Hanabusa, O'Reilly tangle over report
Jan 12, 2013 (The Honolulu Star-Advertiser - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A week after calling for an apology from television personality Bill O'Reilly, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa appeared Friday on his Fox News program to confront the conservative host about a recent report examining Hawaii's liberal values and his characterization of the islands' Asian population.
Hanabusa said producers contacted her to see whether she wanted to discusss the matter on air.
"I think whenever you're able to tell him what you think, irrespective of whether he's listening or he will be convinced or not, the reason you're doing it is because you're hoping that there's some people out there whose image of Hawaii that he may have painted will somehow think twice about what he has said," Hanabusa said in an interview after the segment, taped earlier Friday, aired on "The O'Reilly Factor."
In a segment last week, O'Reilly questioned Hawaii's Democratic bent and liberal values. He and correspondent Jesse Watters, who was sent to Hawaii to do interviews, attempted to explain some of the state's social ills, including "rampant" drug addiction, homelessness and "enormous debt."
During that piece, O'Reilly commented on the state's Asian population, adding, "Asian people are not liberal by nature. They're usually more industrious and hardworking."
On Friday the roughly eight-minute segment began with Hanabusa, by remote camera from Fox affiliate KHON-TV studio, addressing O'Reilly's comment on Asians.
"You just basically said we (Asians) couldn't be from a liberal state," she said.
O'Reilly said the comment was taken out of context and then criticized Hanabusa -- after getting her to acknowledge she did not see the segment in its entirety -- for coming after him.
"If the Asian comment was in the context of Watters going to Hawaii, interviewing guys in recliners who are on unemployment, sitting back in the beautiful sun saying, 'You know what, gimme stuff. I don't wanna work for it,' that's what it was," O'Reilly said. "It wasn't an Asian-American report."
As they argued and talked over each other, O'Reilly again raised the issues of Hawaii's drug problems, homelessness, debt and food stamp usage, saying the state had established an entitlement system and a "liberal culture" that encourages such problems.
"We are by your definition liberal because we care," Hanabusa said. "All I'm saying is when you characterize us in Hawaii, be aware that you're talking about a culture of people who have managed to live together and work together."
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