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O'Reilly's First Amendment Rights List: Ms. California – Yes! Janeane Garofalo – Denied?

Reported by Ellen - May 13, 2009 -

Guest blogged by Julie

On the May 11, 2009 O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly said, “My newspaper column this week is about the incredibly hypocritical ACLU not sticking up for Miss California's freedom of speech . . . .” (See my recent post here) Remember that, folks: O'Reilly is all about everybody's First Amendment rights. With video.

But what happened to the First Amendment? On last night's O'Reilly Factor (5/12), O'Reilly triumphantly declared, in his Pinheads and Patriots segment, “Janeane Garofalo – ho ho, we got ya in Boston.” With video.

O'Reilly continued by saying, “On the Pinhead front, no way Janeane Garofalo's gonna get a Patriot banner, at least not from us. Over the weekend she did a comedy gig in Boston . . . Factor producer Griff Jenkins caught up with Ms. Garofalo.”

Imagine if O'Reilly were really Fair and Balanced. Imagine the questions he or his producer Jenkins either should NOT have been asking Garofalo or SHOULD have been asking Miss California all along – in pursuit of First Amendment rights for all. Such as . . .

Jenkins asked Garofalo, “What do you think of calling just honest protesters racist?” Why didn't he ask Miss California, "What do you think of denying the right of marriage to gay people who are simply honest and loving couples?"

Garofalo responded, “Because they're not just honest protesters, they were indeed motivated a lot by racism. You saw some of those signs, did you not? And if they are upset about fiscal imprudence, where were they for the last eight years?”

Jenkins responded to Garofalo, “But you don't know they're racist.” Funny how he never said, "But Miss California, you don't know that gay people aren't just like you and want the same kind of marriage you may want in your homey little topless, family values way."

“What about that one sign that says, 'What you talking about, Willis,' what do you think about that sign?” Garofalo asked Jenkins.

Jenkins ignored her question, saying, “I'm just asking you . . . What do you say to the people who'd say, all right, you owe those people an apology?” (How about, "So, Miss California, what do you say to the gay people who say, all right, you owe us an apology?")

Garofalo replied, “I don't so they're gonna have to wait a long time."

And Miss California tearfully said, “On April 19th, on that date, I exercised my freedom of speech, and I was punished for doing so. This should not happen in America. It undermines the Constitutional rights for which my grandfather fought for.” For which my grandfather fought, hon, get the grammar right. But . . . but you had your First Amendment right to free speech, right, which is why you're in the predicament you're in? And maybe you should be asking O'Reilly why he wants you to have that freedom and Garofalo to be denied it.

“Bill O'Reilly said you should apologize,” Jenkins persisted with Garofalo.

Why not, "Bill O'Reilly said you have the right under the First Amendment to make statements that offend whole classes of people, Miss California, but Janeane Garofalo doesn't. What say you?"

“[bleep] [bleep] about what Bill O'Reilly . . . Bill O'Reilly should apologize for everything he says every day,” concluded Garofalo.

O'Reilly wrapped it up with, “Attractive, isn't she? Pinhead doesn't even begin to cover it.”

Okay, so now we're getting somewhere – the AQ, attractiveness quotient. Aside from the fact that she professes to embrace good old-fashioned family values (well, except for the semi-nude pictures thing), Miss California is a pretty blond with fake breasts that don't jiggle when she prances down the runway in a white bikini. Janeane Garofalo, on the other hand, is not a beauty pageant contestant. She speaks her mind, she's no glamour girl, and Fox News (Hannity got in on the act, too – here's the video) has a habit of showing unflattering close-ups of Garofalo in its clips (starting at about :56 in the Hannity video). What's become crystal clear is that, in O'Reilly and Fox News' world, if you're a pretty, right-wing, Christian, self-professed traditional family values type with bad grammar and Palin-esque speaking skills, who invokes God and “Satan tempting me” themes, you get your First Amendment rights and all the defense Fox News and the right-wing can muster. If you're a liberal straight talker who, well, okay, says a cuss word every so often you need to shut the f**k up.

If you can't view the video below, here's a link.