Bill O’Reilly has been campaigning against Colorado House Speaker Mark Ferrandino (D) because he won’t allow a vote on a bill to “Jessica’s Law.” Jessica’s Law imposes excessive penalties on individuals who commit sexual abuse against children, and O’Reilly has repeatedly inferred a connection between the fact Ferrandino is openly gay and not “protecting the kids.” Earlier this week, he responded to criticism over this comparison by doubling down on it. On Tuesday’s broadcast, he finally admitted the connection doesn’t exist, but took no accountability for reinforcing it:
O’REILLY: I have to report the truth here. First truism, homosexuality has nothing to do with the crime of pedophilia. Second, everyone we report on is defined and that guy is proud of his circumstance and promotes it, so we reported it.
Watch it (via Equality Matters):
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A “truism” is something so obviously true that it isn’t worth mentioning, and the supposed link between homosexuality and pedophilia hardly fits that description. It’s true that there’s no connection, but it has been made or inferred for decades. More importantly, O’Reilly brazenly made it himself without any subtlety to hide behind just seven months ago. He can’t just shrug it off like everybody knows better when he has a history of miseducating his viewers on the issue.
His admission is also compromised by his description of Ferrandino as having a “circumstance” that he “promotes.” Being gay is not a condition, nor can homosexuality be reinforced in anyone. Under the premise of a campaign to “protect the children,” O’Reilly is only continuing to reinforce stigma against gay people with this kind of rhetoric. If he actually supports civil unions as he claims, he has no grounds for demonizing others for doing the same.
Tonight, Denver Post Opinion Editor Curtis Hubbard, who criticized O’Reilly for his smear campaign against Ferrandino, will appear on his show to confront him in person. Maybe fourth time’s the charm for O’Reilly figuring out how to respect the inherent dignity of an elected official.