Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Being without tv here for most of the year, and being well traveled in the world, so knowing better than to expect truth in the news, I wasn't acquainted with more than the names of the tv newspeople Etan Thomas mentioned in his speech (previous post); but while visiting the States recently I did get a short but stomach-turning look at Bill O'Reilly, who I am embarrassed to say is Irish. (Of a certain boorish, bullying type I remember very well from my younger days in NY; being Irish myself, I was ashamed of the type then, too.)

Secure behind a slick shield of acid innuendo nuanced to resemble truth (there’s no money in truth), O'Reilly appeals to those of the shortchanged powerless who fester with vicious opinions. Which, judging by Mr. O’s popularity, would seem to comprise the majority of the tv-watching American public, for whom he is the mouthpiece of the day, though I pray that soon comes to an end…

Using logical and rhetorical deceptions that have always been the stock-in-trade of corrupt politicians, shady lawyers, pyramid schemers, Brooklyn Bridge salesmen and the like (deceptions apparent to anyone who thinks deeply on a daily basis), peppered with gaps in logic and razors of innuendo that would never be allowed in a court of law or any other forum of integrity (but that fall clinically short of libel), O’Reilly postures with faux authority as any poor-man's Mussolini must do who wishes to maintain the illusion of genuineness.

That O'Reilly has a slant (precipice might be a better word) is obvious even before he opens his mouth. (Subjectively speaking, he even LOOKS toxic.) He's the malignant form of the old-time night-carnival barkers who used to cover the ground in deep sawdust and cheerily drop the change of the rubes crowding in to see the alligator lady as he goodfellowed them along, away from their money on the shadowy ground (a net beneath the sawdust for his later ease of collection).

But those scammers moved from town to town, ripped folks off in each place only once a year; O’Reilly does his spiel on the airwaves every day across the nation, thieving something worth far more than money. And the fact he’s all the more popular for doing it doesn’t bode well for the integrity of America.


"I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down."

Radio 'host' Bill Bennett, former Reagan administration Secretary of Education(!!!) and author of the bestselling facade The Book of Virtues

As seen at MediaMatters
[added 9.30]


Dalene said...

In college, I majored first in journalism, and did so idealistically, believing in the Fourth Estate. Ahh,to be so wide-eyed young again. It was not too long into the world of journalism did I encounter truths about the media that shattered any noble notions of it being a noble profession. It is a business and businesses are in the business of making money, not reporting, without duplicitous motive, the truth of any matter. I have a tv, and have seen this little shrill of a man O'Reilly -- there are many of them. Well maybe not many, but more than I would like to know can find a large enough following that advertisers are happy to underwrite. Hopefully it is just a phase in our culture, that will transcend, eventually, to something of substance and admirable character.

Robert Brady said...

I suppose there will always be guys like O'Reilly, injecting venom into the body public; the sad thing is to see them so popular...