On “The O’Reilly Factor” Tuesday, the conservative host evoked the name of Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.), who in the 1950s fueled paranoia that many Americans, including entertainers, were communists out to subvert the United States. Earlier congressional grilling of show business figures suspected of having communist ties was not under McCarthy’s auspices, but O’Reilly asserted that his actions (which mainly targeted federal employees) led to a Hollywood blacklist “where people were not hired because McCarthy smeared them.”
Fast forward to the upcoming inauguration, which at the moment features such low-wattage acts as Jackie Evancho from “America’s Got Talent” and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. (A fellow mormon launched a petition imploring them not to appear at the Jan. 20 event and one choir member resigned in protest against the president-elect.)
“The harsh truth is that there is reverse McCarthyism going on in the entertainment industry,” O’Reilly said.
“A number of entertainers believe their careers will be harmed should they associate with a new Trump administration,” the host concluded “... It’s an awful state of affairs. Talking Points believes that enough is enough with the anti-Trump movement. Man won the election. Give him a chance. Respect the process and stop the nonsense.”
Stick around in the clip above for his debate with Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer, who took issue with O’Reilly’s lack of proof and cracked, “I find it hard to get exercised over the fact that we may be short a Rockette at the inaugural celebration.”
UPDATE: This story has been updated to correct historical inaccuracies presented by Bill O’Reilly.