NEW YORK (CBS) A political conservative lashes out at a blonde actress over screen choices her character makes and the actress' off-screen comments endorsing those parenting choices.
If you say that what's happening between Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly and actress Jennifer Aniston, who plays an artificially inseminated mom in her latest movie, you are showing your youth.
It was late spring of 1992 in the middle of a presidential election campaign when then Vice President Dan Quayle ignited a firestorm by attacking a CBS comedy show and its star Candice Bergen for depicting a single woman who got pregnant and chose to raise the child as a single mom.
"Murphy Brown," the show about a fictional TV newswoman played by Bergen, earned 11 Emmys in its almost 10-year run which ended in 1998. An audience of 38 million tuned in to see the birth of that baby.
Ten years later, Quayle said in an interview with CNN that he was not attacking single motherhood but what he saw as the growing absence of fathers in American society.
That's pretty much what O' Reilly is saying in his very public feud with Aniston over her movie "The Switch."
Heof "throwing a message out to 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds that hey, you don't need a guy, you don't need a dad,"
He argues, "Dads bring a psychology to children that is, in this society, under-emphasized. I think that men get hosed all day long in the parental arena... "
Incidentally: Aniston says that, just because her character is going it alone doesn't mean she would necessarily make that choice in real life. "She really feels like she wants a child more than she needs the man, which is interesting. I don't know if I would do it that way."
But Aniston aims directly at O'Reilly in new comments to People magazine, saying, "Of course, the ideal scenario for parenting is obviously two parents of a mature age ... but for those who've not yet found their Bill O'Reilly, I'm just glad science has provided a few other options."
What do you think ? Has so little changed in parenting values over the last 17 years? Take our poll and explain your choice in the comments area below.