Bill O’Reilly’s “Best Friends”

When it comes to sex, one would think that Bill O’Reilly would not
attempt to take the moral high ground. With his checkered past of being
sued for sexual harassment and the recent heat he’s taken for blaming young victims of sexual violence, Bill O’Reilly does not exactly come off as the most credible person in the world on this subject.

But hypocrisy is no stranger to O’Reilly, as he chose to give a softball interview
to Elayne Bennett from the D.C. abstinence-only group Best Friends, in
order to show the "success" of abstinence-only education.

What set O’Reilly off was a column in Newsweek on abstinence-only funding by Anna Quindlen,
who he referred to as "a big pro-abortion woman". O’Reilly claimed that
he invited Quindlen on the show to defend her column and that she

In O’Reilly’s softball interview with Bennett, he gave her a platform to dispense a handful of false talking points.

O’REILLY: But how is this set up? How is your abstinence teaching
set up? In D.C. the pregnancy rate for girls age 15 to 19 has fallen by
more than 50 percent from 1991 to 2006, right?
BENNETT: That’s wonderful. It’s a wonderful success story.
O’REILLY: OK. And you attribute that to what?
BENNETT: I have to attribute it to the advent of abstinence education.

Really? Considering the fact that D.C. public and charter schools
are required to teach a more comprehensive sex education and only a
small percentage were in Bennett’s program, this might be a bit of a
stretch in logic, no?

But let’s try looking at the time period in which Bennett’s Best Friends received $3 million in federal CBAE funding, from 2004-2007,
shall we? Has this increase in funding for abstinence-only education in
D.C. produced results? Yes it has, and not the good kind. As Newshounds pointed out, among the 15-24 age group in D.C. from 2003 to 2007, Syphilis cases went up 233%, and Chlamydia cases went up 94%.

Does Bennett take credit for that? Not that O’Reilly brought that up, of course. Nor did he mention the definitive independent Mathematica
study of 2007 that showed abstinence-only programs do not delay sexual
activity among teens or other studies that have shown that students who
receive this "education" are less likely to use contraception.

O’Reilly also let Bennett present her organization as a beacon of
success, as she claimed that "only 10% of our students in DC public
schools are sexually active". Well, let’s take a look at Best Friends
and how this "10%" number is a gross distortion.

Young people choose to be in Best Friends. They are not randomly
selected to participate. Those young people that do self select to join
an abstinence group are clearly more inclined to be abstinent than
those who don’t. If you decide to join an abstinence group, guess what?
You’re more into abstinence than your fellow students. Just like those
who decide to join the school football team are likely to be stronger
or better at football than those who don’t.

Also, Best Friends conveniently doesn’t count the students who
drop out of the program after becoming pregnant, or are kicked out
after their fellow students tell Best Friends’ leadership that they are
having sex. These two factors, which O’Reilly of course wasn’t going to
mention, make the "10%" number virtually meaningless.

O’Reilly then shifted the conversation to those who want comprehensive sex education, asking the most loaded question ever: "Why would they want – why would they want kids to have sex? Why? What’s the upside of that for them?"

Bennett: You know what the liberal elites are all about. They
don’t really want to provide choice. They’re not interested in
supporting the 51 percent of students who are not sexually active. They
have a mindset that, well, it’s unrealistic.

Of course, Bennett’s talking point that comp sex ed is against
choice and assumes that all kids will have sex is completely false.
Comprehensive sex education programs teach both the benefits of
refraining from sex, as well as the information they would need if they
do become sexually active. Many have been proven more effective
at helping young people delay sex than failed abstinence-only programs.
We respect the intelligence of young people by giving them all of the
information they need to protect themselves.

O’Reilly ended the interview with the real kicker, revealing that
he has been associated with Bennett’s group for years (hence the kid
gloves approach with her, as I’m sure Quindlen would not have received).

In the end, Bennett commended O’Reilly for his work and claimed
that "our students have great admiration for you, Bill." One needs to
question just what it is that they admire. Is it the fact that O’Reilly
has been accused of sexual harassment? That he used his show to blame a young woman for her own rape and murder (it was her miniskirt!)? Or maybe that he sent his producer to stalk a young female blogger who had dared to criticize him?

Surely, Mr. O’Reilly is an odd choice for Ms. Bennett to peddle as a role model for these young women. 

(ALSO – Best Friends just received another CBAE grant for the next 6 years which will total over $3 million dollars. Be sure to contact President Obama, who is finalizing his first budget, and tell him that we need to cut the funding of these ineffective programs. Also tell your Congressional representatives!)

