Bill O'Reilly seemed unenthused with Vermont ice cream owners Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (more commonly known as Ben & Jerry), during his Fox News show Tuesday night.
O'Reilly seemed perturbed over the ice cream owners' involvement with the Occupy Wall Street movement, specifically their decision to raise $2 million to fund who O'Reilly called "anarchists, agitators, [and] destructive people."
Earlier this week, Cohen and Greenfield announced that they would donate a large sum of money to the movement and provide grants of up to $25,000 to "core activists." They also said they want to raise enough funds to cover rent expenses at what they hope will become the Occupy Wall Street headquarters in Manhattan.
O'Reilly likened the grants to salaries and called the idea "dangerous," as Cohen and Greenfield will pay "people to agitate all across the U.S.A." He added, "...We have seen in cities like Oakland and New York [that] people get hurt. But apparently Ben and Jerry don't care."
O'Reilly wondered if Cohen and Greenfield could be held legally responsible if any of their grantees commit crimes. "Finally let me throw out a hypothetical. If Ben and Jerry are paying agitators and those people kill someone or destroy property or hurt a police officer or commit violent crimes in their tent cities, can Ben and Jerry be held legally responsible? That's an interesting question. Their foundation is paying folks who commit crimes; certainly the legal system must take a look at it," he said.
O'Reilly also said that Cohen and Greenfield's involvement has shifted the mission of the movement. "At this point Occupy is not a genuine protest. Instead it's a fabricated operation designed to create as much chaos as possible in order to demonize the capitalistic system," he said.
O'Reilly has remained a harsh critic of the Occupy movement since its inception. In October, O'Reilly told Barbara Walters that he believed the protesters preferred America was "quasi-socialist."
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