Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on NBC’s termination of “Megyn Kelly Today”:
Megyn Kelly was obviously not dropped by NBC because all the executives and hosts who work there are opposed to bigotry. In fact, many of them like it. Indeed, they have been promoting it for decades.
But the tolerant ones are not equal opportunity bigots. They are careful not to offend African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, illegal aliens, Indians, Jews, Muslims, homosexuals, et al. But when it comes to priests, NBC loves to make sweeping condemnations against them, feeding every negative stereotype there is.
No other demographic group is relentlessly treated with derision, mocked in ways that range from below the belt to the positively obscene. Here is a small sample.a
Let’s start with Al Roker. He called Kelly’s “blackface” remarks “ignorant and racist.”
In 2000, Roker had a book published about parenting, Don’t Make Me Stop This Car. He made the rounds on TV shows saying that his wife used a fertility drug, perganol, one he claimed was made by a company that was a subsidiary of the Vatican.
Before getting to his “joke,” it should be known that the weatherman had his facts wrong: Serono, the fertility-drug maker, was never a subsidiary of the Vatican. At one time, the Vatican owned shares in the company, but it sold them in 1970, thirty years before Roker’s book was published.
More to the point, on June 16, 2000, Roker told Larry King that perganol is extracted from a hormone, FHS, which he contended was obtained from the urine of “menopausal nuns” who live in the Vatican [note: it was actually collected from 110,000 postmenopausal women volunteers in Europe and Latin America]. He told King that the drug was “expensive stuff,” adding that “it was cheaper to adopt a nun, you know, and just have her pee in a cup.” Roker made similar cracks on other shows.
Kelly never made a cheap joke about blacks. But Roker did about nuns. Yet she is the “ignorant” bigot, not him.
Jay Leno made a career out of bashing priests. His “jokes” are too numerous to recount here, but here are a few examples.
A news story about a priest who stole church money for male escorts led Leno to quip, “Why buy the escort when the altar boys are free?” [July 7, 2010]
When told that a priest was calling for a boycott, Leno said, “Well, maybe he was just calling for a boy on a cot.” [May 14, 2010]
In his monologue, Leno commented, “And according to a New York Times poll, 54% of people feel that the Vatican is out of touch with Catholics. The other 46% are young Catholics who feel they’re way too much in touch. Way too much in touch.” [May 10, 2010]
Here’s another monologue remark. “According to a new report on teenage sex by researchers, 4% of teenagers lost their virginity in a car, and 56% lost it in their homes. When they heard this, child development experts said it might help if teenagers talked to someone like their teacher or a priest, which is how the other 40% lost it.” [February 26, 2008]
Here’s a really sick one. “In fact this Harry Potter book is so popular a lot of L.A. priests are now using it as bait.” [July 23, 2007]
This is another gem. Leno discusses a priest who accidentally drove his car into a restaurant. “Thank God it was not Chuck E. Cheese.” [June 21, 2007]
This one is hard to beat. Leno comments on a news story about the bishops holding a meeting at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. “They wanted to hold it at the Ramada Inn because at Ramadas, the kids stay free.” [June 17, 2002]
Many more of Leno’s “jokes” could be listed, but this suffices to make the point: NBC adored his bigotry, cheering him on as he portrayed all priests as pedophiles. [Fact: Less than 5% of molesting priests were pedophiles—most were homosexuals—but NBC executives do not want to go there. They are very protective of homosexuals.]
Seth Meyers went beyond Leno by trashing the Eucharist. In one egregious instance, he stuffed his mouth with what he pretended was the Communion wafer, mocking Catholics at the same time. [October 29, 2014]
Meyers said that a Spanish hotel, inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey, was delaying its opening because it was too close to a Catholic church. “We don’t want to be next to all those creepy perverts,” he said. [August 6, 2014]
Just this month, Meyers “joked” with one of his writers, Jenny Hagel, saying, “The Vatican recently refused to host an international women’s day conference because one of the speakers was a lesbian.” Hagel responded, “…and because they’re too busy hosting a 2000-year-long pedophile convention.” [October 4, 2018]
NBC’s new show, “You, Me and the Apocalypse,” wasted no time attacking priests this year. The character, Father Jude, played devil’s advocate for priests being considered for sainthood. He said, “My job is to prove they felt up kids.” [February 1, 2018]
To this could be added obscene portrayals of Catholic priests on shows such as “Law and Order,” “The Blacklist,” and “Committed” (it defiled the Eucharist). Then there are the sick remarks made on MSNBC by the likes of Keith Olbermann and Lawrence O’Donnell.
NBC executives should be honest and admit that they were looking for a way to get rid of Kelly and seized upon her “blackface” Halloween story to do so. They should also admit that they lie when they say they are opposed to bigotry in all of its manifestations. They clearly are not.
Contact Amanda Collins, Corporate Communications, NBCUniversal: Amanda.Collins@nbcuni.com