Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LOPEZ
According to Fox's Bill O'Reilly, feminist journalists should not be allowed to report on Donald Trump because “Trump is the antithesis” of feminism. By O’Reilly’s standard, any journalist Trump may have offended would be disqualified from reporting on the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
On the May 17 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly speculated on whether "the national media can cover Trump with any fairness," suggesting that editors should not let feminist journalists report on Trump because his past in the beauty pageant world would bias feminists against him (emphasis added):
BILL O'REILLY: She is a feminist. Trump is a beauty contestant purveyor. Do you let a feminist report on a beauty contestant person who is now turned politician?
O’REILLY: Wait, wait. If I'm an editor and I know there is a feminist woman in my newsroom who is brilliant, because I think this woman is an excellent reporter, I don't let her report on a guy like Trump because Trump is the antithesis of that. And so I don't want any margin of error here. There are plenty of reporters who can do the story. Do you not see that?
Based on O'Reilly's logic, anyone who has reasons to find Trump's positions problematic is unfit to cover him. This standard disqualifies a lot of people:
- Trump has referred to Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers, so they’re out.
- Trump sent a culturally offensive tweet featuring a taco bowl on Cinco de Mayo, so Hispanics would be disqualified from covering him.
- Trump's proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. means Muslims can't cover him fairly.
- Trump derided John McCain's status as a war hero because Trump likes "people who weren't captured." So cross off all the journalists who have been captured in conflict zones.
- Since Trump suggested that women who have had abortions deserved "some form of punishment," any journalist who has had an abortion would be eliminated.
- Trump mocked a disabled reporter with a congenital joint condition, so any journalist with a disability is off the list.
- Also disqualified? 97 percent of climate scientists:
- And broadly, women would be excluded, since he once said, "Women, you have to treat 'em like shit."
Under this rubric, the only people left to cover Donald Trump would likely be those who have made softball interviews of the candidate their specialty, like Sean Hannity, those amplifying Trump’s conspiracy theories like Alex Jones, or people who share a “personal friendship” with the candidate, like O’Reilly. Following O’Reilly’s logic, media’s role of vetting, fact-checking and challenging a candidate, would become a thing of the past.