Bill O’Reilly broke out all the smug looks and indignity he could muster for a segment on transgender rights, leading him to claim there’s war on gender. This is an issue he regularly labels as crazy and dangerous, but guest Kirsten Powers wouldn’t let him get away with openly professing his bigotry.
O’Reilly laments that he believes at the heart of the transgender issue is some sort of vague conspiracy:
‘Conservative, traditional, taking it easy, not trying to social-engineer sexuality until the child is emotionally ready, all of those things. Not the progressive agenda to wipe out gender, which is what we’re trying to do.’
O’Reilly is especially incensed over a “Charlotte Observer” editorial that he quotes on the air:
‘The thought of male genitalia in girls’ locker rooms – and vice versa – might be distressing to some. But the battle for equality has always been in part about overcoming discomfort – with blacks sharing facilities, with gays sharing marriage – then realizing that it was not nearly so awful as some people imagined.’
Naturally, O’Reilly misses the point entirely, especially the comparison to racially segregated bathrooms. Luckily, Powers is there to straighten him out:
‘All I’m saying is I don’t think it should bother you. I don’t think [a trans person] is preying on your daughter. This person is not a pervert. There is nothing is wrong with this person.’
Sensing he’s backed himself into a corner, O’Reilly tries to make the issue about what he deems is appropriate:
‘It’s not a matter of preying, it’s a matter of being appropriate. You see, I’m glad you are coming on and I’m glad you said what you said. I had to interrupt because I wanted to steer you into the rights of the mass of people, which are being violated by this insane program.’
Powers tells him “It’s not insane” but O’Reilly can’t be bothered to listen when there’s a conspiracy theory he can rant about:
‘Yes, designed to make Americans believe there is no difference in gender at all. […] Yes it is, of course it is. It’s what the progressives want.’
It’s clear from the exchange between these two that O’Reilly himself is now little more than a vestige of right-wing talk radio. Whatever he doesn’t like is “looney” and it’s all part of a conspiracy on the left to wipe out good old American values. Powers, though, holds her own even as O’Reilly interrupts her and puts words in her mouth. But unfortunately for O’Reilly, the facts are not on his side.
Children are at risk of sexual predators but those predators are most likely to be relatives and friends of the family. According to the this Department of Justice report, 3 out of 4 children who have been sexually abused were victimized by someone either in their family or a close friend of the family. Where is O’Reilly’s outrage over that? Watch the segment below.
Featured Image via Media Matters screengrab.