Bill O'Reilly, FOX News network's most outspoken right-wing host, has stepped out in defense of Ellen DeGeneres and JCPenney amid controversy between the openly gay comedienne and the conservative group One Million Moms.
One Million Moms has recently called on the popular department store to fire DeGeneres as its new spokeswoman because of her sexuality and its contradiction of JCPenney's family friendly platform. But on a Tuesday night segment of The O'Reilly Factor, the staunch conservative shockingly defended DeGeneres, calling the boycott a McCarthy-era-like "witch-hunt."
"If you remember with the McCarthy era of the 1950s and they were trying to hunt down communist sympathizers and not let them work and put them on a blacklist…what is the difference between the McCarthy era of the '50s and the Million Moms saying, 'Hey, JCPenney and all you other stores, don't you hire gay people. Don't you dare.' What's the difference?" O'Reilly argued to Sandy Rios, a FOX news contributor and supporter of the conservative group.
O' Reilly added that he believed One Million Moms' protest is more about attacking DeGeneres, saying the group's petition is not in "the spirit of America."
Rios argued in favor of the boycott, saying that the group is against DeGeneres having "chosen to act out her lesbian lifestyle and marry her partner and what that represents."
"People that believe that marriage is between a man and woman, and children should not be exposed and propagandized in homosexuality," Rios said. "It's disturbing to them. They are trying to say to JCPenney please don't do that."
"This JCPenney thing is a witch-hunt and shouldn't happen," O'Reilly concluded.
But the controversial anchor has taken similarly actions against corporate businesses in the past. In 2002, O'Reilly called on all Americans to boycott Pepsi products because he believed their new spokesman, rapper Ludacris, glamorized a "life of guns, violence, drugs and disrespect of women." Pepsi eventually fired Ludacris.
In 2006 O' Reilly repeatedly blasted the home goods giant Crate and Barrel for allegedly telling employees not to say "Merry Christmas" to customers and adopting a more generic "Happy Holidays" greeting.