January 6th, 2008
10:10 AM ET
13 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. John, New York, NY

    We always knew that Bill O'Reilly was a bullying thug. Having him accused of physical violence comes as no surprise.

    January 5, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  2. Mike McMahon, Asbury Park

    Horse's ass

    January 5, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  3. RJB, Boston

    Its the weak and insecure who make displays of arrogance and temper. cant help but feel sorry for those who have no choice but to live with such a man everyday.

    January 5, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  4. Linda

    Big bad Bully Bill..... Loofa Falafel. This guy needs to learn manners. Hear he's Tall! So this gives him a reason to push his way around? Go play on the Freeway BillO.

    January 5, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  5. Jeremy D'Arcy

    It's amazing to me, yet no surprise that O'Reilly would call someone "low-class". It's just typical behavior from a Republican Conservative. Though what is not so typical is the graciousness of Obama to consider being on his show. That's why this candidate is inspiring so many people. He has a fresh, positive and inclusive approach to politics. That is why we need him as our next President. No other candidate has the worldly experience and outlook. And in this new World community, we need a leader who can see beyond his own backyard, to see how U.S. policies affect the rest of the world. A leader who brings people together, not one that divide us on one or two issues. The mark of a true leader is one who can find the common ground between disparate groups of people. Not those who would rather use the difference for political gain, like Rove, and Bush.

    January 5, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  6. Tony, Indianapolis IN

    This guy is like a cartoon. Entertaining, maybe... but how could anyone turn to this guy for serious political analysis?

    January 5, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  7. Chuck Hatt

    Once again the man proves he is a low class and brutish vulgarian.

    January 5, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  8. Bobby

    Hey Bill , after all these years of listening to you about equal treatment for all, I finally came down to the conclusion that you are one BIG Irish bully. You have been saying on your show that Obama hasn't have a shot to defeat Hillary, but yet HE DID! and beat her quite handily I might add! You are not GOD Mr.Oreilly – the people of the United States want experience and change, and they are going to get that in a Barack Obama presidency. Don't worry, an Obama presidency won't take away much of your money Bill – so don't worry too. By the way, CNN is coming up in ranks (Lou Dobbs, Blitzer, etc.) My advice to you would be not to assault any more people if you want to hold onto to your listening audience that you have remaining, especially after an Obama victory in November.


    January 5, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  9. PW Va

    Consider the source. O'reilly is nothing more than a puffed-up bag of hot air, a bully...a non-entity in the grand scheme of things. Is that pithy enough for you, Bill???

    January 5, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  10. mike

    Maybe somebody in Bill organization should remind him that the pecking order in post or pre election interviews is: journalist, entertainers, and then the circus folk.

    January 5, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  11. MC- Atlanta,GA

    O'reiley is nothing more than an arrogant S.O.B – the no spin zone, yea right. Bill does nothing but spin things to the right. He's an idiot.

    January 5, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  12. Prasanna Padmanabhan

    Just goes to show how desparate and uncomforatble O'Reilly is getting as Obama and the other Democratic front-runners are starting to become formidable candidates against the Republican band-wagon. I am looking forward to seeing Obama eloquently "tackling" O'Reilly in his own show after the primaries.

    January 5, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  13. Lee Burkins

    The epitome of self-importance for the gods of media.

    January 5, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  14. Jim

    There are no comments at this time . . . Think maybe no one is surprised at O'Reilly?

    January 5, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  15. Caine

    It is just as well that O'Reilly is caught doing literally what he figuratively does to his guests on his show. And his response, "no one on this earth is going to block a shot on The O'Reilly Factor."? – Well, he has followed the same steamrolling tactics with his guest "interviews" where O'Reilly is not interested in any opinion but his own; worse, he uses them primarily to spew vitriol, his and his alone.

    January 5, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  16. Will

    Does someone like O'Reilly really think he's owed anything special over the rest of the press.

    O'reilly needs to take chill pill.

    Unlike most reporters, FOX apparently thinks it has some divine destiny that makes it more important then other news companies.

    Certainly you wouldn't see Matt Lauer try to pull something like this.

    How about ASKING for a shot instead of call his staffer "low class"?!

    Every time I here something about this guy it's negative...shesh

    Barack Obama shouldn't have entrained him at all.

    After something like that, I wouldn't even come on his show.

    Good chance O'Reilly my hit him if he doesn't get a good shot.

    January 5, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  17. warren g

    Bill is a real jerk. What a maniac

    January 5, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  18. Ken

    I like you Bill, but don't get so big headed that you think you are above the rules, laws or protocal. When you think you are you will be brought down fast and hard. "no one on earth sure seems like you geting a bit big for your briches.

    January 5, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  19. Linda Eng

    We Americans should all exhibit the passion that Bill O'Reilly lives, eats, sleeps, breathes for our great country and for what is right.

    Linda Eng

    January 5, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  20. Torpedo Stations

    Not even Water Boarding could get Bill to tell the TRUTH.

    January 5, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  21. Rob

    He wants to bully Obama. This is an attempt to smear the man. Shame on you Bill!! That was simple battery on the staffer. Secret service almost choked him out. How can he spin THIS?

    January 5, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  22. Kathryn LeBaron

    We all know who the real "Low Class" person really is!!

    January 5, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  23. JN

    You know, we had a similar issue with Connie Chung here in OKC after the Murrah bombing.

    Chung reached out and grabbed the governor of our state as he was being shown around the site–grabbing him as though he were just some bozo walking by and her show was more important than anything else–and shoved a microphone in his face. He was gracious enough to stop and say a few words, though like most of us, he was pretty devastated by the loss of life.

    That same day, she had the temerity to ask one of the people in charge of the site–the fire department chief, if memory serves–if he could "handle something of this magnitude." People, it was one building. We have tornadoes that destroy entire towns, something that we are prepared for and deal with yearly, and Chung was standing within easy walking distance of three major hospitals and easy driving distance of three more. Two of those hospitals are internationally known.

    Chung left OKC shortly thereafter, having been rather forcibly invited to leave. To my knowledge, she has not been back since. My memory is that shortly after that, she stepped back on her hosting duties to "spend more time with her family."

    These "journalists"–media opportunists as far as I am concerned–need to be reined in by public opinion or by the law. If O'Reilly's faithful are not going to speak up the way we did in OKC, then arrest O'Reilly for assault and put him in the pokey for a while. This might wise him up to the fact that he is just another citizen like the rest of us and has no right to act as he does.

    January 5, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  24. Stu Dornblaser

    O'Reilly is a jerk and a bully. He shouldn't have gotten that far.

    January 5, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  25. GUGY, La Jolla, CA

    O'Reilly is a jerk. He is notorious for that kind of behavior.

    January 5, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
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