“The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.”– attributed to Socrates
On a Thursday in October of 2014, Steven Colbert, comedian and then-host of the satirical show The Colbert Report, made a confession to his audience: “For nine years now, I've been telling you I'm an independent conservative.”
“But,” Colbert paused, as the audience laughed, “that was a lie. Last night when I was coming out to my family as openly Republican, they said they always knew. They could tell.”
Colbert said he wanted to “inspire” other “closeted Republicans” to join him in coming out. He had a particular person in mind: Bill O'Reilly. O'Reilly is not a comedian, and his show, The O'Reilly Factor, is not a satire. While The Colbert Report was broadcast by Comedy Central, The O'Reilly Factor airs on Fox News. While Colbert's personal political beliefs are somewhat ambiguous, most people place O'Reilly squarely on the Republican side of the political spectrum. Yet here was Colbert, showing clip after clip of O'Reilly proclaiming that he's an independent.
“I'm an independent, but I know both parties really well,” O'Reilly informed guests on his show in one clip. “As you know, I'm an independent,” O'Reilly told Republican Senator Marco Rubio in another clip. In a final clip, O'Reilly insisted, “I'm an independent! I'm an independent.”
Colbert's response: “Whatever helps you sleep at night.”
In 2014, Fred DuVal was a candidate for governor in Arizona. A same-sex marriage supporter, DuVal spent his campaign advocating for new programs to protect children from abuse and neglect. He argued in favor of funding education and wanted to “move Arizona forward.” Fred DuVal is a Democrat. Not only was he the most recent Democratic nominee for governor in Arizona, but since the 1980s DuVal has held leadership positions within the Democratic Party organization. He twice served on the Democratic National Committee, was the treasurer of the Democratic Governors Association, and worked for President Bill Clinton.
This is not information one would ever glean from DuVal's campaign materials. DuVal's Twitter and his Facebook made no mention of the fact that Fred DuVal is a Democrat. The “About Fred” page on his main website offered no hint of partisanship.