Why is Lawrence surprised: We like to give credit where credit is due.
Last night, on the O’Reilly Factor, Bernie Goldberg went off. He discussed an ongoing campaign to make J. C. Penney drop Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson:
GOLDBERG (2/7/12): There's something that needs to be said, no matter how uncomfortable it makes some people listening to us. There is a strain of bigotry—and that's the word I want to use—running through conservative America.We’d be slower to drop all those B-bombs ourselves. But we’re glad that Factor viewers got to see Bernie go off.
It doesn't mean all conservatives are bigots or even that most conservatives are bigots. That's not what I'm saying. But there is a strain of bigotry, and it goes against gay people, for instance.
Ellen DeGeneres did nothing wrong. She's gay. Right? There is—reasonable people may disagree on gay marriage. That's fine. But to, but to call on somebody's dismissal to be fired, to lose her job because she's gay is bigotry. And I don't care how many people listening to us right now don't like that.
O'REILLY: Well, I mean, the argument though—
GOLDBERG: Let me say—let me say one other thing briefly, Bill. In the middle of the last century, in the 1950s and 1960s, there was another strain of bigotry on the right, and it was against black people. That has to leave the conservative movement.
I used to be a liberal. I became a conservative because liberals were a little too crazy for me. A lot too crazy for me, actually. But you know what? I am immensely uncomfortable with the bigotry on the right, and I don't care how many people don't like it. I am sick of it.
Just for the record, Factor viewers saw Mr. O taking Ellen’s side too! Earlier in the evening, he spoke with Sandy Rios, who supports the effort to get DeGeneres canned:
O'REILLY (2/7/12): You have a right to your opinion.Good for Mr. O! As we watched him challenge Rios, our thoughts drifted all the way back to Monday's TV entertainments.
O'REILLY: And we respect that opinion, and the Fox News Channel, I think, has made a tremendous, tremendous contribution to the country by respecting traditional opinion.
However, this, as I said, is a business deal. Ms. DeGeneres is hired as a spokesperson by J. C. Penney. J. C. Penney has an absolutely perfect right to do that, as you have in your belief system. OK?
So there she is, earning a salary to represent the department store chain. And then the Million Moms say, "Hey, because we feel a certain way about Ms. DeGeneres' lifestyle, you need to fire her."
I don't think that's the spirit of America, Sandy, I've got to tell you.
On Monday evening, Lawrence interrupted The Last Word three separate times to play tape from Mr. O’s program. Each time, he marveled at the way Mr. O was taking a liberal-ish stand.
Lawrence played tape of Mr. O criticizing the Hoekstra “broken English” ad. He played tape of Mr. O defending the Clint Eastwood ad about the U.S. fighting back. He played tape of Mr. O saying that things are looking up for President Obama’s re-election chances.
Lawrence marveled every time, dumbing his audience down.
Mr. O can be awful on some topics, but he isn’t Sean Hannity (or certain others). We were glad to see Bernie say what he said. But we weren’t hugely surprised.