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Bill O'Reilly on Beyonce's 'Partition' Video: 'That's Art?!'

The TV talking head summons Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons to "explain" Bey's clip

March 11, 2014 6:10 PM ET
Bill O'Reilly
Bill O'Reilly
Ray Tamarra/WireImage

Conservative TV pundit Bill O'Reilly could not wrap his head around Beyoncé's recent video for "Partition," a track off last year's Beyoncé album, so he turned to Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons to explain it to him on his Fox show on Monday night, as spotted by Mediaite.

The windup was typically confrontational: He started off by saying, "Explain this" to Simmons and goes on to complain that the steamy video, which includes some backseat canoodling, glorified having sex in the backseat of a limo and that that was a bad impression to give teenage "girls of color" who consider the former Destiny's Child frontwoman "an idol." Whether intentional or not, he also mispronounces the word "meditation" as "mediation" in the title of the book Simmons was plugging, Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple.

'Beyoncé' Breakdown: The Ultimate Guide to Bey's Surprise New Album

Simmons' justification was rational and even-keeled. He said that as the father of two children, who both attend a school for the gifted, he has no problem driving them to school while listening to "the most commercial radio station" that beeps out expletives. "They've heard most of that language," he said. "My daughters make choices based on the inspiration that we give them as parents."

O'Reilly countered by saying that Simmons is a good father and that not every child gets that kind of guidance, and that's when the record-industry vet used a word that flummoxed the TV host. "Bill, if you think that the art that comes out of a community – "

O'Reilly interrupted: "That's art?! Beyoncé in the back of a limo having sex and referencing Monica Lewinsky, is art?"

"Yeah, it is actually," Simmons said. "She's a brilliant artist. And she's not only [appreciated] by people of color, as you know, she's really one of the top artists in the world [to] people of every color."

"Yeah, she is, and I can't understand why the woman did it," O'Reilly said.

In other news about Bill O'Reilly's wacky opinions, Salon reports that the TV talking head offered up a revelation during the same broadcast about why he thinks the press "defends" President Barack Obama. Speaking with another Fox News pundit, Bernie Goldberg, O'Reilly said, "He's their guy because he's a liberal African-American."

Goldberg concurred: "[Obama] is young, he's cool, he's black and he's liberal. That's it."

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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