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The Top 7 Most Progressive Bill O'Reilly Moments  

Felix Ryan
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Fox News conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly isn't known for being a compassionate guy. That's just not his thing. The man is simply a magnet for controversy, and he almost always brings that on himself. That being said, sometimes even the hardest of hearts has a moment, or two. O'Reilly is no exception. Yes, there are those rare times when Bill O'Reilly gets it right. This list includes a few instances when O'Reilly makes a reasonable point. It's not a really long list, but hey, it's worth a read.

Some would argue that Bill O'Reilly is completely insane. Fair enough. He's given us countless reasons to think so. Examples? Oh, just check out this lovely list of Mr. O'Reilly's Top 8 Science FAILs. See? Told ya. But even with these embarrassing and often infuriating instances, O'Reilly occasionally manages to shock us by actually making sense. That's even more frightening than the idea of a completely insane person having a daily television forum before millions of Americans, isn't it?

Behold, this list of the (rare) times that Bill O'Reilly takes the side of compassion, tolerance and overall understanding. For the most part. Sometimes. On occasion.
O'Reilly Sticks Up for Transgender Miss Universe Contestant
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In late-March of 2012, Bill O'Reilly aired a segment on The O'Reilly factor about 23-year-old Jenna Talackova, a transgender woman who was kicked out of competing for the title of Miss Universe Canada because she was born a man. The Vancouver woman was disqualified after pageant officials learned she'd had sexual reassignment surgery. Talacokva threatened a lawsuit in the case, saying she had every right to compete, even though she wasn't born a woman.

Enter Bill O'Reilly. In a shocking turn of events, O'Reilly actually defended Jenna Talackova's right to compete in the Miss Universe Canada pageant, noting that Talackova didn't break any laws and is "free to do what she wants to do." O'Reilly completely backed Talackova, saying:

What right does the Miss Universe pageant have to violate this lady’s right to be a woman? They are basically saying because you weren’t born a woman, you don’t have a right to be a woman... [I]t doesn’t sound right to me.
Bill O'Reilly said Talackova has every right to compete in the pageant designed for women. He argued that the competition officials violated the transgender beauty queen's rights by kicking her out.

Just days after O'Reilly threw his support behind Talackova, the Miss Universe Organization said in a statement that the transgender contestant could indeed compete:
The Miss Universe Organization will allow Jenna Talackova to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions.
O'Reilly Defends Ellen DeGeneres

In February 2012, Bill O'Reilly surprised fans and critics alike when he threw his support behind talk show host and popular gay rights activist Ellen DeGeneres as she battled the radical conservative group One Million Moms. After JC Penney named Ellen a spokesperson, the group organized a boycott of the retailer. They released a statement that the boycott "isn't about Ellen DeGeneres, but it's about mainstreaming something that is not acceptable to Christian and traditional family people."

As the story made headlines, Bill O'Reilly took to the airwaves to defend DeGeneres, saying it was wrong for any group to demand that a company fire a spokesperson who hasn't done anything wrong. Period. O'Reilly came at the story from the angle of a business person, who believes it goes against the "spirit of America." Indeed. Not only that, O'Reilly shot down the One Million Moms' stance that it "isn't about Ellen DeGeneres," saying:

But it is about Ellen DeGeneres, and this is where we run into a problem. If you remember with the McCarthy era of the 1950s, they were trying to hunt down Communist sympathizers and not let them work and put them on a blacklist… What is the difference between the McCarthy era Communist blacklist in the ‘50s and the Million Moms saying, ‘Hey, J.C. Penney and all you other stores, don’t you hire any gay people. Don’t you dare.’ What is the difference?

O'Reilly also noted that "This JC Penney thing is a witch hunt and it shouldn't happen."

Now here's where things got even more surprising: Ellen DeGeneres actually thanked O'Reilly for his support on her show, saying:
I already sent you out a Tweet to thank you … You didn't really make it clear if you were going to shop at JC Penney or not, but if you do, you can use my employee discount any time you want. That's for you Bill. Thank you so much.

Ellen, making nicey with Bill O'Reilly?! Amazing.
O'Reilly on Curbing Fossil Fue... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Top 7 Most Progressive Bill O'Reilly Moments
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O'Reilly on Curbing Fossil Fuel Use and Alternative Fuels

Global warming is one of those hot bed issues (so to speak) that pits liberals against conservatives time and again. That's not surprising. In the past, Bill O'Reilly has said that he's not totally behind the idea that fossil fuels are the reason for global warming, but he does support the effort to curb fossil fuel use. In 2002, O'Reilly noted in his Talking Points Memo that he "never understood the resistance to the concept of global warming."

O'Reilly noted that his position wouldn't be popular with some conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh, but said:
The earth is getting warmer, and whether it is because of man or nature is pretty much beside the point.
Wait, so which side is he on? He says he "wouldn't have signed the Kyoto Treaty," which asked industrialized nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, but he notes that, with the use of new technology, "We should be able to get away from fossil fuel if we can." That certainly makes sense - but then O'Reilly takes things a step further, saying:
America needs to stop arguing over the cause of global warming and begin a disciplined 10-year plan to use fewer polluting agents, more conservation, and tons more innovation.
Oh, and lastly? He wants to increase tax credits for alternative fuels. So there you go. Bill O'Reilly occasionally gets it right.
O'Reilly: Critical of Big Oil? is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Top 7 Most Progressive Bill O'Reilly Moments
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O'Reilly: Critical of Big Oil?
Of all the people you'd think would side with big corporate oil companies, Bill O'Reilly would be near or at the top of the list, right? You'd be wrong. In fact, it seems that O'Reilly is one of Big Oil's harshest critics - or that's how he sounded in April 2006 on "The O'Reilly Factor." During a discussion with Neil Cavuto (VP of Fox News), O'Reilly patently said he thinks it's nuts that Exxon Mobil's raking in the cash while Americans are basically being gouged at the gas pumps. It's so insane, he insisted, that:
I'm not going to buy ever again a drop of gasoline from Exxon Mobil. I'll tell you why, and then you can tell me how misguided I am... I, as you know, think the oil companies are gouging the American public, because every time the future's people bid the price of oil up - as they did today over $70 a gallon, because they're worried about Iran, they're worried about Nigeria, they're worried about "American Idol" being canceled, it doesn't matter, they just bid them up - the oil companies say now we have another excuse to raise prices. They don't have to raise them.
O'Reilly didn't stop there. He went on to say that in his view, companies are charging more money for gas to keep their record profits rolling in. In February 2012, he criticized companies for shipping oil overseas:
Let's be very clear. There is plenty of oil in the USA. Prices should not be at record levels. But they are because the oil companies are sending their products overseas to make more money. The oil companies know they can make more money in China so they send the stuff over there.
O'Reilly reiterated his statement that he'd never buy Exxon Mobil "because I think they're greedy. I don't think they're looking out for the folks."