Harvard Crimson editor Bobby Samuels found out the hard way Tuesday night that if you can’t take the heat, it’s best to stay out of the proverbial kitchen, or in this case, off of Bill O’Reilly’s show.
Last night political pundit and Harvard alum Bill O’Reilly confronted Samuels on his show over the school newspaper’s disrespectful staff op-ed “Warning: Do Not Enroll” that recommended conservatives not apply to Harvard if they plan to bash the university later.
O’Reilly was one of several Republicans, including Ted Cruz and Mitt Romney, who were called out in the piece for his defamatory remarks about his alma mater.
“In November, Fox News pundit and Harvard Kennedy School graduate Bill O’Reilly glibly referred to Harvard professors as “pinheaded” while implying that the Harvard community is morally suspect for its acceptance of Harvard College Munch, a group for students who share an interest in “kinky sex,” the op-ed claimed. “Such episodes of treachery are apparently attempts to curry favor with the more anti-intellectual members of our body politic.”
O’Reilly’s “pinhead” comment came from an interview with the Harvard Crimson’s Ben Samuels – yes, Ben and Bobby are brothers – about the university’s decision to fund of Harvard College Munch, a student organization dedicated to educating students on bondage and other BDSM sexual activities.
“This is not meant to be a group just for kinky behavior. The purpose is much more education-driven,” Ben Samuels told O’Reilly in November. “A big part of any group like this is teaching safety, and there’s no question that this behavior is happening.”
Bobby, of course, didn’t “recall” that segment from November 2012 when O’Reilly brought up the topic Tuesday night, nor did he fare quite as well as his brother did during his interview with O’Reilly. In last night’s satellite appearance he attempted to walk around O’Reilly’s questions during most the segment instead of giving the host a straight answer to his questions, especially when questioned about whether he thought any of Harvard’s professors were “pinheaded.”
“I think it’s a pretty talented group of people,” Samuels said, after stumbling over his words for several seconds.
The college junior then did his best to defend the article, saying “there was a tongue-in-cheek component to it.”
“But I think taking a step back, we were commenting – while it was tongue-in-cheek commenting – seriously on the, sort of, hypocrisy embedded in coming to a school, utilizing its educational resources, and then turning around a few years later and criticizing the school, in sort of a blanket way seemingly for purposes … ” he said, before O’Reilly politely interrupted him to remind him that as a student at Harvard he paid the school’s steep tuition and has donated large amounts to the school since as an alumni.
O’Reilly added that while he was a student at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, the University’s dean as well as the deans of the Kennedy School were “fair” men. But the news anchor claimed that the current president of Kennedy Center is a “committed leftist,” and none of the 25 professors at the Shorenstein Center – the center for press politics and public policy – at the Kennedy School are Republicans.
Although O’Reilly can be abrasive at times, he was very fair to the college newspaper editor and gave him several opportunities to state his case. But Samuels never was able to put together a coherent response to O’Reilly’s questions, and eventually the FOX host had to move on, noting that if Samuels wants to come on again in the future when he is more prepared to discuss the editorial he would be welcome back on the show to redeem himself.
Watch the segment below, courtesy of the Washington Free Beacon.