Oh, those silly LGBT people. Why do their need their Pride parades? Aren’t they shoving their views down people’s throats? And isn’t it risky for a straight man to be there?
That was the tone of a report on The O’Reilly Factor last night, showing correspondent Jesse Watters’s adventures at the San Francisco Pride Parade June 29. Watters’s questions to parade participants and observers ranged from the naïve — “Do you still need these parades, even though you guys can get married in California?” — to the salacious, with Watters telling State Sen. Mark Leno his pants “look a little tight” and an unidentified paradegoer, clad only in boxer-briefs, “You look a little promiscuous.”
Discussing what Watters called “traditional marriage,” one parade marcher said those who would deny LGBT people equal rights should “keep it in your heart, keep it private, but don’t shove it down someone’s throat.” Watters replied, “Isn’t the gay pride parade shoving something down other people’s throat?” Then, after E! talk show host Ross Mathews said Watters was taking a fashion risk with his popped-collar polo shirt, Watters responded, “I’m taking a big risk here just talking to you, though.”
The segment was reminiscent of local news coverage of Pride parades 25 or 30 years ago, with a mocking tone, emphasis on steretotypes, and undercurrent of homophobia that most mainstream news outlets have abandoned. Even the Fox News Channel, though, might have to give some parade participants credit for open-mindedness, as a couple of drag queens told Watters they love Factor host Bill O’Reilly.
Watch the full segment below, courtesy of Media Matters.