Bill O'Reilly slammed the "birther" story Monday night on his show, saying that he had investigated the theory last year and debunked it.
But although he questioned why CNN's Lou Dobbs was still discussing the theory on the air, O'Reilly disagreed with those who would like to see Dobbs kicked off the air, defending his free speech rights in a spirited discussion with the Southern Poverty Law Center's president Richard Cohen.
In his "Talking Points Memo" segment, O'Reilly said:
"That theory has been around for a while. The Factor investigated, found out it's bogus. But Mr. Dobbs is still engaged...
Again, we found out that President Obama was born in Hawaii.. we were sent the documents. And what are you gonna do? I don't know why it's still around..."
But O'Reilly disputed Cohen's assertion that Dobbs should be kicked off the air, telling him:
"Why are you guys overreacting?... It's not true. Mr. Dobbs is is trying to get ratings, trying to be provocative."
Cohen called O'Reilly's explanation a "poor excuse" and accused Dobbs of "trading in right-wing baseless conspiracies for years."
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