Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, slammed a Florida School district’s decision to temporarily remove his books from library shelves over fears of violating the state’s new laws banning materials with “sexual conduct” from schools.
The Escambia County School District pulled more than 1,000 book titles as part of its review of Florida’s HB1069 bill. The bill, signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) last year, gives Floridians the authority to challenge any book that “depicts or describes sexual conduct” and demand its removal from library shelves.
Republicans, like O’Reilly, celebrated the move at the time claiming it was necessary to protect children from ‘pornographic’ materials in schools.
A year later, O’Reilly is demanding answers after two of his books –Killing Jesus: A History, and Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency–are targeted under the law.
O’Reilly called the removal of his books “absurd” and “preposterous”.
“When DeSantis signed the book law, I supported the theme because there was abuse going on in Florida. There were far-left progressive people trying to impose an agenda on children, there’s no doubt about it. And the state has an obligation to protect children. But the wording of the law was far too nebulous in Tallahassee,” O’Reilly told Newsweek Friday. “So, that law needs to be tightened up, DeSantis needs to come out publicly and say ‘this is insane, we’re not going to cooperate with this and we’re going to investigate the people who did it.'”
O’Reilly said he and his team will “find out exactly who made the decisions to temporarily take them out of the library in this country, I’m going to put their pictures up on television and on my website … and I’m going to ask them for a detailed explanation of why they did that.”
A spokesperson for the school district previously said in a statement that the books aren’t being banned, they’re just pulled for review to ensure they comply with the new law.
“The 1000+ books they reference have not been banned or removed from the school district; rather, they have simply been pulled for further review to ensure compliance with the new legislation,” the spokesperson said. “To suggest otherwise is disingenuous and counterproductive.”