David Corn: O'Reilly's "Violent" Rhetoric Has My Friends and Family Worried About Me


David Corn appeared on Wednesday night's broadcast of MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show to address Bill O'Reilly's response to his claim that the FOX News anchor has a "Brian Williams problem."

Corn says O'Reilly's response was violent and has his friends and family worried about him.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: What has this been like for you? I know that you are a thick-skinned guy. You have been a report for a long time. You've been involved in some very high stakes reporting over the years, including in very recent years. Has this been difficult for you, being threatened and attacked like this?

DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES: You're right, I am thick-skinned, and I've watched Bill O'Reilly and FOX News over the years. In fact, I used to work there from 2001 to 2008, and often was on Bill's show and was praised by Bill when I was on his show, not as a liar but as a good reporter. But that was then and this is now. So, it didn't surprise me that the tactics that Bill O'Reilly and FOX News resorted to after the story came out, was insult, bombast, denial.

But I have to say I was surprised by the use of rhetoric that had a violent tone to it. And the fact that after saying that, neither Bill O'Reilly or anybody at FOX, including some of the people I used to work with there, amicably, felt obligated to say well, you know, that's going too far. Apparently they think it's proper for one journalist to call another one names and also to say they ought to be put in the kill zone.

The thing that bothers me most about that, is that not that it scares me off the story or anything, but I have family members, I have friends who are concerned about me now. And why? Only because I'm doing my job as a reporter in Washington, D.C., not in a war zone, and yet they now fear that, you know, that language like that might have repercussions. I don't know.

I don't want to be all doomsday about it. But I do know it's highly inappropriate and just from a sake of humanity, he can call me a liar, even though he doesn't disprove, as you noted, a single fact in the story that Dan Schulman and I wrote. But talking about putting me in a place of death? I mean, if he can't recognize that's going too far, then I guess that speaks for itself.

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