Bill “Blowhard” O’Reilly is at it again. This time, his target is Hollywood’s favourite girl-next-door, Jennifer Aniston.
The fusillade began after Aniston’s comments during a press conference promoting her new film, The Switch, in which a 40-year-old single woman opts for artificial insemination.
“What is it that defines family? It isn’t necessarily the traditional mother, father, two children and a dog named Spot,” Aniston said. “Love is love and family is what is around you and who is in your immediate sphere. That is what I love about this movie.”
But here’s the clincher that sent O’Reilly spinning: “Women are realizing it more and more, knowing that they don’t have to settle with a man just to have that child.”
Immediately after, O’Reilly dedicated a portion of The O’Reilly Factor to Aniston, during which he and fellow Fox News “culture warriors” Margaret Hoover and Gretchen Carlson took Aniston to task for allegedly “diminishing the role of the dad.”
“She’s throwing a message out to 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds, okay, that, ‘Hey, you don’t need a guy. You don’t need a dad. Daddy!’ That’s destructive to our society,” O’Reilly told viewers.
Hmm. Perhaps Aniston et al are in league with that phantom nationwide “gang” of savages who, according to that (later-retracted) 2007 O’Reilly Report, were “raping young girls,” “indoctrinating them into homosexuality” and “terrorizing” America.
To that end, I thought I’d dedicate the rest of this column to O’Reilly’s own terrorization of America. Here are a few of 2010’s greatest hits.
In July, O’Reilly slammed Massachusetts federal judge Joseph Tauro for overturning Congress’s 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as strictly heterosexual. Tauro, 79, deemed the DoMA homophobic and denounced each and every pro-DoMA argument as irrational.
“This is nuts, right?” said O’Reilly. “Can you marry a duck? Your brother? Your cousin?”
In June, O’Reilly attacked the “gay-centric marketing” of a recent McDonald’s commercial that’s been making the rounds in France.
The ad depicts a teenaged boy seated in a booth looking doe-eyed at his class photo. His cell rings; he picks it up and begins talking to his sweetheart.
“I was thinking about you, too. [Pause.] I’m looking at our class picture. [Pause.] I miss you, too. [Pause.] My dad’s coming. I have to hang up.” Dad sits down with a tray of food, turns his attention to the class photo and reveals that it’s an all-boys class. The screen fades to black and the text “Come as you are” is superimposed.
O’Reilly and Fox anchor Jane Skinner begin with a phobic discussion regarding the supposedly alienating quality of the ad: it does not make O’Reilly hungry.
Then O’Reilly drops this one: “Do they have an al Qaeda ad? You know, ‘Come as you are?’” He then imitates the sound of a bomb exploding.
In January, O’Reilly condemned out queers in the military, arguing that such visibility isn’t fair to straight recruits: “They’re not comfortable with openly gay people in the barracks. I think that’s a morale issue that is a legitimate issue.”
Fox anchor Cheryl Casone challenged O’Reilly, noting that between 1997 and 2008, “10,500 service people” have been forced to exit the military because of their sexuality.
“But that’s not that many,” O’Reilly responded. “It’s not about anti-gay. It’s about being comfortable in the barracks.”
Here, I’ll cite Aniston’s beautifully barbed O’Reilly-response:
“Of course, many women dream of finding Prince Charming,” she said. “But for those who’ve not yet found their Bill O’Reilly, I’m just glad science has provided a few other options.”
Mouthpiece appears in every second issue of Xtra.