Bill O'Reilly -- who, as Media Matters for America previously noted, said on the August 15 edition of his Fox News show, “I think everybody's got to relax on all this gay stuff” -- repeatedly discussed the recent revelation by J.K. Rowling, author of the best-selling Harry Potter series, that a primary character in the books, Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, is gay. O'Reilly talked about the revelation with co-host E.D. Hill on the October 22 edition of his radio show and again on two consecutive nights on his television program: on October 23 with Entertainment Weekly senior editor Tina Jordan, and the following night with comedian Dennis Miller.
On the October 23 Radio Factor, O'Reilly teased his Fox News interview with Jordan by saying, “OK, tonight on the Factor ... [w]e're also gonna tell you about Harry Potter and the gay agenda. Apparently that's goin' on.”
O'Reilly's October 23 comments on The Radio Factor were highlighted by the Think Progress blog.
From the October 22 edition of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: J.K. Rowling, the author of all those Potter books says that Headmaster Albus Dumbledore is gay. Does that mean anything to anybody? No?
HILL: What does it matter?
O'REILLY: I don't know. She made that reply at New York's Carnegie Hall, and the audience was stunned into silence by the revelation.
HILL: But that's sort of out there.
O'REILLY: Is it?
HILL: Yeah. Dumbledore --
O'REILLY: Did you know Albus Dumbledore was gay?
HILL: Well, no, but --
O'REILLY: Well, apparently there's a picture of him in Key West with three guys. I don't know. I don't even know who Albus Dumbledore is because I don't read these dopey books.
HILL: They're not dopey. They're very good books. But what does that have to do with anything?
O'REILLY: I don't know.
HILL: They're coming out and saying --
O'REILLY: What are you asking me for? See -- have you read these books?
HILL: Because you know everything.
O'REILLY: Thank you.
HILL: Of course I've read 'em.
O'REILLY: OK. Did you know Albus Dumbledore was gay?
HILL: I didn't know that.
O'REILLY: Well, then, are you stunned into silence by knowing it now?
HILL: I still couldn't care less.
O'REILLY: OK, he's gay --
O'REILLY: Albus Dumbledore -- just in case. It doesn't make him a bad person as Seinfeld says, but apparently that's big news.
HILL: The Carnegie audience.
O'REILLY: All right. The Red Sox are going to the World Series. I predicted that they would come back, and they have.
From the October 23 edition of The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: OK, tonight on the Factor, we're gonna get into this topic that we're talking about on the radio a little bit. We're also gonna tell you about Harry Potter and the gay agenda. Apparently that's goin' on.
From the October 23 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: “Personal Story” segment tonight: Perhaps the most successful book series in the world is Harry Potter, who battles wizards and the occult, stuff like that. Author J.K. Rowling has sold an incredible 350 million books worldwide with seven Potter volumes.
Now reports say Miss Rowling has outed -- one of her characters is gay, which is causing some concern. With us now to analyze: Tina Jordan, senior editor at Entertainment Weekly.
Dumbledore -- I don't know anything about this Potter stuff, so, you know, you can kick my butt here if you want to.
JORDAN: I'll kick your butt. You're the last person in America not to read the books, I bet.
O'REILLY: Listen, I have a lot to read and Dumbledore and all of this. But here's what I don't understand, because I did study up on the story. If J.K. Rowling wanted to make the character gay, why didn't he just make the character gay -- she just make the character gay rather than going to Carnegie Hall in New York -- and you were in the audience --
JORDAN: Yes, I was.
O'REILLY: -- and announcing that he's gay. I don't know -- I don't get the strategy. Is it just publicity?
JORDAN: I don't think it's publicity. And first of all, I can't speak for her because I didn't talk to her about this, but she made several things very clear. And he's -- the fact that he was gay, giving that away in an early volume might possibly have compromised a later plot point.
O'REILLY: OK, but here's what I'm talking about. Why have a gathering of Potter aficionados and then drop the gay bomb on them? Why do that?
JORDAN: Somebody asked the question. She answered the question.
O'REILLY: The question was: Is Dumbledore gay?
JORDAN: No. The question was along the lines of: Did Dumbledore ever find true love? I'm paraphrasing.
O'REILLY: True love.
O'REILLY: Well, she could have said no or yes. She didn't have to say he's, you know, got a condo in Key West. You know what I mean?
JORDAN: Well, that's true, but --
O'REILLY: You know, why did she do it? She did it to provoke. I think this is a provocateur. This woman's a provocateur.
