Beyonce found herself in the cross hairs of Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, who thinks her music leads to teen pregnancy by encouraging girls to have sex. The song that drummed up the ire of O’Reilly was Beyonce’s recent hit, Partition, off her self-titled album. Watch the (explicit) video below.
O’Reilly, who was interviewing Russell Simmons on his show, The O’Reilly Factor, about the hip hop mogul’s new book on meditation, couldn’t help but start off with asking for a defense of Beyonce’s music instead. All Simmons could do was shake his head as the Fox News host launched in. “She puts out a new album with a video that glorifies having sex in the back of a limousine, teenage girls live up to Beyonce, especially girls of color, I’m saying why on earth would this woman do that. Why would she do it when she knows the devastation that unwanted pregnancies… and fractured families – why would Beyonce do that,” O’Reilly said as a montage of Beyonce in lingerie flashed on the screen. Simmons tried to change the subject to meditation, saying, “I wanted to talk a little bit about the left side of the brain and the right side of the brain connecting and the shift in brain functionality from meditation… and getting it into schools,” but O’Reilly didn’t care about that initially, but rather wanted to discuss what/who he perceives is hurting kids: Beyonce.
Simmons defense of Beyonce was pretty simple: art imitates life. “A man thinks about sex every 12 seconds and so when an artist expresses something that is sexual in music it is a reflection of reality.” O’Reilly seems to believe the opposite, that reality imitates art. Simmons began to articulate a thought about teenage pregnancy, families, and art’s potential encouragement on the struggle, but O’Reilly interrupted, saying, “That’s art… Beyonce in the back of a limo referencing Monica Lewinsky is art?” Simmons replied, “Yeah it is, actually… she’s a brilliant artist.”
O’Reilly then discussed the duties he perceives entertainers are subject to. “I believe an entertainer like Beyonce and an entertainment mogul like you (Simmons) have an obligation to protect children,” he said. So much for the idea of personal responsibility, or freedom of speech and expression as far as O’Reilly is concerned in this matter. Instead people should look to musical artists for examples on morals, supposedly. He then feigned ignorance, saying, “I can’t understand why the woman (Beyonce) did it.” O’Reilly referred to Beyonce as “the woman” multiple times throughout his show.
O’Reilly thinks there is too much negative influence, specifically from the hip hop community on black culture, in America today. Pay no attention to the fact that people wanting to see stars like Beyonce on a loop, barley clothed, have to look no further than The O’Reilly Factor on any given weeknight. Some might say kids don’t watch his show, so who cares about the content. O’Reilly would disagree with that sentiment. He thinks plenty of teen girls watch, in fact he’s been begging Michelle Obama to come on his program to address all of his teenaged viewers, saying last week, “I want Michelle Obama to come on this program — right here — and I want Michelle Obama to look into that camera and say, ‘You teenage girls, you stop having sex. You stop getting pregnant. This is wrong.’”
Beyonce, married mother of one, is a huge problem though, according to divorced-catholic O’Reilly. To be unfair, he also probably has a problem with the painting, The Birth of Venus, by Sandro Botticelli and Michelangelo’s David. Surely too he despises the aggression of The Beatles, especially when Paul McCartney sang, “I used to be cruel to my woman, I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved,” in the song Getting Better. Perhaps he is even angry at country music songs that reference having sex in the back of a pick-up truck, which are so numerous they might as well encompass their own sub-genre.
But anyway, back to Russell Simmons on the importance of meditation…
Faux outrage is nothing new for O’Reilly, but he is especially passionate about this issue, especially as it pertains to minorities, and even attended the announcement of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative announcement delivered by President Obama last week at The White House. The good news for O’Reilly, if he really does care, is that the teenage pregnancy rates in America are at historic lows and continue to trend downwards according to the CDC. Just imagine how much lower they could be though if O’Reilly can just stop Beyonce from encouraging teens to have sex and get pregnant with her songs. One can only imagine.
Opinion By Matt Stinson