He Said, She Said: Does 'American Idol' Treat Women Differently Than Men?

Published March 17, 2008

| FoxNews.com

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 14, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight, our "He Said, She Said" segment where we examine gender issues. And there's one on "American Idol."

You may remember a woman named Frenchie Davis who was bounced off that show because an adult Web site posted topless pictures of her. However, this year a guy named David Hernandez was allowed to participate, even though he made money stripping at a gay nightclub. This week he was voted off "Idol," but some charge a double standard is afoot.

Joining us now from San Francisco, Marc Rudov, the author of the book, "The Man's No-Nonsense Guide to Women." Here in the studio, FOX News contributor Margaret Hoover, a Republican feminist. Wow!

All right. Double standard?

MARGARET HOOVER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Sounds like a double standard to me. I mean, you have basically two actions. Two people doing the exact same thing. And listen, I'm not a feminist that uses the term "sexism" lightly. But what is sexism? Sexism is where there is discrimination clearly based on gender. You have two people who did virtually the same thing and completely different standards were applied to them. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck.

O'REILLY: OK, now, if you say that a private club stripping isn't all over the place, but the lady was on the Internet, and so anybody could access it, is there any argument there?

HOOVER: I don't think there's an argument there. And when she made — when she was confronted, her answer was, "Well, I needed to do it for the money."

O'REILLY: Yes. Well, he — that's why everybody does this stuff.

HOOVER: He also needed to do it for money.

O'REILLY: It's a matter of public exposition vs. private exposition.

HOOVER: Well, what's to say that these photos from this strip club couldn't...

O'REILLY: Well, we're showing them to you right now.

HOOVER: ...end up on the Internet. Right? So it sounds like...

O'REILLY: There you go. I don't know, Marc. It sounds like a little sexism action to me. Am I wrong?

MARC RUDOV, AUTHOR, "THE MAN'S NO-NONSENSE GUIDE TO WOMEN": I think you're wrong. This has nothing to do with sexism. This has to do with because he was gay.

We have a hierarchy in the United States of what is politically correct. We have gender at the bottom, then racism and then homosexuality.

If we were to have a straight pride parade in San Francisco with heterosexuals walking down the streets the way gays do, with half naked and simulating fornication, they'd be arrested. But that doesn't happen with gays.

So I think the executives at "American Idol" just did not want to touch this. They just wanted to let it go, and left it up to the viewers, who voted him off.

O'REILLY: See, we don't know if this guy is gay, but he was working in a gay club. So because of the homosexual factor, you say that politically correct people involved with the program didn't want to get involved with that. Is that your argument?

RUDOV: That is my argument.

HOOVER: But then wouldn't that, Marc, then be sexism, because you have a guy stripping and a female stripping, and the only difference is their gender? It doesn't matter whether the guy is stripping for men...

RUDOV: No. That's not the only difference, Margaret.

HOOVER: ...the woman is stripping for men. What's the difference then, Marc? Because they're both strippers. I think that whether he is a gay stripper or a straight stripper is irrelevant here.

O'REILLY: All right. Go ahead, Marc.

RUDOV: I repeat it again, Margaret. It's not just male vs. female; it's gay vs. straight.

And with all due respect, we have a girl named "Kristen" who's a prostitute who committed a crime in New York City with the governor, the former governor of New York. She's getting million-dollar offers to pose in Playboy instead of getting arrested. So don't tell me about male vs. female entitlements and double standards, because I can give you a whole list.

O'REILLY: All right. That's interesting. But it could be that, you know, she's the victim and the governor was powerful. And that's how they all come down.

RUDOV: Oh, no victim.

O'REILLY: Yes, I'm sympathetic to your argument here. I'm sympathetic. But the argument that you made is interesting. And I want to get — Hoover is going to get the last word.

You basically say that "American Idol" backed down on throwing this guy off because of the gay factor. That's what you're saying.

RUDOV: Right.

O'REILLY: And you believe that?

RUDOV: That's exactly what I'm saying. Yes, sir.

HOOVER: It's an interesting proposition.

O'REILLY: I think that's a good observation by Marc.

HOOVER: I'd be interested in hearing "American Idol's" response to that.

O'REILLY: You would be?

HOOVER: I would be.

O'REILLY: I don't think you're going to get one.

HOOVER: You don't think so?

O'REILLY: No. Here's your assignment.

HOOVER: They give a really sorry excuse.

O'REILLY: Here's your assignment for next Friday. You go call them and try to get them and see what they say.

HOOVER: I will report back to you, Bill.

O'REILLY: I'm serious.

HOOVER: I know.

O'REILLY: You call them up and say, "Please explain it to 'The Factor'." You can use this program. "Why did you let Frenchie go but Harvey or whatever his name is stay?"

HOOVER: I'll do it and report back.

O'REILLY: Excellent. All right. Marc, thanks very much, Margaret.

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