JORDAN: Well, she's a very smart woman.
O'REILLY: I think she's a provocateur.
JORDAN: But let me say this. One thing she did say on Friday night was that the books were a prolonged plea for tolerance. And that's a direct quote.
O'REILLY: OK, and that's a good thing, right?
O'REILLY: Now, many parents are worried in America about the gay agenda and indoctrination of their children to see homosexuality in a certain way. That debate is raging all over the country. This now becomes part of that debate, does it not?
JORDAN: But aren't those parents the same parents who are refusing to let their children read these books for other reasons?
O'REILLY: I don't know if there's -- yeah, there are parents who don't want the wizards and witches and the occult stuff.
JORDAN: That's right.
O'REILLY: I don't know if they're the same. I think that's a narrow focus group whereas I think the gay indoctrination thing is broader. So, I think that, here now, there is even more controversy in these books because of this statement that Miss Rowling made.
JORDAN: But I think that's a shallow argument. I think that kids are being brought up by and large today to tolerate. I think that, by and large, parents do preach acceptance to their kids, you know.
O'REILLY: In some areas, they do. They don't want indoctrination, though, and I understand that.
JORDAN: But indoctrination's a very strong word. Listen, we all know gay people whether we know it or not.
O'REILLY: Yeah, but do you want your 7-year-old to have a book called Heather Has Two Mommies, and a lot of American parents do not. But anyway, this book -- this is aimed at adolescents, right?
O'REILLY: Now, Dumbledore is not overtly gay in the book, right?
JORDAN: Absolutely not.
O'REILLY: So, you wouldn't know whether he was gay or not.
JORDAN: And in fact, you don't know anything about the sex lives --
O'REILLY: Of any of them.
JORDAN: -- of any of the teachers. No.
O'REILLY: Although those wizards, I'm very suspicious about what they're doing in their spare time.
JORDAN: Well, they are magic you know.
O'REILLY: So, I think, this is my conclusion is that J.K. Rowling is a provocateur, did it on purpose, and now is just going to let all hell break loose.
JORDAN: I think that if she makes people think, if she makes -- if you realize that there are gay people out there, we all know them, you know --
O'REILLY: And now we know another one.
JORDAN: It doesn't make a difference.
O'REILLY: And now we know another one: Dumbledore. Thank you for coming in, Miss Jordan.
From the October 24 edition of The O'Reilly Factor:
MILLER: No, nothing dramatic has happened to me, except this J.K. Rowling revelation. That's the most dramatic thing in my life.
O'REILLY: Yeah, that -- that's --
MILLER: Although I --
O'REILLY: Go ahead.
MILLER: No, I shouldn't be surprised that Dumbledore was gay. I noticed how his wand seemed to shake every time the fairies came around.
But the simple fact is, I don't need to know that Dumbledore is gay. I'm bored with people's sexuality. I could care less about anybody's sexuality, all right? I don't care if Huck Finn was a he-she. I dug the book.
I don't like Atticus Finch 'cause he was straight; I like him 'cause he was straight-laced.
O'REILLY: All right, but here's the issue.
MILLER: And, you know, I guess --
O'REILLY: Here's -- you can talk about this on your radio show tomorrow. There are millions of Americans who feel that the media and the educational system is trying to indoctrinate their children to a certain way of life, and that includes parity for homosexuals with heterosexuals.
And that's what this Rowling thing is all about, because she sells so many books. So many kids read it, that she comes out and says, “Oh, Dumbledore is gay, and that's great.” And this -- it's another in the indoctrination thing. That's what the belief system is among some Americans.
MILLER: I'll be honest with you. I don't think you can indoctrinate a kid into being gay. You might indoctrinate him into trying it once and him going, “I guess I'm not gay.”
O'REILLY: No, but tolerance. It's -- you know, he's not going to be gay, but it's tolerance of it.
O'REILLY: And religious people say, “We don't” -- you know.
MILLER: All right, I got to go with that. We've been intolerant long enough. I've got to go with that. And you know something? I think most kids look at stuff like this, and they go, “I could care less if Dumbledore is gay. I'm trying to enjoy the book here.”
This is J.K. Rowling. If she had been this predictable and this tedious in writing the books as she was in this revelation, we wouldn't know her name, much less her initials.
O'REILLY: All right, so I agree with you that kids don't care whether Dumbledore is gay. They just want to read the book, 'cause it's a fun book. And leave that out of it! Correct?
MILLER: All right. There you go, Billy. That's my feeling.
O'REILLY: Dennis Miller, everybody.