On the January 15 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly said of Shawn Hornbeck -- who was abducted at the age of 11, held for four years, and recently found in Missouri -- that "there was an element here that this kid liked about this circumstances" and that he "do[esn't] buy" "the Stockholm syndrome thing." O'Reilly also said: "The situation here for this kid looks to me to be a lot more fun than what he had under his old parents. He didn't have to go to school. He could run around and do whatever he wanted." When fellow Fox News host Greta Van Susteren pointed out that "[s]ome kids like school," O'Reilly replied: "Well, I don't believe this kid did."
The following day, during his "Talking Points Memo" segment, O'Reilly responded to viewer mail criticizing his comments about Hornbeck. O'Reilly concluded: "I hope he did not make a conscious decision to accept his captivity because" his kidnapper "made things easy for him. No school, play all day long."
O'Reilly frequently casts himself as a champion of children. He has also suggested that he is "looking out for the kids" and attacked "the print press" for not "car[ing] about the children."