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.