Bill O’Reilly, the darling of the Fox News Channel, took a minute on his top-rated political commentary show last week to slam Vermont’s own legendary ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s for renaming one of its famous flavors in support of marriage equality (or, as O’Reilly and the other talking heads at Fox still insist on calling it, “gay marriage”).
He branded Ben Greenfield and Jerry Cohen as “far left guys” who sold their company to other “far left guys” who, in addition to “celebrating gay marriage [sic],” “celebrate” — GASP! — the Occupy Wall Street movement! (Quelle horreur!) He also called them “pinheads” for being a company with a conscience, asking, “Is it good marketing to alienate 50% of your customers right from the jump?”
Oh, and then Dennis Miller said something inane. (In other news, the earth revolves around the sun.)
But O’Reilly really shouldn’t be throwing around the “pinhead” moniker with such reckless abandon, because in this case, he’s the one who didn’t do his homework. When he talks about the whole “50% of your customers” thing, he’s approximating polling data from the United States. O’Reilly himself confirms this moments later when he says, “Gay marriage [sic] is about 50-50 in America right now.”
Time for a reality check, Bill: the renamed flavor — Apple-y Ever After – isn’t available in the United States. It is being sold exclusively in the United Kingdom (you know, Britain? England? The ones whose tea we dumped into Boston Harbor?). The company changed the flavor’s name in the UK to coincide with the current push in that country to replace the so-called “civil partnerships” same-sex couples are currently allowed under the law with full marriage equality. A simple Google search would have told you that. (I wondered, for a split second, why Fox’s fact-checkers failed to catch such an easily correctable error, but then I snapped out of it and remembered what channel I was talking about.)
But I digress. The point, Bill, is that marriage equality polling data from America is utterly irrelevant to this story because the renamed Ben & Jerry’s flavor can’t even be purchased in this country.
Video of O’Reilly’s remarks below, courtesy of Equality Matters: