Coulter shocks O’Reilly by defending Paladino’s anti-gay remarks
Despite a long history of anti-gay slurs, controversial pundit Ann Coulter has never really suffered any damage to her career. So it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that she doesn’t think homophobia is much of a big deal. Even if Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly treated it as such.
New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino was forced to explain Monday after he told Orthodox Jewish leaders that children shouldn’t be “brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality” is acceptable.
“That’s not how God created us,” Paladino said of being gay, “and that’s not the example that we should be showing our children.”
He added that children who later in life choose to marry people of the opposite sex and raise families would be “much better off and much more successful.”
“I don’t want them to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option,” he said.
Paladino made appearances on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox News the following morning but didn’t apologize.
“I’m not a homophobic,” he told ABC’s George Stephanopolous.
“I have no reservations whatsoever about gays, only except for marriage,” he said.
The candidate said that he disagreed with his opponent, Andrew Cuomo, who took his children to a gay pride parade.
“I was at one in Toronto one time. We stumbled on it, my wife and I. It wasn’t pretty. It was a bunch of very extreme type people in bikini-type outfits grinding at each other and doing these gyrations and I certainly wouldn’t let my young children see that,” Paladino explained.
When pressed by Stephanopoulos, Paladino said that he wasn’t sure if homosexuality was a choice.
“I’ve had difficulty with that,” he said. “I believe that young people should not necessarily be exposed to that.”
“You want to stick up for Paladino, do you?” Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly asked Coulter Monday.
“I think someone on this network should [defend] this great warrior,” Coulter said.
The conservative columnist noted that Paladino’s audience was conservative Jewish leaders. “It’s like being in Chicago. You say ‘Go Cubs!'” she said.
“Did that help him [get votes]?” asked a shocked O’Reilly.
“Yeah, I think so,” replied Coulter.
In the end, O’Reilly didn’t buy Coulter’s argument that Paladino’s remarks were going to bolster his standing with voters.
“The bottom line on this is, I think everybody but you in the world agrees this isn’t going to help the guy. He wants to win the election. He needs independents to come over,” said O’Reilly.
“I just want everyone to know that we’re fair and balanced and Coulter thinks that Carl Paladino was helped by that exposition. Everyone in the world thinks he wasn’t.”
Despite her past of making anti-gay remarks, Coulter was chosen to attend GOProud’s Homocon 2010, a conference for conservative gays. But it cost her because World Net Daily dropped her from their “Taking Back America” conference.
In the spring of 2007, the Associated Press and other media outlets speculated that controversial conservative pundit Ann Coulter might get “blacklisted” after calling Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards a “faggot.”
“Following her use of a gay slur about Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards this month during remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference, some on TV are wondering whether her shelf life is expiring,” AP Television Writer David Bauder wrote in a column titled “Has Ann Coulter reached her tipping point?”
Jump ahead three years later and rather than being banned, Coulter is now being hailed as the “Judy Garland of the right” by a gay Republican group, and getting crucified by some of the same folks who once lionized her for calling liberals “godless.”
Mediaite‘s Frances Martel speculated about Coulter’s motivation in defending Paladino:
Coulter doesn’t exactly have a clean record with gay slurs herself, and defending Paladino would make her quite the unique (read: attractive to the camera) commodity on cable news these days, so it isn’t completely shocking that she would take Paladino’s declaration that he wasn’t a homophobe at face value, if only to play devil’s advocate.
This video is from Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, broadcast Oct. 11, 2010.