Bill O’Reilly and Mike Huckabee just can’t admit that they missed the mark with their mean-spirited, race-baiting attacks on Beyoncé. Much less their disingenuous claims to be looking out for traditional American values.
Before Jon Stewart took apart Huckabee’s hypocritical attack on Beyoncé, Huckabee appeared on The O’Reilly Factor last night where Bill O’Reilly was obviously glad to find someone else to share his obsession with Beyoncé’s sexuality with.
You may be surprised to learn that I agree with O’Reilly and Huckabee about the over-sexualization of popular culture. But to single out Beyoncé while giving a pass to other musical stars plus television shows and movies is suspect, to say the least. Especially when you have a Fox business show featuring the Lingerie Bowl - and women in bras. And that's not all. I'm including a video called Fox News Porn our friends at Brave New Films put together a while back, made up completely of Fox News clips.
But O’Reilly seemed more interested in playing the victim than anything else. He told Huckabee, “They came after me – you wrote almost the same thing – they came after you. They being the liberal media. …The vehemence and the personal attacks that come out of this toward me and toward you. That surprised me."
Huckabee tried to blunt the criticism by saying he admires Beyoncé’s talent. “Here’s the point, she doesn’t have to go there to be successful,” Huckabee said.
“She doesn’t have to do it and she chose to do it,” O’Reilly added.
“She could be a trendsetter and an example…” Huckabee began.
“She clearly doesn’t want to be that,” O’Reilly said.
But why should she have to? If O’Reilly and Huckabee really care about this issue, why did they make it about Beyoncé? Especially when Huckabee and Fox love Ted Nugent? It’s hard not to think that if Beyoncé and Obama were white and Nugent black, the Fox criticism would be reversed.
Huckabee complained that Obama has said that he can’t listen to Beyoncé with his daughters “because it would embarrass him.” He continued, “Well, the point is, Bill, if something is embarrassing to listen to with your daughters, maybe your daughters shouldn’t be listening to it if it’s embarrassing.”
I mean, really: is this any of Huckabee’s business? At best, it’s a minor tangent to what are supposed to be Huckabee’s concerns about our youth. Instead, it looks a lot more like a blatantly political ploy that serves the interests of Huckabee's potential presidential candidacy.
O’Reilly didn’t want to go down the Obama kids route. He did want to bash the media some more. “I believe that the press doesn’t want judgments made about any behavior except behavior from people they don’t like.”
But Huckabee agreed with O’Reilly. “There is a cultural disconnect,” Huckabee said, “between people who live in these bubbles of influence in fashion, finance, music, entertainment, government and politics: New York, Washington, Hollywood. Take those three bubbles and compare it to what I call the Bubbleville vs. the Bubbaville out there in the middle of America. The people you speak to every night. There’s a big gulf.”
If multimillionaire O’Reilly isn’t in his own elitist bubble, then please let me know how many of his pals put off going to the dentist for lack of funds, live among rural heroin drug dealers, regularly shop at Walmart or even use a public library.
“They have power, these people in New York and Hollywood,” O’Reilly bemoaned. As if Fox doesn’t.
“Incredible power, Huckabee agreed. They set the cultural table for all of America.”
Sadly, Huckabee is correct that O’Reilly “speaks to” the people in “Bubbaville.” The problem is, what O'Reilly and Huckabee's other former colleagues want to do with that communication is manipulate and exploit those "Bubbas" in order to advance their own one-percenter agenda.
Watch it below, from last night’s The O’Reilly Factor. Underneath that is the Fox News Porn video.
Boy, did you nail it, Steve St John. This was one of the main takeaways that stuck with me upon viewing BOR’s interview vs. Stewart’s.
In Huckabee, BOR found someone he could share his alleged victimhood and hatred for the supposed liberal media type with all while overlooking the hypocrisy of the Huckster/Nugent relationship and divisive flaws of his Bubbaville/Bubbleville meme.
Do these two relics really think using Beyonce has a campaign issue is a winner? Seriously?
Hang in there Beyonce, you’re in good company.
Well, that’s your right, Ellen, but what you’re doing is agreeing for the wrong reasons. It’s absolutely NO different than the 1980s when members of the (allegedly) liberal feminist movement teamed up with the religious conservatives of the so-called Moral Majority on the issue of porn. The trouble was that the conservatives’ reason for stopping porn was in no way close to why the feminists wanted to stop porn. The feminists decried porn for its alleged denigration of women as a whole; the Moral Majority didn’t care one whit about how women were demeaned by porn—they simply opposed sexual freedom. (The feminists largely ignored aspects of porn that were developing during the decade—gay porn as well as female porn. The latter refers to top female porn stars who started writing and directing and starring in films that were intended for female viewers; they had more romance and the men were typically more attractive and more focused on pleasuring the female stars. Of course, these were targeted by the Moral Majority just as all other porn.)
