In a comment that surprised no one, Fox News blabber Bill O’Reilly recently called out the Girl Scouts for hiring a spokesman whose nighttime gig was—apparently—fronting a gay punk band. Never mind that he has since been replaced by an acceptable-to-O’Reilly heterosexual spokeswoman, Kelly Parisi, who had the great misfortune of being on the receiving end of a classic Bill O’Reilly interrogation.
“When I saw that you guys hired—paid—a guy in a band with homosexual overtones, I’m going, ‘Is that a good choice for the Girl Scouts?’” he asked, introducing countless geriatric Fox News viewers to the obscure-but-apparently pernicious “homocore” music genre. Cue the
clickbait headlines! “O’Reilly Is Worried About ‘Homosexual Overtones in the Girl Scouts”; “Bill O’Reilly Questions ‘Homosexual Overtones’ of Girl Scouts Spokesperson.”
Yes, Bill O’Reilly courted controversy for the umpteenth time because, as he admitted during a recent appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel show, “I’m obnoxious. That’s what I do, [it’s] part of my charm.” Perhaps.
But in the spirit of falling for yet another attention-seeking O’Reilly stunt, let us review a few of his greatest (worst?) hits:
To 9/11 victim’s son: ‘I’m more angry about it [the terrorist attacks] than you are!’
To the viewer who quantifies anger according to who yells louder on air, this outburst from O’Reilly is objectively true. It’s also a grossly insensitive remark to a young man whose father had been killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But O’Reilly didn’t take this into consideration in his 2003 interview with Jeremy Glick, who had argued that the U.S. was partly responsible for “training militarily, economically, and situating geopolitically” the Taliban. Instead, he denounced Glick for “exploiting” the families of the 9/11 attacks and insisted he’d “done more for them than you will ever hope to do.” Part of his charm indeed.
Agrees that illegal immigrants could be equated with ‘biological weapons’
Discussing immigration laws in 2005 on his radio program, O’Reilly conceded a caller’s comparison of illegal immigrants to “biological weapons” because they may cross the border with “tuberculosis, syphilis, leprosy.” O’Reilly doubled down on the caller’s unfounded, off-color remark: “I think you could probably make an absolutely airtight case that more than 3,000 Americans have been either killed or injured, based upon the 11 million illegals who are here.”
No ‘lynching party’ against Michelle Obama (unless she is anti-American)
O’Reilly went too far with one female caller’s claim that her friend knew the first lady and described her as a “militant woman.” Choosing his words carefully, he said he wouldn’t “want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s evidence, hard facts” that she feels “America is a bad country or a flawed nation… We’ll track it down.”
O’Reilly to Oprah: Don’t let racism get you down!
On the heels of Oprah Winfrey’s claim that a salesperson in Zurich refused to show her an expensive handbag because she was black, O’Reilly offered some unsolicited advice to the media mogul, whose race has never precluded her success (not that he is aware of, at least): “Ignore those troglodytes… the truth is you are not going to change the minds of the ignorant and it’s not worth the effort in any case.”
‘We’ll do it live!’
Last but not least, and long before he joined Fox New, is a brilliant example of O’Reilly’s temper flaring up off-air. Watch him throw a conniption fit in the early ’90s on Inside Edition after the show’s producers changed the teleprompter text.