This post first appeared on Amplify.

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  • lmerryangel

    Dear JOE–SHAME on you and other liberals that continue to LIE about the HEALTHY, RESPONSBIEL, and MORAL dirctive of abstinence education!

    Since the beginning of civilization, the MOST PERFECT boundary for the rearing of children has been in the “protective” surrounding of a committed mother and father-ideally the biological 2 that contributed the sperm and egg.
    We have MUCH data to support the benefits of mutual monogamous MARRAIGE– defined by EVERY major religion as the sacred union of 1 man and 1 woman. That perfect union–designed by our Intelligent Designer made 2 perfectly complementary reproductive systems–AMAZINGLY designed to produce eggs and sperms, along with NEW data on the hormonal bonding from chemicals like oxytocin in the woman, and vasopressin and testosterone in the male, that increase in that beautifully designed act–meant for 2 purposes-bonding AND procreation. The act of sodomy, MISusing a part of our amazing bodies NOT designed for procreation, but for elimination of waste– fulfills neither !
    It has only been in the last 40+ years with the LIBERAL LIE that one can engage in either heterosexual or homosexual sex without the commitment of MARRIAGE and that one would be engaging in “FREE LOVE”-since we abandoned that long-held “protective” boundary of mutually monogamous MARRIAGE, that we have seen such devastation–it has NOT been free,but has HARMED/KILLED millions, and it is NOT making LOVE-but engaging in hedonistic LUST!
    SADLY blacks are engaging in higher numbers than their peers–THUS more devastation–PLEASE read and have the courage to respond to the following letter sent to the first black Christian President–I do NOT think he is brilliant enough to understand that funding the comprehensive-sex-ed-“here’s your condom-we know you cannot control your sexual urges” makes him and others that support that hedonism complicit in ALL of the negative devastation detailed in the letter–I hope to hear your feedback:

    Dear President Obama,
    I feel compelled to write and share some VITAL information with you, I have personally been gathering research for the last 10 years on the benefits of directing youth to the healthy, responsible moral directive of abstinence education, particularly highlighting the great reductions in many social ills, directly linked to youth choosing to engage in hetero/homosexual sexual activity outside of the 4000+ year-old “protective” boundary of MARRIAGE! I hope you will take some time to review the data, as there is GREAT news on the reduction of teen sexual activity and other social ills like STD’s and fatherless households, since we began funding this healthy responsible directive in 1996-the decreases in sexual activity for black youth are especially hopeful! We are now seeing the dramatic results, (summary enclosed), and I also am hoping that you will promote policies in schools, direct and faith-based organizations to join the abstinence advocates in this country who want EVERY American child to have access to this healthy, responsible directive, so that we continue to see dramatic reductions in all of these social ills.
    I am sending you MUCH of the research -most from our own CDC and the U.S. Census Bureau, and an abstinence educator for the last 10 years, and was honored to write a chapter in a social ethics text (summary article enclosed) which details the HIGH disparities in social ills, particularly devastating blacks and other minorities, including rates of poverty, rates of STD’s, abortion rates, as well as the devastation to youth in fatherless homes-with increased rates of criminal behavior, drug and alcohol abuse, school drop out rates, and increasing pre-term labor and infant mortality rates as well as many other devastating statistics like emotional rates of depression and suicide rates. I hope you agree that directing ALL American youth to the HIGH expectation of abstinence education is the social IDEAL that would greatly reduce all of these ills –we have been teaching ALL youth to abstain from drugs, alcohol, and smoking, but especially it is time NOW to direct ALL American youth to abstain from sexual activity as there are many more negative consequences related to that ONE behavioral choice!
    PLEASE read the information carefully, and I would be honored to discuss in detail how abstinence directives should be a HIGH priority for ALL concerned about these ills. Although we have numbers for white and Hispanic youth, which are also very troubling, the sad numbers reflect that black youth are particularly negatively affected.

