Washington, D.C.-United Nations Foundation President, Timothy E. Wirth, today called for Fox News to withdraw and publicly apologize for remarks made by the network’s Bill O’Reilly. O’Reilly said he “wished” that Hurricane Katrina had hit the United Nations building in New York City.
Mr. O’Reilly’s comments were made during his radio program, The Radio Factor, on the day that hundreds of world leaders, including President Bush, were gathered at the UN for the opening of the 59th UN General Assembly meeting.Mr. O’Reilly’s exact comments were:
“Bush to address the U.N., says we must be steadfast in battling terrorism. I’m sure all the U.N. people fell asleep. They don’t really care about anything over there at all. I just wish Katrina had only hit the United Nations building, nothing else, just had flooded them out. And I wouldn’t have rescued them.”
Attached please find Senator Wirth’s letter to the head of Fox News.
September 16, 2005
Mr. Roger Ailes
Chairman and Chief Executive Office
Fox News Network
New York, New York
I was astonished and appalled by the comments made by Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly on his September 14th radio show, The Radio Factor. O’Reilly said he wished that the deadly Hurricane Katrina would have hit the United Nations building and flooded it. He added that if it was up to him, he would not have rescued anyone.
Mr. O’Reilly should be required to withdraw these remarks. And both Mr. O’Reilly and Fox should make an immediate and public apology.
Some weeks ago Pat Robertson made a mistake in calling for the assassination of a head of state – and then he had the decency to apologize and withdraw his comments. Bill O’Reilly should do the same.
Timothy E. Wirth,
President, The United Nations Foundation