. . . Thursday October 21, 2004

Bill O’Reilly’s Bad Vibes

Frank Rich:

In the annals of election year 2004, Oct. 13 will be remembered as the day it rained lesbians in red America. That was when we learned that Andrea Mackris, an associate producer on “The O’Reilly Factor,” had filed her sexual harassment law suit, charging that her boss had an obsessive interest in vibrators, phone sex and, most persistently, erotic scenarios involving pairs of women. That night brought the final presidential debate, in which John Kerry’s description of Mary Cheney as a lesbian so riled the Bush-Cheney campaign, not to mention the easily aghast Washington press corps, you’d have thought the vice president’s daughter was accused of enlisting in a threesome with Bill O’Reilly.

What’s followed ever since is an orgy of schadenfreude and hypocrisy almost entertaining enough to take your mind off Iraq (as the Bush-Cheney campaign hopes it will). Cont…

Perhaps what was most interesting of all was that some of Rich’s colleagues at the Times wrote columns far more spirited about the faux outing of Mary Cheney than they did about the international nightmare of us not finding any sign of WMDs in Iraq. Even Bill O’Reilly couldn’t wank off to that story.

(Sidenote to Frank: Nice use of the word annals to subversively titillate O’Reilly even as you ridicule him. I haven’t seen a pundit get away with something like that since Bill Bennett hit a royal at the Bellagio…)

This all sort of seems like a joke, but it’s not. In my gut, I have a hard time believing that any of these moralistic right wing commentators really believe what they say about homosexulity. Even Pat Buchanan can’t spew his hate without a smirk. He says being gay is not a sin, but acting on one’s gayness is. Sounds like outtakes from a tell-all beer binge with some top GOP operatives.

Whether the media stars who promote this nonsense believe their own lines or not, the pandering to those who do operate on fear, hate and ignorance is a dangerous game to play. Today we’re having these ridiculous conversations about sexuality. Tomorrow, some Americans will want to hear the same hardline when it comes to teaching evolution. Once you start the pandering, it’s tough to get the monkey off your back.

And the folks from Fox not only understand their hypocrisy, they sell it. Why else would they preach morals on one channel while showing a special on pole dancing on the other?

Is Fox News or Rush or Savage or Gary Bauer or Alan Keyes going to try to convince us that every heterosexual male on the planet doesn’t have an interest in “erotic scenarios involving pairs of women.” I guess some guys only get turned on by odd numbers.

How’d you like to be Bill O’Reilly’s defense team and have to come up with an argument that your client actually isn’t interested in threesomes with supermodels? Or maybe there will be a courtroom drama during which Johnnie Cochran raises a vibrator into the air and proclaims: It it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.

Concentration is important!