THE BLOG
10/05/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Cynthia Tucker vs. Bill O'Reilly: Does Palin Deserve Criticism for Daughter's Pregnancy?

She's a Pulitzer-winning columnist and editorial page director at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He hosts a Fox News show, a syndicated column and a radio show. Now they are at war over teen pregnancy (you can guess what kicked that off), with O'Reilly calling her a "nut."

It started with Tucker in her Wednesday column writing:

For some reason, the pious social conservatives of the Republican Party did not denounce the 17-year-old daughter of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Instead, they greeted the news of her pregnancy as evidence of the strong moral fiber of Palin and her husband, citing the fact that they have offered Bristol their comfort and support.

For a minute there, I feared that right wingers would attack the young lady as evidence of the moral failings of a liberal, anything-goes culture, or as proof that her parents had failed to provide a Christian upbringing that eschews sex outside marriage. After all, that's what conservatives usually say when unmarried adolescent girls get pregnant.

When Jamie Lynn Spears' pregnancy was revealed, for example, Bill O'Reilly went after her parents: "On the pinhead front, 16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant. The sister of Britney says she is shocked. I bet.

Now most teens are pinheads in some ways. But here the blame falls primarily on the parents of the girl, who obviously have little control over her or even over Britney Spears. Look at the way she behaves," O'Reilly declared.

O'Reilly responded yesterday:

Now, the latest thing is that people like me don't condemn Palin's family but we condemn other people who, uh, gave birth out of wedlock. I've never condemned anybody who gave birth out of wedlock. Ever in my life. I don't make those kinds of determinations. What I do say and, this nut Cynthia Tucker in the Atlanta Journal Constitution makes a deal out of this, I said that Britney Spears and what's her sister's name who's pregnant, their parents were irresponsible - Jamie Lee - because they were running around unsupervised.

Yeah, I said that and I believe it. It has nothing to do with the Palin situation, okay? So, I mean, it just, it really, it makes me angry.

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