When it comes to salaciousness, Bill O'Reilly is no stranger. The court documents from the sexual harassment suit, filed against him by his former producer, are replete with allegations of lurid phone sex including Caribbean shower fantasies, creative use of falafal, and naming of sex toys. Some of the alleged sex talk appeared to come straight from the pages of Bill's book, "Those Who Trespass," in which his hero seems to share Bill's alleged sexual proclivities. And throughout the years, Bill has had an obsession with Miley Cyrus' and Beyoncé's performances and attire. His penchant for video of scantily clad women was even called out by Laura Ingraham. But when it comes to NPR's possibly salacious Jesus, torture loving, devout Catholic Bill O'Reilly draws the line
Bill O'Reilly hates National Public Radio. It all goes back to 2004 when NPR's Terry Gross interviewed Bill and asked him some hardball questions that were so offensive to him that he walked out of the interview. When NPR fired Fox's Juan Williams, O'Reilly said that it was a "totalitarian" outfit full of terrorists who "throw out propaganda in violation of the First Amendment." (And Bill would never throw out propaganda, amiright?) He also called for total defunding of NPR.
Recently, NPR, during their popular "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" segment satirized the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn's effort to reengage young Catholics with a PR campaign that includes an ad of a young woman, taking a selfie of herself in a Catholic Church, with Jesus standing behind her. So I don't know if O'Reilly actually listened to the show, or took his cue from an article on Newsbusters, a right wing site that is always on the look-out for liberal and anti-Christian bias; but he railed about it on last night's Factor. Joining him for his patented whine about how Christians get no respect was the anti-gay and anti-Muslim pastor Robert Jeffress.
O'Reilly began his "Unresolved Problems" segment with the words "mocking Jesus just before Christmas." He went on to describe how, on "the very liberal" NPR, one of the show hosts mocked a Catholic ad. He played audio in which Peter Sagal joked about how, in the now famous "selfie," a creepy looking Jesus is right behind the woman taking the picture. Sagal quipped that Jesus didn't offer to take the picture himself because "his hands were occupied."
Bill repeated "hands were occupied" and asked what that meant. He added that The Factor asked the same question of the president of NPR whose name Bill mocked. Bill read a statement from NPR expressing regret that the joke wasn't funny. Bill remarked that the hands issue was not addressed. He asked Pastor Robert Jeffress about the hands. While Jeffress couldn't "speculate what was going through that sick mind," (Jeffress equates homosexuality with pedophilia) he wanted to show how "this illustrates the hypocrisy, the double standard of the secular media when it comes to Christianity." Naturally, he whined about how Islam isn't ridiculed in the way that Christianity is and that if the host joked about Islam, Sagal would have been fired.
Bill wanted to know why Jeffress said "sick mind." Jeffress said that the comment could be "dirty or possibly blasphemous." On cue, he brayed about "taxpayer money" used for NPR and "this kind of junk." (Oh, the irony!) On cue, O'Reilly credited himself for crusading against public funding for NPR and PBS.
Bill, in "trying to be fair," expressed the hope that his comment about Jesus wasn't "salacious." He suggested another interpretation because "it's Christmas and I want to be as charitable as much as I can to this man." (This, after he attacked him for "mocking Jesus?") But Papa Bear then put Sagal on notice: "If indeed, it was salacious what he was trying to get at with Jesus, then he should be fired immediately." He admitted that he couldn't prove that. After Jeffress said that NPR was "ridiculing Christianity," Bill acknowledged that he didn't "know how out of control it was."
Talk about a double standard. O'Reilly gets his back up about snarking on Jesus but thinks torture is fine and dandy which, btw, has been condemned by his Catholic Church. And in the future, he will be on shaky ground if he criticizes Muslims for objecting to what they feel is anti-Islamic, given the tenor of tonight's screed.
All I can say is that we need to watch O'Reilly's hands, the next time he discusses Beyoncé or Miley Cyrus!?
What a swell guy!