Bill O’Reilly: My Favorite Hypocrite

I don’t do it very often (I have standards) but when I do, I enjoy it. I make a habit NOT to watch FOX news (or sitcoms, or whatever they happen to be broadcasting) on principle. Any allegedly fair and balanced news network that makes an agenda out of not being fair or balanced, does not deserve my eyeballs. However, I have to admit that I will occasionally watch Bill O’Reilly (although, FOX advertising department, take note: It’s usually via online video clips stripped of all ads). His attempts to be charming always bring a chuckle, and his smarmy interviewing demeanor always gives my heart muscle the workout I usually fail to achieve on the treadmill. It’s nice to know that the problem of evil, the biggest hurdle to swallowing theistic dogma, is given front and center at FOX news.

I took particular delight in reading this review of O’Reilly latest book, by Alan Dershowitz, the nationally known attorney and Law Professor, published today in the Washington Post. What, you ask? He just published a weightless tome giving his opinions on everything, how could he write another, so soon? Well, this time he’s written a children’s book. Not just any children’s book, but a book called Kid’s Are Americans, Too: Your Rights To A Good, Safe, Fun Life in which he attempts to educate children in the right wing version of what it is to be an American. Apparently, his commentary preaching to adults was not enough, and, following in the footsteps of the Jesuits, who believed that if they had the child, they had the adult, he aims at the more impressionable Americans to lie to tell it like it is.

Please read the review. I have not read the book, nor would I be likely to do so under any circumstances, and I generally have a high respect for Dershowitz, so I have no reason to disbelieve what he says. His opinion of the book is one thing, but the examples of some of the statements O’Reilly attempts to foist on children is egregious at best, and despicable if even remotely true.

As a lawyer, I would think that O’Reilly would have actually tried to read the cases he cites to the children for the lessons he wants them to learn. For instance, he tells his young readers that there was a case

in which the ACLU allegedly persuaded the Supreme Court of the state of Washington that the “constitutional rights” of a girl named Lacey had been violated when her mother surreptitiously listened in on a phone call between Lacey and her boyfriend, during which the boyfriend admitted to a purse snatching.

However, the case, (uncited in the book) was found by Dershowitz, and once read, actually stands for the the exact opposite of what O’Reilly claims it stands for. While trying to convince children that the Founding Fathers did not want the Federal Government to become monolithic, specifically putting much of the responsibility for governing us on the states and local governments, this case was not an example of the Feds imposing themselves on our rights to privacy, but

It was the state legislature — precisely the institution that O’Reilly contends should make these kinds of decisions.

So he lied. Will wonders never cease. Interestingly, he apparently wrote the book with someone else, a Charles Flowers, who was willing to lend his name to this screed, but apparently not his expertise, whatever that may be. He could have at least done some fact checking.

Dershowitz cites a number of other hypocritical statements by O’Reilly, which simply confirmed my dislike of him. (OK. So I’m not impartial. Shoot me). However, I’ll still watch him, on occasion, whenever my heart needs a workout.

As a short aside, for your entertainment, you might enjoy this short clip of a part of an exchange between O’Reilly and Al Franken at Book Expo a few years ago. I looked but couldn’t find the entire, funny story that Franken told about O’Reilly that led up to this exchange, though I had seen it previously. O’Reilly has a bit of a short fuse. If you can find it, it’s long, but worth the watch. The late Molly Ivins was on the panel also.

18 thoughts on “Bill O’Reilly: My Favorite Hypocrite

  1. I can’t stand O’Reilly. These are some things about him that still puzzle me:

    1. How did he ever get a TV show?
    2. How does he stay on the airwaves?
    3. How does he convince anyone to publish his books?
    4. How can anyone sit still long enough to watch his show or read his books without having a stroke?

    Wait – I just had an epiphany. All of this evidence can only mean one thing:

    There iis a god and he did it.

  2. the chaplain:

    I do not watch the big BO. I would rather watch college basketball blowout or a fifth-time seen rerun of CSI Las Vegas.

