Bill O’Reilly on Gay Teens: I Don’t Get Why People Like This Guy

I like to understand viewpoints that aren’t my own: to understand how other people think and where they are coming from. But when it comes to tabloid rant-show host Bill O’Reilly, I feel like I’m out of touch. He and his show are incredibly popular. I know that. And yet I just don’t understand how anyone can possibly watch this guy in action and not think he comes off as a pompous, bullying, irrational windbag.

Are there really people out there that don’t find him to be consistently vile? If so can you explain your point of view to me? Can you watch this video, and explain to me how he in any way comes off as likable, intelligent, or even that his argument is rational? Put aside for a second whether or not you share his politics or religious views. Is this a person you think would make a good father or husband or friend, the way he treats people? You’d really buy his book for children and try to raise them to act like he does?

I just don’t get it. I was going to post more about the perennially nasty double standard, wherein the mere existence and mention of the existence of gay couples is somehow tantamount to a sex act performed out in public, whereas mentioning heterosexual couples, even having them be much more openly sexual, is just normal and fine, no cause for concern or media interest. But honestly, I’m having a hard time seeing why I would need to explain that to anyone.

…except that I know that there are literally millions of O’Reilly viewers who probably nodded along with him when he made this ridiculous double-standard argument. And I just don’t get it.

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15 Responses to Bill O’Reilly on Gay Teens: I Don’t Get Why People Like This Guy

  1. I just don’t understand how anyone can possibly watch this guy in action and not think he comes off as a pompous, bullying, irrational windbag.

    I know I’m going to come off as a pompous, condescending atheist when I say this, but I think that the educational system, along with cultural and socioeconomic factors, fails to adequately educate a large block of the public. By being undereducated, I mean that they are not taught how to think and analyze the world around them, possibly because education relies so much, at least at the elementary and secondary levels, on rote learning.

    These people, used to simply being fed their education, thrive on News spoon fed by FOX. In the process, they actually like to see a “newscaster” come off as a pompous, bullying, irrational windbag, because it makes them feel more powerful. He speaks for the ignorant, passive parts of the population that see things superficially, and are powerless to do anything, so he does it for them. He’s their proxy for ignorance.

    If that makes any sense. Feel free to skewer me.

  2. OK. Now, after writing and posting the above rant, I actually looked at the video. Should have done that first. :)

    That was actually one of the milder interviews from O’Fuckowitz. I’ve seen much worse. He only talked over her on key points, but she held her own quite well. He was relatively civil. I’ve seen others where he belittles the interviewee, implies that they have no brains, etc.

    In this case, he simply presumed to be talking for a majority (the ignorant majority I mentioend above) and pushed their point of view.

    Holy hell, I think I’m defending him. Gotta stop now.

  3. Bad says:

    I don’t buy the educational system answer, if only because I don’t think the educational system does that much to influence people’s general personalities one way or another, and that’s sort of what disturbs me most about this guy. My suspicion is that it has more to do with anger and outrage: if you live your life in perpetual offense at what you see as a culture gone mad, then I guess you could see Bill’s nastiness as a sort of deserved, sneering payback to anyone who thinks differently. I’ve certainly seen that sort of thing work before, all over the political spectrum. But I just dunno: do that many people really live their lives like that?

    I’m sure he’s probably done worse, but this clip was just the latest I’d seen had me on a sort of a slow, grating frustration throughout the whole thing.

  4. Yes, anger and outrage are part of it, but where does it come from? A culture gone mad? Why do they see the culture going mad? Because they’re stupid. Or put another way, because they haven’t been trained or educated to use their minds critically to see what makes them mad. They are heterosexuals, so homosexuality is repugnant to them, and they are told it’s the cause of much evil in the world, so they believe it, without investigating whether that makes any sense, whether there’s any evidence for it, because it justifies their visceral senses.

    Laura Berman cited statistics about the risks teen homosexuals are at, and that went over his head like a balloon filled with helium, and I’m sure his viewers agreed with his dismissal of those facts. She was trying to tell his viewers that tolerance of what he was ranting about would go a long way towards reducing those statistics, but he was more interested in making his viewers feel justified in their bigoted prejudices against homosexuals.

    Proper education COULD fix that.

  5. BTW. I do enjoy your blog. You disappeared for awhile, but now that you’re back, I’m adding you to my blogroll.

  6. Bad says:

    Yeah, well, I got lazy and distracted and busy. It’s sure to never happen again! :)

  7. anshul says:

    Oh boy! I am that lady’s fan… She held out so very well against papa Bill and even got to say her point! She must be a genius! Bill O’Reily is an idiot. You won’t believe the number of times he has literally cut off the mic on his guests. There was a compilation somewhere of these but I can’t find it. Like SI said, this video was nothing.

    Now, why such people get watched, get fed and have die-hard fans, I don’t know. Education does not seem to be the problem here. We know that even the educated Germany supported Hitler. They were my educated friends in Gujarat with whom I argued yesterday, who will vote for Narendra Modi in the next Gujarat election. Education and a quite proper an education hasn’t fixed these.

    I think it has something to do with brainwashing though. I think it has something to do with a culture that makes people very susceptible to brain washing at an earlier age.

  8. Bug Girl says:

    As someone who teaches, I have to agree with Spanish Inq.
    If you try to do anything innovative in the classroom–active learning, having a discussion–the students freak out. Not only does it not fit their model of passively being stuffed full of facts, it’s *work.*

    Teaching is depressing these days, really.

  9. Yes. Cops and Teachers and Nurses are my everday heros. They are on the front lines of our society’s war with itself.

  10. Bad says:

    Sorry anshul, you got dumped into the spam filter somehow. You have been retrieved.

  11. Well, judging for this video:

    it would seem as thought the liberals aren’t the only ones pissed off at O’Reilly.

    -smith

  12. But you’re right; he IS quite the gasbag!

  13. anshul says:

    Ahh! I was wondering….

    Anyway, interesting vid there murderofravens.. Bill O’Reilly- the one force that can unite the liberals and conservatives… :P

  14. Bad says:

    I dunno, I’d never think if fair to saddle conservatives, or anyone else, with Phelps. He’s a crazy unto his own.

  15. I dunno, I’d never think if fair to saddle conservatives, or anyone else, with Phelps. He’s a crazy unto his own.

    Oh, I know. I was just being facetious. As the father of an Iraq war veteran, I find Phelps especially odious. Bill O’Reilly is a paragon of rational thought (and a teddy bear) in comparison. They call their hate-filled picketing “love crusades”. Deplorable.

    Strangely, according to Wikipekia, “Phelps received awards from the Greater Kansas City Chapter of Blacks in Government and the Bonner Springs branch of the NAACP for his work on behalf of black clients”. He also once “sued then-President Ronald Reagan over Reagan’s appointment of a U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, alleging this violated separation of church and state.” It’s a strange world we live in.

    -smith

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