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I Loathe Bill O’Reilly. When Your Politics Lose, Turn to American Idol?

May 19, 2009

Some people judged Wanda Sykes for her joke that she hoped Rush Limbaugh’s kidneys would fail.  In comparison to what I’m thinking about Bill O’Reilly right now, she practically professed her love of Limbaugh.

Bill O’Reilly (who I would prefer to ignore 99% of the time) has dedicated yet ANOTHER “news” segment to raising awareness of the fact that one American Idol contestant may be gay.  I will say–without equivocation–that I believe that he is doing this to try to rally the votes of his socially conservative (and sometimes insane) viewers so he can claim that America agrees with his anti-gay sentiments.  Why else would he talk about a show he doesn’t watch and speculate on the sexuality of contestant who he claims to know nothing about?  For that matter, why would he speculate on the religion of the other contestant that he doesn’t watch?

I think it speaks volumes about the state of socially conservative politics in the US now that people like O’Reilly are trying to “win” American Idol for the religious right.  Kris Allen and Adam Lambert just want to sing, and O’Reilly is trying to pin each as a representative of two (not mutually exclusive) demographics.  O’Reilly is trying to rally votes against the “maybe gay” contestant by making sure his conservative viewers are aware of this possible fact (and by showing pictures of someone who appears to be Lambert kissing another man).  When your politics are failing in the face of a progressively younger, more accepting society and your last chance at claiming support in your bigotry is to point to a defeated contestant on American Idol, you know you’ve hit rock bottom.

The first O’Reilly clip (below) is the most recent that this post is in response to (h/t Towleroad) as well as the previous segment on the potential of a gay contestant.  (I have to wonder if he spent time publicly speculating on Clay Aiken’s sexuality, or if this just started when the right was losing the culture wars?).

Finally, I don’t reserve judgment for just Fox News.  I’m disappointed in Newsweek (to which I subscribe) for participating in this, and here’s a link to a New York Times article on speculation online and in the mainstream media on Lambert’s sexuality.  While I get that the NYT piece is about larger societal issues, I don’t think talking about other outlets discussing the topic excuses the NYT‘s snarky description of Lambert:

You are swivel hipped and pillow lipped. You have an outsize talent and a fondness for Cher. You have blond hair dyed black and styled in an asymmetrical shag. At some long-ago moment, you gave in to your inner Maybelline girl.

All of that said, I voted for Kris (who sang, among other songs, “What’s Going On?”–not a song I picture O’Reilly rocking out to).

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