The Chicago Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet blogs about a minor kerfuffle between Bill O’Reilly and someone on Barack Obama’s staff…
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly got into a confrontation with an Obama aide after O’Reilly started screaming at him as he tried to get Barack Obama’s attention following a rally here. O’Reilly eventually did chat briefly with Obama and asked him to be a guest on his show.
The incident was triggered when O’Reilly–with a Fox News crew shooting–was screaming at Obama National Trip Director Marvin Nicholson “Move” so he could get Obama’s attention, according to several eyewitnesses. “O’Reilly was yelling at him, yelling at his face,” a photographer shooting the scene said.
ICN heard that an O’Reilly camera crew was being blocked which was the reason for the initial confrontation — O’Reilly was in the ropeline and someone tried to block his shot. After the incident, Senator Obama spoke with O’Reilly for about a minute and said that he would be a guest on the Factor at some point — the exchange was cordial.
At 3pm O’Reilly talked with Brian Wilson by phone about this…(video via Johnny Dollar)
Update: The New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny blogs that there are photographs showing that the Secret Service did get involved…
Photographs of the incident show that Secret Service agents intervened after Mr. O’Reilly pushed Mr. Nicholson.
Update 2: Slate’s John Dickerson tailed O’Reilly at the event apparently on the hunch that something might go down (or so he says anyways)…
O’Reilly took up a position along the narrow column by the doorway created for Obama’s departure. The press really isn’t supposed to line up against the steel barriers that protect the candidate from the crush of the crowd but it’s not an ironclad rule. We all break it from time to time covering the news. With his camera crew behind him and the sound boom overhead, O’Reilly waited to grab the senator on his way out the door. I had been watching him since his arrival (his group had bumped into me at one of the two press platforms), and I followed him to watch the spectacle it was certain he would create.
At first, the railing where O’Reilly stood wasn’t very populated. Then, as the Obama team saw who was laying in wait, they started to huddle. Staffers started to arrive at the scene. Three policemen showed up, too. One of them stood in front of O’Reilly until O’Reilly asked him to move. One of Obama’s staffers Marvin Nicholson, took up the same post, standing in front of the Fox camera as Obama neared the door.
“You’re blocking our shot,” yelled O’Reilly.
“Oh, am I?” asked the Obama staffer, not entirely sincerely and not moving.
This is not a new trick. When staffers block you because you’re being too aggressive, the standard thing to do is give them a little business and then move to another spot. O’Reilly didn’t do this. He shoved the Obama aide. There was an exchange and a little more shoving. I didn’t fully capture because as I looked at O’Reilly in his black leather Fox jacket, which resembled the kind we wore during football season in high school, I swore I could hear him challenge the staffer to a rumble out by the drive-in.
Update 3: O’Reilly was also at a Hillary Clinton event. USA Today’s Mark Memmott and Jill Lawrence have that story…
When everyone was seated, Clinton quickly moved to questions. Her first questioner said Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News personality, wanted to know her plan for removing troops from Iraq.
“Bill O’Reilly! How are you?” Clinton greeted him with a big grin. The audience booed, but she interrupted.:”You gotta give him points for courage.”