Fox News host Bill O’Reilly defended the controversial comments of his colleague Megyn Kelly, who sparked outrage last week when she said Santa Claus and Jesus Christ are both white.
“But in this case Miss Kelly is correct. Santa was a white person,” O’Reilly told viewers of the “O’Reilly Factor” Monday night.
“Does that matter?” he asked. “No, it doesn’t matter. The spirit of Santa transcends all racial boundaries. It’s a spirit based on generosity, kindness to children, and magical moments.”
He implied that outrage over Kelly’s racially-charged comments was manufactured by the “liberal media.”
Kelly was commenting on a Slate.com op-ed titled “Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore” on her show last Wednesday.
“Oh this is so ridiculous,” Kelly said, “Yet another person claiming it's racist to have a white Santa. You know?”
“And by the way, for all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white,” she added, “but this person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa.”
Her comments sparked outrage and Slate.com writer Aisha Harris wrote another article in response.
Kelly did not appear on her Thursday night show. On Friday, instead of apologizing, she told viewers the race statements were only a joke.
O’Reilly blamed the backlash on the “liberal media” and “those who despise Fox News.”
“For those who despise Fox News Channel, there is nothing magical about anything that we do here,” he said.
He said, when Fox News started 17 years ago, mainstream media thought the network would never be able to compete.
“They were wrong,” he said. “When that became apparent, the liberal media attacked and continues to do so today. Because they cannot defeat us on the media-battlefield, the far left seeks to demonize Fox News as a right wing propaganda machine and racist enterprise.”
“That’s why Miss Megyn got headlines about a Santa Clause remark that was totally harmless,” he concluded.