EXCLUSIVE: LGBT groups hit O'Reilly for "equating gays" with "terrorists"

Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

DEVELOPING

Today, in response to Fox News' Bill O'Reilly asking, "Do they have an al-Qaeda ad?" during a discussion on last night's O'Reilly Factor of a gay-inclusive McDonald's ad, several prominent LGBT advocacy organization had harsh words for the cable host.

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) spokesperson Michael Cole called on O'Reilly to apologize in a statement given to Media Matters, saying the Fox News host should be "ashamed."

"Bill O'Reilly should be ashamed for equating a family with a gay son to terrorists. It may be news to him but most Americans know and love LGBT people and would be offended at this kind of comparison. An apology is certainly warranted."

In a statement also provided to Media Matters, Rea Carey -- executive director for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force -- said O'Reilly was pulling "from his usual menu of bigotry" by "equating gays" with terrorists:

"McDonald's/France invites us to come as we are, but O'Reilly pulled from his usual menu of bigotry, equating gays munching Big Macs with terrorists. O'Reilly will be served a Big Mac and fries at any McDonald's in the world, but he can't stomach the welcome to gay patrons at the Golden Arches. Eat it, Bill!"

Responding to O'Reilly on its blog, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) said the Fox News host "stooped to the lowest level" and that his tone "was equally disturbing."

Instead of discussing this groundbreaking commercial in a fair manner, O'Reilly stooped to the lowest level, using the occasion to compare the gay themed ad to the idea of creating an ad targeting a terrorist organization for business. His lighthearted tone in the segment was equally disturbing.

As Media Matters has repeatedly noted, O'Reilly has a long history of advancing homophobic misinformation about the LGBT community and related issues despite having once said, "I think everybody's got to relax on all this gay stuff."

UPDATE

Robin McGehee -- co-founder of GetEQUAL -- provided Media Matters with the following statement late yesterday saying the cable host was "feeding a narrative of fear, hatred, and ignorance."

"Like the rest of the LGBT community, I was appalled by O'Reilly's comment -- and not the least bit surprised. As an entertainer who has built a profitable business out of "shock talk" and hate speech, O'Reilly has added another feather to his cap by comparing hard-working Americas with terrorists...for his own personal gain. GetEQUAL looks forward to working closely with other progressive organizations that refuse to allow O'Reilly to get away with likening our community to terrorists and to feeding a narrative of fear, hatred, and ignorance. Sadly, the government sanctioned homophobia and transphobia that exist in our country allows such hate-filled rhetoric to be perpetuated through these types of actions."

Related:

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, LGBT
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bill O'Reilly
Show/Publication
The O'Reilly Factor
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