Bill "Falafel" O'Reilly: "I Think Everybody's Got to Relax On All This Gay Stuff"

This post, written by Steve Benen, originally appeared on The Carpetbagger Report

About a month ago, Bill O'Reilly went on one of histirades against gays, in this instance because the San Diego Padres baseball team hosted a gay-pride night and a children's hat giveaway promotion during the same game. The notion of kids and gay people in a stadium at the same time caused O'Reilly to go berserk.

He called it "insane" to "cluster" gay men and lesbians during a "hat giveaway for any kid under 12." O'Reilly reported that "thousands of gay adults showed up and commingled with straight families," and stated, "[C]lear-thinking people understand it is completely out of context and inappropriate." When San Diego Pride executive director Ron deHarte said that it "was no different than any other game," O'Reilly responded, "But you are focusing in and putting more homosexuals into an area. OK? See, that's the problem," adding: "You're putting it in a kid's face at a baseball game." O'Reilly later asserted, "This is social engineering by the Padres."

That was then. Now, a newly-enlightened O'Reilly wants his audience to stop worrying about homosexuality. From Wednesday's episode:
O'REILLY: [Viewer], Ridge Crest, California: "Bill, you said Bill Richardson looked bad by saying he believed homosexuality was a choice. So you're saying politicians need to avoid speaking the truth if their opinions aren't PC?"
I think everybody's got to relax on all this gay stuff.
O'Reilly's clearly confused, which is a shame. He's gone out of his way to convince his audience that gays are bad people, sometimes dangerous, oftentimes violent, and a hazard for children to avoid. This has had a predictable effect: O'Reilly's sizable audience is convinced that they're not supposed to "relax" about "all this gay stuff." On the contrary, O'Reilly has taught them that "relaxing" only makes the threat worse.

Think I'm exaggerating? Here's a list from Media Matters:

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