January 6th, 2008
10:10 AM ET
12 years ago

O'Reilly gets in confrontation with Obama staffer

O'Reilly got into a confrontation with an Obama staffer Saturday.

O'Reilly got into a confrontation with an Obama staffer Saturday.

(CNN) - Fox News talk show host Bill O'Reilly had a confrontation with a staffer for Barack Obama’s campaign that the aide and several eyewitnesses claim became physical.

The incident began when O’Reilly tried to get Obama’s attention after a Nashua campaign event. He allegedly began yelling at Obama’s National Trip Director Marvin Nicholson to get out of the way. O’Reilly then, according to eyewitness accounts, shoved the staffer.

Nicholson told CNN O'Reilly grabbed him by the arm and started "pushing" him. Nicholson also said that when he asked O'Reilly to stop pushing him, the talk-show host responded that he was "low class."

O’Reilly soon got Obama’s attention, and the two men spoke briefly.

"They shook hands and Mr. O'Reilly said that he thought Sen. Obama was great and that he loved him, and he'd love to have him on the show," Nicholson said. "And then the senator said that he would think about coming on the show after the primaries."

Then the Secret Service intervened to ask O’Reilly to step back behind the barricade that marked the press area.

Speaking later on Fox News, O'Reilly said he tried to "gently remove" the Obama staffer so his camera could get a shot of the Illinois senator.

"We're sorry we had to have that little confrontation," O'Reilly added, "but no one on this earth is going to block a shot on The O'Reilly Factor. It is not going to happen."

Related video: Obama aide: O'Reilly shoved me

- CNN's Chris Welch contributed to this report

soundoff (775 Responses)
  1. Chromey

    This is not the place to debate which candidate is best.
    The biggest problem here is that Barack's people will probably just let the situation drop so people will forget about it. Unfortunately, this would have been the perfect opportunity to finally show all of O'Reilly's supporters what a sleaze he really is. I can't wait to see Bill in a courtroom answering to a judge about something like this.

    January 6, 2008 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  2. Doc

    Just indicative of someone who feels they can do and say as they please and all need to kow-tow to him. Keith Olbermann has his number and skewers this pompous and supercilious person nightly in his "Worst Persons" segment. What a crybaby...

    January 6, 2008 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  3. Kelly Watson

    Looks like and Assault and Battery to me, and Im a Lawyer

    January 6, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  4. E. Willard

    We like Bill O'Reilly, and we would hope that he does not continue to "misbehave" in the manner attributed to him with respect to getting a "shot of Obama". He should treat everyone with respect just as he wishes to be treated. I would lalso like to add that when we first started watching his show, he seemed honest, forthright and not the least bit biased. Lately, Bill appears to have gotten off this track and is very biased almost to the brink of hysteria if an opposing view is presented. Is this the beginning of the end? Thank you.

    January 6, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  5. Jack Barnett

    I don't like Bill O'Reilly, but I don't think he's a psycho. It doesn't make sense that because someone stepped in front of the camera he would carry on in such a manner. Bill claims that when the camera man moved, the staffer stepped right in front of it again. Given their dislike of Fox (how many of the democratic candidates refuse to be on Fox?), it's not hard for me to believe a staffer would do this.

    Do I know the truth? No, but at least give me the full story.

    What's most disappointing is that CNN would leave this part of Bill's explanation out of their story when I know I heard it before they came to print (11:59PM). This just makes me question anything they write.

    As John Lennon wrote in a song, just give me some truth.

    January 6, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  6. Donna

    So why watch his show? Maybe a decline in viewers would get the attention of Fox. Perhaps Dr. Phil can intervene – alittle anger management!

    January 6, 2008 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  7. Justice Stick, DuBois, PA

    Rock On, Billy O!

    January 6, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  8. sam

    H has made lots of moey being a jerk....This guy is the worst. I guess everyone below him is a low life.

