July 10, 2013

 

Trayvon Martin Trayvon Martin supporters (Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

In a discussion of race and the George Zimmerman case on last night’s “O’Reilly Factor,” Fox News host Bill O’Reilly thought he’d come up with a revealing statistic. A resounding piece of data. A mind-blowing number. A jaw-dropping factoid.

The cable-news king was chatting with the Rev. Jacques DeGraff and citing the problem that “overwhelmingly violent crime in this country is generated by young black men. Am I wrong?” DeGraff took issue with the suggestion that somehow violent crime was in the DNA of young black men, noting that “certain conditions” and geography play a role in the problem.

Then O’Reilly unsheathed his data point:

O’REILLY: Well when — then how — if that’s your contention, Reverend, what do you — how do you react to this statistic? And this is unbelievable: In 2011, 91 percent of all black Americans who were murdered, 91 percent were murdered by other black Americans. I mean that — that cuts across every geographical boundary — 91 percent.

DeGraff responded that “most crimes are committed by people from the ethnic group of the perpetrator.”

And how! Have a look at this report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. From 1980 through 2008, 84 percent of white murder victims were killed by whites; 93 percent of black murder victims were killed by blacks. So just how unbelievable does O’Reilly’s statistic appear now?

As the discussion rolled on, O’Reilly bashed the media a bit: “There is no way on earth this trial should be getting this much coverage. And the only reason it’s doing it is because it’s a light-skinned Hispanic against a black kid.”

Funny thing: The Erik Wemple Blog seems to recall some recent “O’Reilly Factor” segments on the trial. This is one host who understands where his ratings are coming from.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.
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