O’Reilly puts Casteen, Cavalier Daily on notice
In a segment on the September 13 broadcast of the O'Reilly Factor, Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly called out University of Virginia president John Casteen, saying that he was "hiding behind his desk" and called on his viewers to flood Casteen's office with letters.
Those remarks came during a segment about two cartoons run in the August 23 and 24 editions of the Cavalier Daily. Drawn by third year Grant Woolard as part of his comic strip Quirksmith, one depicts Jesus Christ crucified on a Cartesian x/y axis, the other shows a nativity scene in which Mary responds to Joseph's concerns over a "bumpy rash" by saying "I swear, it was immaculately transmitted!"
"People should write letters to John Casteen until this publication is thrown off campus," said O'Reilly. At one point O'Reilly began to read from Casteen's letter to him. When he got to the first mention of Thomas Jefferson, O'Reilly stopped and said, "Thomas Jefferson would throw this publication off campus so fast."
The Cavalier Daily has been on damage control in the weeks following the cartoons' publication on August 23 and August 24. A recent statement to the media said that, "We have decided that because recent controversial cartoons have not violated our policies, The Cavalier Daily will not be apologizing for them," adding, "We are taking seriously the criticism of our independent ombudsman and members of the community we serve at the University of Virginia."
Cavalier Daily Executive Editor Herb Ladley declined to comment except to say, "What we've said in our statement is exactly what we want to say about it." Casteen was not immediately available at the time of this post.