In a segment on The O'Reilly Factor last night, the Fox News pundit surprisingly stood up for the openly gay comedian and talk show host against the conservative group One Million Moms, which is organizing a boycott against JCPenney for hiring DeGeneres as as spokeswoman.
Here's what he had to say in a segment with guest Sandy Rios, a Fox News contributor who supported the Million Moms' anti-gay stance in the name of "traditional values."
Suggesting such hostility is not in "the spirit of America," O'Reilly insisted the proposed protest is all about DeGeneres.
"If you remember with the McCarthy era of the 1950s and 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 of the '50s and the Million Moms saying, 'Hey, JCPenney and all you other stores, don't you hire gay people. Don't you dare.' What's the difference?"
Rio countered the boycott was necessary because DeGeneres has "chosen to act out her lesbian lifestyle and marry her partner and what that represents."
"People that believe that marriage is between a man and woman and children should not be exposed and propagandized in homosexuality have a moral problem with that," she said. "It's disturbing to them. They are trying to say to JCPenney please don't do that."
O'Reilly accused her of dodging his point that right-wingers are wrong in trying to get an American citizen fired because of her lifestyle.
"This JCPenney thing is a witchhunt and shouldn't happen," O'Reilly concluded.
DeGeneres, meanwhile, responded to the Million Moms attack in an episode of her eponymous talk show set to air today. In the segment, she reads from the group's statement claiming JCPenney was hopping on the "pro-gay bandwagon."
"Being gay or pro-gay isn't a bandwagon. You don't get a free ride anywhere. There's no music…Occasionally we'll sing 'We Are Family.' But that's about it."
The Fox News host isn't the only one supporting DeGeneres. The majority of commenters on Million Moms Facebook defended the comic and have vowed to shop at the retail giant, which has issued a statement saying it stands by its partnership with DeGeneres.