Bill O’Reilly offered a harsh rejoinder to Whitney Houston’s mourners Monday when he suggested that the late singer’s drug use was evidence of suicidal tendencies. Speaking on “The O’Reilly Factor,” the conservative pundit criticized Houston’s self-destructive impulses, saying, “Whitney Houston wanted to kill herself.”
O’Reilly regularly courts controversy during the “Reality Check” segment of his show, instructing his viewers about subjects such as birth control and politics. During a segment in which he dismantled Tony Bennett’s suggestion that drugs be legalized in the wake of Houston’s passing, observing that only legal, prescription medication was reportedly found at the scene of the singer death, he argued that she is merely the latest in a long line of entertainers who engage in self-destructive behavior.
“Nobody takes drugs for that long if they want to stay on the planet,” O’Reilly said. “She follows in the footsteps of Elvis [Presley], Janis Joplin, Michael Jackson, and scores of other entertainment figures. The hard truth is that some people will always want to destroy themselves, and there’s nothing society can do about it.”
Continuing his harangue of Houston’s behavior, he condemned her physician and others around her, saying that “they had to know that she was a drug addict.” In an attempt to bring the segment back on track, refocusing on Bennett’s statements, he then went on to highlight the statistic that an estimated 75 percent of all child abuse is caused by adults who are substance abusers.