    However, I may be able to shed light on your four questions:

    1. Money. I had a college professor, taught modern history, who taught me one of the most useful things I learned in college: Marx was wrong about ALMOST everything. The only thing he got right was that history happens because of money. The reason the BO has a TV show is it makes money for NewsCorp.

    2. See #1.

    3. There are publishing houses which will publish anything written by a conservative. Then, to keep the publishing house in business, they sell the books at deep discounts to conservative radio and TV hosts and conservative ‘think tanks’ who give them away for free. That way they can say with a straight face that there are over a million copies in print.

    4. You ask this question when 1 in 4 Americans aprove of the way Bush is leading America? Remember, to be a top rated prime time cable news show, you only need 2% of the country to turn on your program.

    Oh. Wait. You were being sarcastic. Sorry. Today is my Friday and I am not having a good day.

  3. SI:

    You said, As a lawyer, I would think that O’Reilly would have actually tried to read the cases he cites to the children for the lessons he wants them to learn.

    I know you’re just being rhetorical here, because you ain’t that naive. Theocratic politicians, at least some of whom must have studied U.S. history at some point in their lives, lie about the origins of our government. Religious leaders all over America lie about the criminal acts they’ve perpetrated. School boards lie about their motives in selecting textbooks.

    But you’re shocked — shocked! — that Bill O’Reilly, a know-nothing blowhard and bully, would lie about the facts in some legal cases?

  4. Well, not exactly shocked. More like insulted. My (legal) intelligence is insulted that he thought he could cite a case and then misrepresent what it stood for. I would have my ass handed to me by any judge that caught me doing that.

  5. Understand, O’Reilly is a well-paid right wing clown. I mean that literally. Most conservative “thinking” is really quite dumb – and “average people” who agree with right wing thinking need a joker like O’Reilly to rally them. Rally them he does. He’s genius at it really. He knows that many of the things he says are bullshit. But he knows equally that there is a percentage of people who gobble it up. I’m with SI and try to never give Fox support by watching any of programming (except football).

  6. Football and House M.D. other than that I always thought it was a comedy channel. You mean they’re serious!?

  7. In an interview with Matt Groenig on the Daily Show, he said that Fox asked him to refrain from having Fox news represented on the Simpsons. Why? Because viewers may be confused. You see, apparently Fox realizes that their audience is so stupid that they may actually believe an animated news segment during an episode of the Simpsons may actually be real Fox news.

    Btw, how funny is it to see the phrase “real Fox news”?

    Anyway, think of this intelligence level of the audience when wondering how Billo can incorrectly cite a case or make any other blatant lies. Hell, I can’t believe he used a word like “surreptitiously”. His readers won’t know what that means. Maybe that was his hope. Drop a bunch of big words nobody knows and it’ll just make you sound more smarter and brimming with truthiness. Take that godless liberals! :)~

  8. Exterminator:
    I’m surprised it took you so long to get your “friend” into the conversation.

  9. Chappy said: I’m surprised it took you so long to get your “friend” into the conversation.

    yeah, especially when you are talking about BillO and Faux News.

  10. I work in the same building as Fox News. Check out what I have staring down at me every morning when I am waiting for the elevator:

    O’Reilly is such a brazen liar. If you take him to task for something outrageous or inaccurate he said, he will claim “You are taking it out of context! You don’t know what I said! Media Matters? They’re just a bunch of far-left smear merchants and character assassins!”

    One thing I am happy about though is that Michelle Malkin is no longer a guest host on the O’Reilly Factor. As obnoxious as O’Reilly is, he at least knows how to poke fun of himself from time to time. Malkin couldn’t make a joke at her own expense to save her life. She is so shrill and bitter all the time that she is simply unwatchable.

  11. I listen to him on my way home from work every now and then, he just hangs up on anyone with a brain. Then he turns what they say around and spins it. The name of his show should tip you off, “The No Spin Zone” actually means “The Spin Zone”.

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