    January 6, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  9. Louis B.Applebaum

    Big Bill.Gotta get the story.All in the career of a man who wants the final word.No big deal.Don't blow it up into something that is nothing

    January 6, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  10. Fekhten

    Yet more evidence that many commentators think they have license to be complete jerks. Who does he think he is?

    January 6, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  11. Bob

    At least he didn't send any naughty cell phone messages to Obama. He's just being his usual a-whole.

    January 6, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  12. unnamed assailant

    O,Reilly calling someone low class? LOL! There is no one in the world with less class and more crass than Bill.

    January 6, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  13. Leo Pappalardo

    I watch the debate last night and I am amazed that anyone would vote for John McCain. If he knew how to answer a question and not circumvent the question I would be amazed. I think is the WORSE candidate in the history of the GOP.

    January 6, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  14. MM

    Ahhh, BDS in full bloom.

    January 6, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  15. Mark Fuller

    If it was that was you or me that did that we would have been on the ground with handcuffs on. He makes his living on double standards and I'm tired of it.

    January 6, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  16. John Maglinger, Owensboro, Kentucky

    O'Reilly and Fox News. There's a combo to make the Devil smile.

    January 6, 2008 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  17. Chris Myers

    Obama,

    Inexerienced flip-flopper who should be at the kiddie table of politics.

    Bill Oreily, A quality newman.

    CNN, petty and a has been in the news business.

    January 6, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  18. Carol, Pittsburgh, PA

    I'm surprised Bill-O didn't call Mr. Nicholson a "left winger" or a "secular progressive." What the heck is that?? He makes up and uses these absurd terms to divide us as a people and as a country! He should be banned from the air waves, except - oh yeah, we have freedom of speech. Someday, he'll make a major gaffe, and Fox News will understand what a "blight on humanity" he is! I can't believe any thinking, breathing human being would listen to him, let alone buy his drivel!

    January 6, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  19. Kevin, Landover, MD

    Obama owes O'Reilly or Fuax News NOTHING except a dish served cold called REVENGE ! as in NOT EVER giving interviews or appearences on Faux. (For the paranoid people who thought I ment something else). Now stop removing my comment.

    At the very beginning they assaulted Obama’s integrity, reputation and everything else.

    Now O'Reilly thinks he can jump on board the Obama Train and get and interview. DREAM ON O'Reilly. You low class reporter.

    January 6, 2008 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  20. Pete weaver

    We watch Bill orielly at our house

    The different candidates running for president thinking they can keep repoters no matter who they arefrom doing there job of taking video or still shots of anyone running for President is Ludicrouse. If they don't want any news people taking piictures at an event shoiud not be running for office.

    By keeping fox news or any news from and event shows they hav some thing to hide

    January 6, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  21. jerry

    Why would anyone want to talk to Barack Obama or take his picture??? The mind boggles???

    January 6, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  22. JB Boston MA

    Hey EH-

    You are dumb. You say that Bill Oreilly is a racist. How do you know this? Because "most Irish men are".

    ARE YOU FOR REAL? You do realize that is racism right?

    January 6, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  23. Antonio Gonzalez

    I am sure Nicholson is a afroamerica. Then he is low class for O Really.

    January 6, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  24. Jack Socks

    Mr O'Reilly is out of control and only demonstrates the mindset of our news media as a group.
    I believe he should be watched closely for this aggressive physical behavior.
    Once you feel you are above legal and ethical behavior the euphoria will continue to escalate, and he will act like this again.
    You would thin a man of his self awarded stature would conduct business more professionally, but it seems sensationalism drives our media mentality.

    January 6, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  25. Saria

    I think O' Reilly he is a nice person and some times fair,but that little man Shawn
    Hannity look like Indian acting he is way better than any body he calls all the time
    Fox news fair and blance, when he attacks every body except repuplican.
    That is not fair and blance he need to change for Fox and repuplican. I can wait when next election for democarat and Hanity. Colmes, Alen you are great journalist keep doing for good work for American people.

    Love,

    Saria

    January 6, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
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