As we noted earlier today in an exclusive Media Matters report, several LGBT advocacy groups have ripped Fox News host Bill O'Reilly for "equating gays" with "terrorists."
Now the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has launched a "call to action" demanding that O'Reilly and Fox News "apologize for comparing gay people to al-Qaeda."
On the June 2 edition of Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor," host Bill O'Reilly made highly offensive comments while discussing a gay themed McDonald's advertisement currently airing in France.
After playing the ad for his viewers O'Reilly asked Jane Skinner to weigh in on the content. Skinner pointed out that the ad campaign is "part of an overreaching campaign called 'come as you are,' which you saw at the end there. So they show people in different walks of life." O'Reilly then asked, "Do they have an al Qaeda ad, you know, come as you are? You know?"
Instead of evaluating the commercial in a fair manner, O'Reilly used the occasion to defame the LGBT community, suggesting that McDonald's might begin marketing to terrorists simply because the company produced a gay friendly television commercial. His lighthearted tone in the segment was equally disturbing.
Cable opinion programs like "The O'Reilly Factor" have a responsibility to cover issues with a level of respect and civility. Bill O'Reilly failed to live up to that standard in making these defamatory remarks. Fox News Channel is equally accountable for allowing O'Reilly a platform for this insulting and irresponsible commentary.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Please contact Fox News Channel and voice your concerns about Bill O'Reilly history of verbal attacks on LGBT people including this latest incident of comparing the gay community to al Qaeda. Urge O'Reilly and Fox News to apologize and tell the network to stop allowing its airwaves to be used for anti-gay defamation.
For more on GLAAD's "call to action" and how you can contact The O'Reilly Factor and Fox News, click here.