Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and Dennis Miller falsely suggested President Obama supported California's Proposition 8. After Miller described a call to his radio show in which the caller suggested that "had [Obama] been a California resident," he "would have voted for Proposition 8," O'Reilly stated that the caller "probably listened to The Radio Factor and then called you because we had said that." In fact, Obama opposed Proposition 8.
On the February 25 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly and Fox News contributor Dennis Miller falsely suggested that President Obama supported California's Proposition 8. During a discussion of the Academy Awards, Miller said that he received "a brilliant call" to his radio show and that the caller, whom he identified as Melanie, "said, 'Does Sean Penn realize that the same president that he's praising as elegant, had he been a California resident, would have voted for Proposition 8?' He said on record that he is not for gay marriage." O'Reilly responded: "We pointed that out. Melanie probably listened to The Radio Factor and then called you because we had said that. But, look, Penn doesn't care about the truth." In fact, Obama opposed Proposition 8, the ballot measure that amended California's constitution to ban same-sex marriage in that state.
In a June 29, 2008, letter to The Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, Obama stated: "I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states." Obama reiterated his opposition to Proposition 8 in a November 1, 2008, interview with MTV. During that interview, Obama also said of Proposition 8: "[W]hen you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that's not what America's about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don't contract them."
From the February 25 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: All right, now, the Oscars: You're a show biz kind of guy -- had the lead role in Bordello of Blood, as I remember. And you watched the program. What'd you think?
MILLER: I think I lost for Bordello of Blood to Paul Scofield in Man for All Seasons, if I'm not mistaken.
O'REILLY: And it was close, though. I voted for you.
MILLER: Thank you, Bill. Listen, I did not watch it this year. I watched the last three events. I was out having dinner with my son. I thought it was a little odd when I saw the clip the next day of Heath Ledger winning, which I thought was well-deserved. I thought he was great. I think they could have taken down the Joker thing over his parents' shoulders. I mean, they talk about how he couldn't escape that role and it led him into a dark place.
It might have been a nice touch when they showed the nominees to show that. And then as his parents came up, his beloved mom, dad, and his sister, maybe blend into a beatific, boyish shot of Heath. I would have liked that touch, but that's just me. I'm a bit of a softy.
Listen, I thought that Sean Penn is a great actor. But I had a caller to my show, Bill -- you tell me if this isn't a brilliant call -- a woman named Melanie from Massachusetts. She said, "Does Sean Penn realize that the same president that he's praising as elegant, had he been a California resident, would have voted for Proposition 8?" He said on record that he is not for gay marriage.
O'REILLY: Yeah, I -- right.
MILLER: So I sometimes think --
O'REILLY: We pointed that out. Melanie probably listened to The Radio Factor and then called you because we had said that. But, look, Penn doesn't care about the truth. You know that. He's a Hugo Chavez guy. He's a Raul Castro guy. He just wants to showboat up there. That's what it's all about.