Megyn Kelly and Bill O’Reilly are feeling pretty good about the Hobby Lobby decision, and they’re feeling pretty good about themselves. On Monday night, the pair got together on “The O’Reilly Factor” to pat themselves on the back for apparently knowing the most stuff ever about the legal challenge, and they backed that claim by saying wildly inaccurate things about the case and generally just acting like two bigoted jerks with mashed potato brains.
O’Reilly begins the segment by playing a clip of Sandra Fluke saying that the legal challenge was about limiting women’s access to reproductive healthcare. Now, this is not even a particularly controversial claim! Even the owners of Hobby Lobby would have to concede that by refusing to cover four out of the 20 required forms of contraception, they are effectively limiting women’s access to reproductive healthcare. But O’Reilly and Kelly acted like she had just said something outrageous, and proceeded to laugh heartily about it.
O’Reilly chuckles that women can go to Target and pay $9 for these forms of contraception. This is obviously not true. (And the cost isn’t the issue — though it is a prohibiting factor for millions of women. The issue is bosses shouldn’t be able to tell you how you can spend your paycheck, which is exactly what they’re doing when they mess with your employee health insurance, which is part of your compensation package.) If O’Reilly had followed along with the case or even skimmed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent in the case, he would know that the IUD — which Hobby Lobby is no longer required to cover in its insurance plan — can cost a woman a full month’s salary. And you can’t walk into a Target and buy it, either. Because a doctor needs to place it. This is very simple stuff, and it’s strange that two people responsible for reporting the news don’t get it.
Then Kelly says of Fluke, “It doesn’t matter if it’s true, if she just says it over and over again people are going to believe it.” She then looks straight into the camera — exactly like she did when she bravely told all of the Fox News-watching children of America that Santa Claus is white — and says, “That’s not true. Just don’t believe that. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
The segment goes on like this. It is mind-boggling how these two people exist in the world knowing as little as they do and having the platform that they have.
They smugly talk about how the ruling was limited to “small” corporations, when in reality it applies to closely held corporations, which account for 90 percent of the businesses in the United States. Then they pretend that no outlet except Fox News reported that it was four forms of contraception that Hobby Lobby took issue with, rather than “all” contraception, when in reality I haven’t actually read a single piece on the Hobby Lobby case that didn’t report exactly the same thing. In fact, lots of progressive media outlets spent a lot of time talking about this specific point because it reveals how utterly cynical and self-serving this legal challenge really was. Hobby Lobby used to cover these four methods of contraception prior to the new healthcare law. This case was never about a deeply held religious conviction, it was an opportunity to try to gut the Affordable Care Act. If the company could regulate women’s sex lives and ability to control their own fertility in the process? Well, that was just a bonus.
Then Kelly proceeds to call these methods of contraception — the IUD, ella and Plan B One-Step — drugs that “end a fertilized egg.” This, also, is not true. As I’ve reported before, the only method of contraception here that can act after fertilization is the copper IUD, but only when used as a form of emergency contraception. Otherwise, every method of contraception on this list actually acts to prevent fertilization. Again, a very basic thing that she should know. It’s wrong that she doesn’t know this, or doesn’t care to know this. Facts matter.
Kelly and O’Reilly wrap the whole segment up with the delusional pronouncement that this case was really about “the war on the religious right” and not the “war on women.” (Kelly puts the latter bit in air quotes, since she doesn’t believe it exists.)
Now I get it that maybe some of you will find this play-by-play of a hot air segment on Fox News about Hobby Lobby to be a little pointless, but the reality is that people watch this shit. People all over the country get their information from Fox News and then go to work and say angry things like, “Women feel entitled to birth control!” because they are directly quoting these jerks. So it matters, even in a small way, to point out how wrong they are. And how their wrongness really hurts people and fuels bizarre resentments and zero sum politics.
But I’m also just sharing this clip because man these people are jerks. Like the worst kind of jerks imaginable. It’s almost hard to watch.
Watch it here:
h/t Media Matters