On Tuesday evening, Bill O’Reilly finally admitted that “homosexuality has nothing to do with the crime of pedophilia” despite his history of making such connections himself. It seems the admission was too good to be true.
He’s been campaigning against Colorado House Speaker Mark Ferrandino (D) for the lawmaker’s opposition to “Jessica’s Law,” which imposes excessive sentences (mandatory 25 years) for the crime of sexual abuse of minors, but he has repeatedly implied connections between Ferrandino’s sexuality and his opposition to “protecting kids.” Denver Post Opinion Editor Curtis Hubbard was among the most prominent critics of these tactics, and Wednesday night he appeared on O’Reilly’s show so that O’Reilly would have a chance to yell at him.
O’Reilly once again refused to take any accountability for the connection and proceeded to call Hubbard a “ridiculous… smear merchant” and referred to his “vile little columm” as “libelous speculation”:
HUBBARD: What does his sexuality have to do with his opposition [to Jessica's Law]? [...]
O’REILLY: I described Ferrandino to the audience because the audience doesn’t know who the heck he is, and I did it in the context of what his priorities are. His priorities are civil unions… and legalizing marijuana, and he’s a gay marriage proponent, as you know. [...]
HUBBARD: But Bill, you didn’t introduce them as his priorities… What you specifically did was you asked your guest why he opposed Jessica’s Law, and then you used his sexuality and his support for gay marriage as rationale for why he would oppose Jessica’s Law. [...]
O’REILLY: Oh no I didn’t. I didn’t say anything of the kind. I described who he was — who he says he is — alright? And that’s it. I made no correlation between him being “openly gay” and opposing Jessica’s Law.
Unfortunately, the truth doesn’t support O’Reilly’s revisionist history. His guest when this campaign began, Colorado Rep. Libby Szabo (R), claimed that “the perpetrators hold more credence with [Ferrandino] than the child victims do.” O’Reilly and ambush-reporter Jesse Watters the continued to attack him for “not protecting the kids from sexual predators.” On another episode, O’Reilly continued to defend juxtaposing the issues, claiming Ferrandino is passionate about only a few things, and the kids aren’t one of them. He’s now arguing that he just meant Ferrandino was defending the “trial lawyers,” which he’s never said before and which also makes no sense.
Hubbard likely didn’t expect a very fair conversation, but all he had to do is show up and let O’Reilly spout. There was good reason to doubt the sincerity of his admission earlier this week — the last thing he would ever do is actually admit he was wrong.