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Obama view spoiled, O'Reilly tries 'to gently remove' aide

January 06, 2008|From the Associated Press

NASHUA, N.H. — No one ever accused Bill O'Reilly of being a wilting flower.

So when the Fox News Channel commentator and interviewer appeared midway through a Barack Obama rally at a Nashua high school Saturday, his presence was evident. Tall, with camera crew in tow, O'Reilly marched forward to get a good look.

Journalists have been known to seek the best angle.

But it was after Obama's speech that O'Reilly threw some elbows. And not so figuratively, either.

Obama staffer Marvin Nicholson, a personal aide always at Obama's side during rope-line handshakes, said O'Reilly yelled at him to get out of the way of his cameraman's shot. Nicholson said O'Reilly came around the waist-high barricade separating Obama from well-wishers.

"Then he grabbed me with both of his arms and tried to push me out of the way," Nicholson said after the campaign agreed to make him available to reporters.

O'Reilly, interviewed afterward by phone on Fox News, said he tried "to gently remove" Nicholson because he was standing in front of Fox's camera.

"We're sorry we had to have that little confrontation, but no one on this Earth is going to block a shot on 'The O'Reilly Factor.' It is not going to happen," O'Reilly said.

The scene was hard to miss. O'Reilly is about 6 feet 5. Nicholson is 6 feet 8.

"I told him, 'Sir, I would appreciate it if you wouldn't shove me anymore,' " Nicholson said. "He called me 'low class.' He was pretty upset."

Secret Service agents assigned to protect Obama ordered O'Reilly back behind the barricade.

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