The reality also is that “popular culture” has ALWAYS had periods of “over-sexualization”—you just have to take in the context of the era. The early film era had the original vamp, Theda Bara as well as the oh-so-sultry Rudolph Valentino, “sexing up” the movie screens in ways that scandalized “middle” America (the outrage, of course, didn’t keep the prim-and-proper folks of Main Street USA from turning out in droves whenever these two appeared in a film). Of course, the 1930s had Clark Gable going bare-chested in a scene from “It Happened One Night”—considered somewhat shocking (it also reportedly caused a nosedive in the sale of men’s undershirts); IMS, it was also the first film to depict an UNmarried couple sharing a hotel room (albeit with a sheet between the beds), another shocking scene for the era. The film’s “shocking” attitudes, though, don’t resonate today (its modern appeal lies entirely with the acting and the story as a whole).
Then, of course, in the 1950s, you had the infamous “sex on the beach” scene in “From Here to Eternity” and the “scandalous” film, “The Moon Is Blue” (which was a plot point in an episode of “M.A.S.H.” because it was notoriously “banned in Boston”). And who can forget the Tennessee Williams films, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Suddenly Last Summer” (aspects of all three stories had to be toned down for movie audiences of the era but the most shocking elements of all three are only moderately so by today’s standards)?
By the end of the 1960s and the sexual revolution, sexualization of pop culture was pretty much the norm. “I Am Curious (Yellow),” “Midnight Cowboy,” “Splendor in the Grass” had all revolutionized aspects of sexual behavior on film while Broadway was dealing with the nude play “Oh, Calcutta” and the youth-culture phenom of “Hair” (the latter having a soundtrack which did phenomenal business and various songs from the musical were covered by big names in pop music, all making the Top 5). Beatlemania, while less overtly sexualized than the Elvis phenomenon a decade earlier, was still rife with sexual undertones (each Beatle had his fans claiming he was the “cutest” or even “sexiest”—Lennon even has a “nude” scene in “A Hard Day’s Night,” although a close look shows he’s wearing a pair of bathing trunks in his bubble bath).
And then, the 70s. Sex from start to finish in popular culture. Film, TV, music. Hedonism flourished as the decade came to a close.
Even when Reagan was elected, it didn’t really put an end to sexualization in popular culture; it just manifested in a different way. With the rise of MTV, women showed up in videos, though not always in flattering ways. Until Madonna appeared. And the supposedly staid, conservative, sex-depressive era was blown away. But just as soon as Madonna tried on one new sexual image, she’d discarded it and put on a new one. The flirty girl-next-door in “Borderline” gave way to the not-so-virginal vision in the Venetian canals (and her MTV Music Awards performance, in a bridal gown, writhing around in a quasi-orgasmic ecstasy, was put down only for her lip-syncing the performance, rather than the image she was displaying). Then, the sexy Marilyn imitator of “Material Girl” gave way to the hausfrau look of “Live to Tell” which gave way to the defiant pregnant teen of “Papa Don’t Preach” which yielded to another playful beach girl frolic of “True Blue” which turned right around to the sex-club dancer of “Open Your Heart.” She toned down the sex but turned up the controversy as the 80s wound down, only to explode it as the decade changed. The “Blonde Ambition” tour (as shown in the documentary “Truth or Dare”) with numerous attempts by law enforcement in various places to arrest her and her dancers for the simulated sex on stage started it off but that was nothing compared to the release of “Justify My Love” (banned by MTV, but released as the first major “video single”) and the release of her book, “Sex” and the “Erotica” CD (there was also her film roles, from Breathless Mahoney in “Dick Tracy” to the sexual fetish release of “Body of Evidence”).
I know it’s been long, but this idea of “over-sexualization” is NOTHING new in popular culture. And these conservatives who are complaining about it, they do NOT care about it. The ONLY thing they want to promote is the idea that a woman’s body is only for a man’s pleasure. Huckabee and O’Reilly don’t really care if a woman’s shaking her ass and tits all over the place; they just want to make sure she’s doing it for a MAN’S pleasure—not because the woman wants to be sexual on her own terms. When Miley Cyrus was twerking, you could see O’Reilly salivating and drooling over the barely out of her teens girl working it; even while he was denouncing her behavior, you KNOW he had copies of her “racy” videos at home—for “educational” purposes, of course (right along with his loofah and falafels). You have every right to agree with Huckabee and O’Reilly—just remember, their “complaints” about “over-sexualization” are NOT coming from the same place as yours.