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O'Reilly Has Tense Exchange With Matt Lauer on 'Today' Over Whitney Houston's Drug Use

"Let's stop exploiting it..."

Bill O'Reilly has never been one to let the media off easy, and Thursday morning was no different.

During an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC's "Today" show, O'Reilly let loose on Lauer when Lauer challenged the Fox News host's comments about Whitney Houston's death. O'Reilly has taken the position that Whitney Houston's years of drug abuse amounted to her "wanting to kill herself," while Lauer made the point that some are slaves to addiction.

"I don't believe that anyone is a slave to addiction," O'Reilly said. "I believe it is a disease, it's a mental disease. But you have free will and you can get through the disease as millions of people have chosen to do."

"We the media looked the other way on Whitney Houston," he added later. "Everyone knew she was a drug addict for two decades."

Lauer went on to say that he's seen several media reports detailing Houston's addiction, but O'Reilly responded by saying those were mainly sensationalized stories meant to exploit the star, and that the media does not do a good job of holding drug users accountable. But Lauer didn't back down, and that's when things took off.

You can watch them duke it out below starting at about 2:10:

O'Reilly visited the set of "Fox & Friends" after the debate to explain his position:

One last thing…
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