President Obama is launching a new outreach program to African-American voters, a strategy that temporarily left Bill O’Reilly asking questions on his program today. What kind of events would African-American outreach entail, he asked guest Marc Lamont Hill, “is he going to be on Soul Train?” Hill, taken a bit by surprise, then had to explain that Soul Train was not an accurate understanding of black culture in 2011, adding “you know you’re going to be on Media Matters for that one.”
The discussion on tonight’s Factor began far from the world of early disco music, with discussion of a column Hill wrote on the Republican infatuation, as he saw it, with candidates who appeared anti-intellectual. “There’s always a smart candidate,” he argued, beginning with Newt Gingrich as the paradigm, but “Republicans don’t pick the smart candidate.” He continued to explain that Republicans “beat up on guys like [Sen.] John Kerry for speaking French,” which O’Reilly found to be an insufficient article, using President George W. Bush as a counter-example, as a graduate from Ivy League schools. “His grades were two standard deviations below the norm,” Hill replied.
O’Reilly then shifted gears to President Obama’s African American outreach initiative, asking, “what does that entail, going on Soul Train?” Hill, laughing, replied “you know you’re going to be on Media Matters for that!” an objection to which O’Reilly replied that it was a “popular show” that he “really liked,” since The O’Jays were “one of my favorite groups.” “No, it’s not!” Hill corrected (in O’Reilly’s defense, Soul Train was on until 2006, but probably stopped being relevant a decade or two before that, since Don Cornelius wasn’t even around at some point). Hill then explained what actual outreach in the black community means, which includes “going into communities, talking to everyday people… making sure people are registered to vote,” as well as holding meetings with certain leaders in the community.
O’Reilly concluded the segment asking whether Soul Train was still on the air (no), and exclaiming that he “loved” the show– which, given that his go-to commercial music is often a surprise combination of obscure disco hits and he claimed his Blackberry wakes him up with disco music in the middle of the night during the mail segment last night, is not a difficult claim to believe. “You’re going to get mail on this!” Hill teased at the end of the segment.
The segment via Fox News below:
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