hill’s website and Twitter page.
Now, however, O’Reilly has raised some of the old questions all over again by using Hill as a guest commentator.
The fact that these appearances come after Rupert Murdoch personally announced Hill’s firing at the News Corporation October 16 annual meeting in New York raises even more questions.
Accuracy in Media had brought Hill’s extremist record to the attention of Murdoch and other News Corporation personnel.
It appears that Hill is now appearing on “The O’Reilly Factor” as a substitute for Fox News regular Juan Williams, rather than as the paid analyst that he previously was. However, Hill’s precise status at the channel is not known. Fox News representatives refuse to comment, despite the embarrassment that O’Reilly’s use of Hill presents for Murdoch and Fox News in general.
Indeed, after his firing, Hill went on a radio show to complain about some of the “stage techniques” used by Fox News personalities such as Neil Cavuto and Sean Hannity and to praise an anti-Fox News website known as News Hounds.
Speculation has been that Hill’s new appearances are part of a much-publicized “truce” between Fox News and the Obama White House. Another theory is that Hill has been brought back as a guest commentator because he has something incriminating on Fox News personnel. As a paid analyst on contract to the cable network, Hill might have had access to internal company emails and other inside information.
O’Reilly was the target of a sex harassment scandal at Fox News several years ago, and settled with a former female staffer out of court.
But it is also suspected that O’Reilly is using Hill, who is black, as cover against charges that he is a racist. O’Reilly has himself been accused by the left of making racist slurs, such as when the Washington Post reported that he attended a fundraiser for inner-city youth and joked about black kids stealing his hubcaps.
This fear clearly accounts for black agitator Al Sharpton’s regular appearances on the program. Sharpton, another black radical, is presented by O’Reilly as a thoughtful commentator when he is best known for falsely accusing a group of white men, some of them police officers, with raping a black woman named Tawana Brawley.
For his part, Hill has a close relationship with the Center for American Progress (CAP), the George Soros-funded organization that supplied radicals such as Van Jones to the Obama White House. On Fox News, Hill had defended Jones.
The White House was extremely upset with Glenn Beck, host of another Fox News Channel program, for highlighting Jones’ communist background and ties to top Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. O’Reilly mostly stayed away from the controversy and has expressed surprise on the air that the Obama Administration has turned out to be so radical.
Like many others who have emailed AIM, Hill’s friends at CAP are curious about Hill’s return to the O’Reilly show. If Hill’s controversial views were the reason he’s no longer a Fox News analyst, a blogger at the organization’s website wondered, then why would O’Reilly still have him on his show? Or was there another reason he was fired?
Was there something in his background that he concealed from those who hired him? Did this result in the abrogation of his contract but allow his continued use as an occasional contributor?
In any case, the continued use of Hill raises questions that Fox News clearly does not want to answer.
As if his background isn’t controversial enough, it turns out that Hill is a regular contributor to Metro US, a foreign-owned company which has daily newspapers in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston.
An investigation of the paper by Moshe Phillips finds that it is characterized by “biased coverage of news related to the Middle East,” including the “bashing of Israel” and a consistent refusal to label Muslim terrorists as terrorists.
Hill has used some of his columns in the paper to condemn the death penalty, attack Rush Limbaugh’s bid for an NFL franchise, and call for federal action to force conservative talk radio to air liberal views.
- Fox News representatives can be contacted here.
Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is an excerpt of one of his columns, which can be read in its entirety here.