The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Rendall,,Tel: 212-633-6700 x13

Where Is O'Reilly's Anti-Immigration Retraction?


Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has
repeatedly cited one reason to support Arizona's harsh new
anti-immigrant law: the state's exploding crime rate.

As FAIR documented in a May 17 Action Alert,
there is no such crime wave in the state. What's more, most research
shows that immigrants tend to commit less crime than the population at
The day after the FAIR
alert, O'Reilly (5/18/10) was still at it,
declaring that "crime in Arizona is up."
his guest, Cathy Areu of Catalina magazine, pointed out that the
El Paso "is one of the safest cities in the United States"-- proof
that the presence of immigrants does not increase crime--O'Reilly
replied: "That's a bunch of baloney."
He was wrong. El Paso is
regularly ranked as one of the safest cities in the United States (L.A.
, 5/13/10). In fact, border towns
with heavy levels of immigration are among the safest cities in the
U.S. (AP, 6/3/10).
On May 21, O'Reilly
claimed that Arizona is "overrun with crime and everything
else and people getting slaughtered on their ranches. I mean, it's
But since then, O'Reilly's stopped making these
false accusations. Maybe he saw the FAIR petition demanding that he
stop. Or maybe he read the story in another Murdoch-owned news outlet,
the Wall Street Journal (5/25/10), about how the newly released
FBI crime statistics for 2009 show that the violent crime rate "plunged
16.6 percent in Phoenix, despite a perception of rising crime that has
fueled an immigration backlash."

That false perception and backlash have been
perpetrated by media figures like Bill O'Reilly.
Is this Fox's way of admitting a series
of errors? If O'Reilly realized that he was wrong, then he should tell
his viewers.
Over 2,500 activists have signed the petition to Fox
demanding that O'Reilly stop his immigrant crime slurs.
Please sign and add your voice--and
we'll demand a response from Fox News Channel.

FAIR, the national media watch group, has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986. We work to invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints.