Actor Tom Hanks Says of Bill O’Reilly Labeling Him ‘Ideological Sniper’: ‘Everybody Has a TV Show To Do -- That’s Fine’

March 15, 2010 - 4:25 PM
Bill O'Reilly, host of "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News Channel, recently labeled Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks an "ideological sniper," and said that if the actor has a "political beef" with "Fox News or conservatives or whomever, he should state it."
(CNSNews.com) - Bill O’Reilly, host of “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News Channel, recently labeled Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks an “ideological sniper,” and said that if the actor has a “political beef” with “Fox News or conservatives or whomever, he should state it.” Hanks shrugged off the remark in an interview with CNSNews.com, saying that "everybody has a TV show to do."
 
CNSNews.com asked Tom Hanks to respond to Bill O’Reilly’s comments at an event on the National Mall last week to honor veterans of the war in the Pacific.
 
Hanks said, “I’m an actor talking about my work. I don’t know what kind of sniping that is. Down through history, there has always been a brand of organ that is communicating one type of ideology. If you can go back to the times of the election between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, that was a poison pen of a campaign and there were newspapers that spread outright lies about each side.”
 

 
Hanks continued: “I don’t mean to let -- I probably let slip something that might have been more of my personal judgment more than anything else, but look, he’s, everybody has a TV show to do, that’s fine. Anybody can say anything they want to about this in our great big America. There’s room for everything.”

On the March 5 edition of “The O’Reilly Factor,” Bill O’Reilly said of Hanks: “If he has a political beef with Fox News or conservatives or whomever, he should state it. Be a man. Tell us what you think. Most Americans respect that. But, over the years, Mr. Hanks has become an ideological sniper. And I still don't know why he's like that. What's his beef? What's he talking about? Nobody knows. Now, that doesn't diminish his talent, which is major, but it does make him kind of a mindless partisan. Again, state your case, Tom. Don't be a pinhead.”

Below is a transcript of the exchange between Tom Hanks and CNSNews.com:

 
Hanks: “You going to try to trick me into something else? Keep going, keep going, no worries.”
 
CNSNews.com: “I’m not trying to trick you. I’m just –  I want to ask you also about Fox News. After your appearance on MSNBC, Bill O’Reilly took some shots at you specifically, on air. He said quote, ‘If he has a political beef with Fox News or conservatives or whomever, he should state it. Mr. Hanks has become an ideological sniper and I still don’t know why he’s like that.’ Do you have a response to Mr. O’Reilly?”
 
Hanks: “I’m an actor talking about my work. I don’t know what kind of sniping that is. Down through history, there has always been a brand of organ that is communicating one type of ideology. If you can go back to the times of the election between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, that was a poison pen of a campaign and there were newspapers that spread outright lies about each side.”
 
Hanks: “I don’t mean to let, I probably let slip something that might have been more of my personal judgment more than anything else but, look, he’s, everybody has a TV show to do -- that’s fine. Anybody can say anything they want to about this in our great big America. There’s room for everything.”