Why A Duck? Poly and Bestiality on The O'Reilly Factor
As Cunning Minx says on her Polyamory Weekly podcast, it always comes down to marrying goats. On Fox News's "The O'Reilly Factor," Bill O'Reilly adds turtles and ducks to goats. He got wind of Janet and Sasha Lessin's "World Polyamory Association" (from the Daily Beast article four days earlier that I posted about), and yesterday he brought up triads and other abominations:
O'REILLY: All right, Hoover. I did not know this, but I had said from the jump if you OK gay marriage, then you have to do plural marriage, which is now -- has a name, triads. Three people getting married. There is a group in Maui, Hawaii, called the Lessin's adversary group -- advocacy group, and it's World Polygamy [sic: Polyamory] Association. They're associated with that. And they want to be married....
Too bad O'Reilly's well-meaning foil doesn't draw the line between people and animals either:
O'REILLY: If I walk in to the Massachusetts state house and say, "Hey, Governor Deval Patrick, you've got to marry me and Lenny." All right? Because --
HOOVER: I would love to see that, by the way.
O'REILLY: Not only Lenny, but Squiggy too. All right? Or I walk in with the O'Brien twins from South Boston and say, "Hey, you've got to marry me, because you're allowing gays to get married, and I'm in the Lessin's group, the World Polygamy Association."
HOOVER: You've got to change the law, then. Because the law says it's between two people.
O'REILLY: OK, but --
HOOVER: Not multiple people. By the way, the last time polygamy was on the rise? 1896, when Utah became the 45th state in the union. Not a massive movement going mainstream.
...HOOVER: I don't buy into the slippery slope argument at all.
O'REILLY: You'd let everybody do whatever they want?
HOOVER: That's the slippery slope argument. That's if you allow one thing to happen, then another thing, and another thing.
O'REILLY: Hoover, you would let everybody get married who want to get married. You want to marry a turtle, you can.
HOOVER: Due process. I want to abide by the law. If the law says I can marry a turtle, I'll marry a turtle. Last time I checked, we're a Judeo-Christian culture that doesn't allow me to marry turtles.
O'REILLY: You've got to take a stand. You've got to take a stand, now. You would be for, then, putting the umbrella over all groups.
HOOVER: I am for what the law says. I do not support polygamy.
O'REILLY: That's a copout. Total copout.
HOOVER: No, I don't support polygamy. I support two people, couples, marriages.
O'REILLY: OK, but then you have to explain why two and not three.
CARLSON: And then you don't call it marriage anymore. It's not marriage anymore.
O'REILLY: Explain why two and not three? And you can't.
HOOVER: I think that the crux of our foundation of our culture depends on --
O'REILLY: On two.
HOOVER: -- two people, yes.
Watch the video on Fox (May 11, 2009), or read the whole transcript on Media Matters for America ("fighting conservative misinformation"). The O'Reilly Factor is part of why the upcoming generation voted overwhelmingly against Republicans.
Incidentally, remember that the term "slippery slope" frames everything as all downhill. Accept the term and you've already lost the debate. Reframe it as a "sticky ramp" upward. As Theresa Brennan (of Polycamp Northwest fame) once put it, awkwardly,
Giving blacks the vote, women the vote, contraception — it's all a slippery slope to a place of better social justice and acceptance.
Bonus! Here's a quick promo about triad marriages on Fox and Friends.
Question: Is there such a thing as bad publicity? Before you say "of course," consider that most people have no idea that serious group relationships are possible. Getting it into the culture that people actually do this, even if they're icky, will make the idea thinkable... for those who need to discover that they're not alone.
Update, next day: On MSNBC's "Hardball," David Shuster ridicules O'Reilly's marry-a-turtle argument as "ridiculous," "illogical," "stupid."
Update: Duck-sex mania! CNN covers the Sex With Ducks video parody by Garfunkle and Oates.
Labels: critics of poly