Bill O’Reilly has made a lot of offensive statements on Fox News, but this clearly has to be the most offensive. O’Reilly states that childhood poverty and hunger in the US is a myth.

O’Reilly told this to analyst Kirsten Powers this week when she called him out on the conservative belief that the poor (including the working poor) are simply looking for handouts – or as O’Reilly and other lapdogs of the 1% call it, “free stuff.” Powers accurately pointed out that:

What you call ‘free stuff’ and what Jeb Bush calls ‘free stuff’ that actually are necessities in life [sic]. So the problem with when he said ‘free stuff’ is that he’s talking about children getting food. He’s talking about people who  – a lot of the people who receive welfare, even the adults are working poor. They’re people who have jobs. But they don’t have enough money to get food.

At that point, O’Reilly cut her off: “That myth has been busted time and time again. . . . If you look at the studies of poverty, most poor people in this country have computers, have big screen TVs, have cars [and] have air conditioning.” O’Reilly continued to shoot his mouth off on this topic, calling parents who get food assistance “derelicts…who squander the food stamps that come in, who sell them on the black market.” And why are children going hungry? According to O’Reilly, their parents are “abusing them.”

O’Reilly, when are you and Fox News going to stop airing highly inflammatory, false information to your viewers? You want to know why the GOP is so hated. It’s because the majority of Americans are tired of your blatant hatred, bigotry, racism, and lies. In case you ever become concerned at all for what it’s truly like for a large percent of this country not as fortunate as you, here are the facts for the United States, as provided by Feeding America:

  • 46.7 million people (14.8 percent) live in poverty.
  • 15.5 million (21.1 percent) children under the age of 18 live in poverty.
  • 48.1 million Americans live in food-insecure households, including 32.8 million adults and 15.3 million children.
  • 14 percent of households (17.4 million households) are food-insecure.
  • 6 percent of households (6.9 million households) experience very low food security.
  • Households with children report food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 19 percent compared to 12 percent.
  • Households that have higher rates of food insecurity than the national average include households with children (19%), especially households with children headed by single women (35%) or single men (22%), Black non-Hispanic households (26%), and Hispanic households (22%).
  • 5.4 million seniors (over age 60), or 9 percent of all seniors, are food-insecure.
  • Food insecurity exists in every county in America, ranging from a low of 4 percent in Slope County, ND to a high of 33 percent in Humphreys County, MS.

If you really want to find out how severe childhood hunger is in America, watch the film A Place At The Table.

O’Reilly, your most current statement denying childhood hunger in this country proves without a question that you are an absolute ignorant prick.



K.J. McElrath is a former history and social studies teacher who has long maintained a keen interest in legal and social issues. In addition to writing for The Ring of Fire, he is the author of two published novels: Tamanous Cooley, a darkly comic environmental twist on Dante's Inferno, and The Missionary's Wife, a story of the conflict between human nature and fundamentalist religious dogma. When not engaged in journalistic or literary pursuits, K.J. works as an entertainer and film composer.