    Blacks account for 12-13% of the U.S. population–yet they have higher numbers as a percentage of their race in all of the following social ills:
    POVERTY-The #1 group trapped in poverty are single female -headed
    households–NO marriage–sadly, blacks have a 70% out–of-wedlock birth rate–so more will be trapped in poverty. Choosing to engage in sex before marriage is the contributing factor! Time Magazine recently had the statistic that we spend $500 billion on poverty-related programs.
    STD’s –Blacks have higher numbers of ALL STD’s -not just HIV/AIDS–which in
    some areas they account for 50% of the new cases–but also for Herpes,
    Chlamydia, Gonorrhea..and others,.-we know that STD’s are directly related to sexual choices-very few to rape/incest! One estimate noted that we spend $20 billion on screening/treatment.
    CRIME–We know that black youth engage in higher rates of criminal behavior and on
    more black victims–we also know that 70% of the men in prison came from
    homes with NO fathers–NO marriage–thus NO positive role model–people
    making sexual choices, but then abandon their responsibility! How does one begin to factor the costs of an unproductive life spent behind bars?
    ABORTION–We know that since 1973-Roe v. Wade that 45 million unborn babies
    have been KILLED in legal abortion–BUT 1/3rd of those-15 million– were
    black and Planned sets up more inner city abortion clinics
    targeting blacks-Black Americans for Life calls it genocide-! Statistics show that 85% of abortions are choices made by unmarried women.

    THESE ARE THE PHYSICAL NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES–there is also NEW data on the emotional HARM from causal sex which you condone-PLEASE read the 2 MUST-READ boks for ALL parents/educators, they are “UNPROTECTED” by Dr. Miriam Grossman and “Hooked” by Dr. Joe McIlhaney–youth who engage in casual sex–EVEN USING condoms/birth control ARE NOT PROTECTED–have the courage to read these!

    If any of you claim that abortion should remain legal–PLEASE go to and view the IMMORAL reality–how can any sane person support this atrocity?

    My research from the CDC states that black youth engage in sex at younger ages and with more partners than their white and Hispanic peers–so we will see more of ALL of these devastating numbers!

    Now for the solution–conservatives have funded and want to expand abstinence until MARRIAGE funding so that ALL youth will understand the consequences of that behavior -teach them how to exercise self-control to avoid STD’s, and so that they will not end up in poverty as a single mom or have to choose to KILL her baby in abortion. Also, we would like to teach young men that if they engage in these sexual choices, they have an obligation to commit to the mom in MARRIAGE-that it is healthy for the child to grow up with a father and a mother as we have much data on the increased rates of criminal behaviors, school drop out rates, drug and alcohol abuse from youth growing up fatherless.
    I have a tape of some politicians from C-Span who say it is “unrealistic” to teach some youth abstinence–isn’t that soft bigotry of LOW expectation–that blacks cannot
    be taught self-control like their white peers? I believe that it is our obligation to teach
    them the HIGH standard of abstinence, and we have studies which state black
    youth do abstain after this healthy, responsible, moral directive of abstinence
    education-! So–I hope we will begin to challenge those who say they want less poverty, less crime, less STD’s, less abortion -to join with conservatives and demand abstinence education for ALL youth–so that we can greatly reduce these sad statistics-especially for blacks!
    I also want to include the devastation from emotional effects of pre-marital sex like
    increased rates of depression and suicide, loss of self-esteem and many
    other emotional negative effects that we spend millions on counseling!
    ***I am personally volunteering to come anywhere in the U.S. to show you a summary of the 2 hour presentation that we give to our students, and I know that you will agree that ALL American youth are entitled to this HEALTHY, RESPONSBLE, MORAL directive, instead of the irresponsible, unhealthy, 30 year-old failed liberal policy which has HARMED so many!

    I PRAY that you will consider looking at the UNBELIEVABLE individual and societal costs discussed, and join those who want to make a priority to fund the healthy directive that could greatly reduce all of the aforementioned social ills.

    Ret. Major Laura Merriott
    a PROUD abstinence educator
    814 835-0249 5235 Wolf Rd. Erie, Pa. 16505

  • invalid-0

    …that there is a correlation between use of paragraph breaks and mental health.

  • invalid-0

    Wait, this person is allowed in a room with children? Do they at least require her to be supervised and taking her meds?

  • invalid-0

    Fired from her job as a nurse at a family planning clinic b/c she would not provide family planning services. High fives, Major Laura!

  • invalid-0

    that a majority of her mostly unintelligible, fractured rant is focused on race.

    Shame on you, Major, for being ignorant and ill informed.

  • invalid-0

    I think that educating youngsters is very important but thinking that it would lead them to abstinence is a bit far fetched. I think that with the aid of education these youngsters will opt to do safe sex and therefore avoid pregnancies.

  • invalid-0

    She is an egomaniac, and spreads this letter around to whomever she can post it up for the reading of it. Just Google this nutter. Then sit back and feel sorry that she’s got nothing better to do with her time than vent her ignorance.