On Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly recently worked himself and one of Fox News' many trademark blondes, Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson, into an absolute tizzy over an episode of Glee that featured a transgender teen. This led to further discussion regarding other characters that have appeared on Glee, which is currently in its third season on Fox. Apparently, some of the show's other storylines have included gay male characters, two cheerleaders who are lesbians, two high school seniors who are engaged to be married, and two students who made a sex tape. O'Reilly expressed his concern that Glee is glamorizing "alternative lifestyles," which he fears would lead to experimentation among unsupervised teens, especially when it comes to, of course, homosexuality. O'Reilly went on to further opine, "A lot of these dopey kids are confused about who they are." Way to connect, Bill. Not only do teens respond positively to condescension, but they love it when you use hip lingo like "dopey."
Look, I'm pretty sure that anyone watching Glee is already at least half-gay. (Just kidding.) But let's say, hypothetically, that an influx of full-on heterosexual teenagers happened to catch the Glee episode that featured a same-sex male kiss. Maybe they already have. Am I really supposed to believe that this would lead them to dabble in same-sex experimentation? And what if it did? Would it be so horrible? What would be the downside? Fewer teen pregnancies? Lower abortion rates? More open-minded teens?
The bottom line is: It's not going to happen. The whole premise is absurd. However, as we all know, Bill O'Reilly is never wrong about anything. Meanwhile, he's wrong about practically everything. After all, this is a man who wrote a book about Abraham Lincoln, an easily researchable historical figure, so riddled with inaccuracies that a bookstore at Ford's Theater refused to sell it. O'Reilly should stick to the fact-free polemics to which his brand of conservative hysteria is better suited. I would wager that by the time we are in our teens, most of us know what appeals to us sexually. During my formative years, as a heavily closeted gay Southern boy, pretty much all I was exposed to on television and in the movies was oodles of glamorized heterosexual sex. On top of that were the constant reminders that all homosexuals were hellbound freaks. And still, not once did that incite me to, even on a strictly experimental level, have sex with a female, mainly because I just knew in my heart that it wouldn't be fair to either one of us. It wasn't just about sex; it was about emotions. I guess my parents did a sufficient job of instilling in me a sense of what is right and what is wrong. Unfortunately, by his own admission, the young Bill O'Reilly was so easily manipulated that when he saw an image of James Dean smoking a cigarette, it made him want to smoke one, too. Now, that's dopey.
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