As late as last week many of the nation's most prominent conservatives were loudly scolding the gay community here about their inability to accept intolerance. Gays were bullies, we were told, because – increasingly – they refused to have their equality questioned.
Pugnacious Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly led the charge, insisting that "one of the reasons gay marriage has come on so strong in the USA is intimidation."
Intimidation? Are gangs of rainbow-flag-waving Wehrmacht roaming the nation's streets, invading heterosexual homes and re-decorating them suddenly? According to O’Reilly, they “maybe” are.
He continued, “If you donate money to a traditional marriage cause, okay, we're going to hurt you. We're going to hurt you. We're going to find out where you live. We are going try to take your job. Maybe do vandalism to your home – big, big difference, is there not?”
Harm? Intimidation? Vandalism? Maybe?
I could provide a list of a hundred homes defaced or set fire to by anti-gay bigots in multiple states over the last decade, many resulting in fatalities, but I haven’t heard of one act of “harm” or “vandalism” to the homes of anti-gay supporters anywhere in the nation. Not one.
But over at the O’Reilly’s network if you can’t provide facts you can provide insupportable conjecture instead, “maybe.” No one will notice.
Of course O’Reilly made his “intimidation” claim in reference to the Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich’s case. But no major gay rights organization in the US called for Eich’s firing over his 2008 donation to support of the viciously anti-gay campaign for California's Proposition 8. Not one.
O’Reilly even forgot his own oft-repeated claim that gays have won the battle of public opinion over marriage equality because of the strength of their arguments versus the weakness of their opponents'.
Still, how dare we judge an accomplished man by his animus toward minorities (including many of his employees), right Bill?
That’s why I look forward to O’Reilly’s full-throated on-camera defense of L.A. Clippers' owner Donald Sterling this week, whose reportedly racist remarks ought to be no impediment to his job performance.
Will O’Reilly be there this week to scold and push back against the “intimidation” of groups like the NAACP? If he wants to be consistent he won’t have any choice.
The alternative will see more crow being served on the Fox News menu this week – and this just after last week's racist “folk hero” Cliven Bundy fiasco. After a month of lionizing him as a great white hope, Fox dropped Bundy like a burning cross after his odious speech about “the negro” hit the airwaves.
You’d think O’Reilly and Hannity et al would have learned the lesson. Who you associate with ends up saying a lot about you. But there simply aren’t enough barge poles on the planet to push away the clown car of bumptious bigots in the Fox News embrace in recent weeks.
To most thinking people now being blatantly anti-gay is as odious as being a racist or an anti-Semite, but apparently it’ll just take O’Reilly and his fellow travelers a little longer to get the message.
So I look forward to hearing how O’Reilly’s strong views on Brendan Eich’s right to express animus toward one minority comport with his views on Donald Sterling this week. I just have a feeling I’ll just have to wait a little longer to hear him tackle them.