Former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly wrote a column for The Hill on Wednesday, and in it, he claimed that President Donald Trump was correct in calling out both the "alt-right" and the "alt-left," and added that the media's preoccupation with the tragedy is a ploy to further damage the Trump administration.
O'Reilly excoriated several media outlets in his op-ed, and noted that the only mistake Trump made was to inject "different opinions into a story where only one point of view is tolerated by the media: Nazi thugs are totally responsible for everything that happened in Charlottesville. Period. If you dissent then you are a Nazi sympathizer."
The former Fox News host added that Trump's response was directed at his base as well as the media, who he says have been fixated on white nationalists in recent months.
"To understand why the president is elongating the controversy," O'Reilly explained, "you have to realize the depth of his resentment towards the activist left. From the beginning of his foray into politics, the hard left has demonized him in vicious ways. Entire news organizations are working to destroy him." He noted that Trump and his supporters are "very, very angry" about the media's portrayal of the administration.
“So the president vents by attacking 'fake news' and highlighting the sins of the left every chance he gets. For him, this is fair payback for what he has endured. He sees his opponents as dishonest, deserving of constant disparagement.
That’s what is happening in the Charlottesville situation. Mr. Trump knows that Nazi sympathizers are bad people but to him they are few in number and have little significance.”
O'Reilly added that it's "the truth" that white supremacists egged on violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, but countered that by saying that "some radical leftist counter protesters wanted the same thing, knowing they would likely get a press pass for their violent actions."
"That's exactly what happened," O'Reilly wrote. "For the Trump-hating left it worked out great. They confronted and exposed the vile Nazis, while also managing to bait the president into a controversy that has hurt him."
O'Reilly concluded with a warning that the U.S. is entering the early phases of a civil war.
"In America there is, indeed, a civil war underway," he said. "And the president along with his supporters will lose that war unless they fight it smarter. Anytime Nazis are involved you condemn them and walk away. That's all. There will be time to expose the hard left fanatics down the road. It's all about picking your spots. It's all about an effective wartime strategy."