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Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reilly
Bill O'Reilly
BornSeptember 10, 1949
Alma materMarist College (BA)

Boston University (MA)

Harvard University (MPA)
Political partyRepublican (before 2001)
Independence (2001–present)
Home BaseNew York City, NY
Published ByOPP HQ
Published On13 March 2004

Bill O' Reilly is not a conservative. If there is anything he wants you to know it is that little point. Although the former host of the trash TV show Inside Edition is now the one picking up the mantle of current corpse Morton Downey and the hearing and spine-impaired Rush Limbaugh, he is not a conservative. Each weeknight on the conservative-leaning Faux News Channel, his show, The O'Reilly Factor churns out the right-wing propaganda hot and heavy, mostly from him as he goes after all the classic right-winger's enemies, Hollywood, the Clintons, blacks, women, gays, everyone else, etc.

But he is not a conservative.

And don't let that Republican Party registration fool you. In fact, disregard it entirely. O'Reilly nixed it a week before the Washington Post revealed the affiliation.

It is understood that his column appearing on the websites Town Hall and NewsMax may strike one curious, as the site do not exactly court left of center columnists. The NewsMax bio on him is curious too.

   "Born in Manhattan and raised in the suburb of Levittown, N.Y.," it states, "Bill O'Reilly had a blue-collar, ethnic upbringing common in the Northeast." 

In his column on Dec. 22, 2002, O'Reilly took this further, saying that

   "Christmas was a major deal. The ethnic neighborhood I lived in celebrated big time, with Irish, Italians and Jews all getting into the season's spirit." 

He also noted that during this festive season,

   "Never can I remember a religious or racial division in my neighborhood." 

Here's the funny part. Levittown, Long Island was not no bastion of diversity, and the Levitt Family, who founded the town was famous for its strict policiy against selling homes there to black, Latino and Asian families. We can only say he saw no racism only because people of color were not allowed to live there. It seems that the O'Reilly and NewsMax way of thinking is out of sight, out of mind, which sounds about right when one considers the Dec. 22 column was a rant against other cultures now asserting themselves and how he considered it "The Demeaning of Christmas."

As you can see, O'Reilly, like his supporters at NewMax, has no problem insulting his viewer's intelligence, as evidenced by the way he portrays his program. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) once gave this account of the show:

   "O'Reilly poses nightly as an outraged common man speaking out against the corruption of the liberal elites who run the country from Hollywood and Washington. 'We're the only show from a working-class point of view,' he once told the Washington Post (12/13/00). 'I understand working-class Americans. I'm as lower-middle-class as they come.'"
Inside Edition-Bill O'Reilly
Inside Edition-Bill O'Reilly

The One People's Project is trying to figure out how someone can be lower-middle-class with a contract reportedly worth $20 million, let alone suggest he is speaking from a working class point of view when he is anti-union.

Then again his points of view is squarely in the conservative column to begin with, so it would not be in the first place. Those points cause him to be rather inconsistent, more often than not in still more curious ways. Case in point: although he will defend a white supremacist's right to express his or herself (particularly in one case going after the right-wing foil Southern Poverty Law Center--and O'Reilly can thank Tom Metzger for making that clip from his show available on his website), as well as the right of any anti-gay person like Dr. Laura or Eminem, his advice to gays in the Boy Scouts in the Army or in high school is to

   "Shut up, don't tell anybody what you do, your life will be a lot easier." 

Even Al Sharpton embarrassed him when he declared during a discussion on an action Sharpton was taking at the time,

   "Boycotts are Un-American." 

Sharpton promptly challenged him on that stupid remark by telling him to call on the lifting of the Cuban embargo. O'Reilly was dumbfounded.

A few years later, he promoted a boycott of Pepsi after the company featured rapper Ludacris in their commercials. He also supported those who boycotted prominent anti-war activists, celebrities, and proclaims himself and his show as the sponsor of anti-France boycotts. Yep, these are double-standards often seen from conservatives, but make no mistake about it. O'Reilly is not a conservative.

By the way, syndicated columnist Stephen Moore told O'Reilly on his program on April 16, 2003 that he was the Rosa Parks of the 21st century because of his anti-France boycott. Yes, Moore cheapened the legacy of Rosa Parks, but we are wondering that if this is true, does this mean that O'Reilly is going to get locked up sometime soon? This particular show had another interesting gem. O'Reilly blew a chance to be on point for once when he justifiably admonished two Chicago White Sox fans for jumping on the ball field and attacking an umpire. As this was a repeated occurance, he suggested a solution that would stem this type of violence: charge the offenders with an act of terrorism! So in one show, we were able to see Rosa Parks and the concern for terrorism transformed into a cheap political stunt, but then again cheap political stunts are what conservatives are known for. O'Reilly too.

Then there is the show on January 14, 2002, where Bill began by insisting that Fox News is about being "fair and balanced." Later, while talking to producer Jerry Bruckheimer about his movie Black Hawk Down, and discussing that movie's subject regarding the mission in Somalia, and whether or not the movie gave a fair and balanced point of view for all sides involved, O'Reilly made it known that he was "not a fan of moral equivalancy."

And let us not forget how he will say his show's detractors may not have validity because they might not have seen the show, yet on July 10, 2002, he attacked the Quran as some sort of evil book to explain why he will never read it!

Oh yes, there is also the assertion that he is merely reporting the news, but when he is called on his editorializing while "reporting" he will then remind the detractor that it is a "news analysis" program. That casts a black cloud on the biggest part of O'Reilly's programs--his alleged "investigations." Seems like if it is goes up O'Reilly's crawl, it gets investigated, whether or not it warrants that investigation. FAIR gives this account:

   "One person O'Reilly especially likes to 'hammer' is Jesse Jackson. Since late 1998, when the Nexis news database began archiving the show's transcripts, The O'Reilly Factor has run an astounding total of 56 segments about Jesse Jackson (that is, with Jackson's name in the headline). That means that approximately one out of every 12 episodes of The O'Reilly Factor has featured a segment about Jackson -- over a period of two and a half years.
   "Lest anyone think O'Reilly has mixed feelings about Jackson, here is a partial sampling of O'Reilly transcript headlines: 
   'Did Jesse Jackson Pay His Mistress With Funds Donated to Charity?' (4/2/01); 
   'What Do Jesse Jackson's Financial Records Reveal?' (3/8/01); 
   'Has Jesse Jackson's Tax-Exempt Status Been Clarified?' (3/14/01); 
   'Is the IRS Avoiding Jesse Jackson?' (3/9/01); 
   'Has Jesse Jackson Lost His Moral Authority?' (1/9/01); 
   'How Personal Are African-Americans Taking the Moral Failures of Reverend Jesse Jackson?' (2/19/01); and, inevitably, 
   'Jesse Jackson Lashes Out at The Factor' (3/22/01)."

Jesse Jackson is considered among conservatives (which O'Reilly will like to remind you he is not), as the representative of all black people. To that end, anytime you see an attack on him from a conservative (or Bill O'Reilly), it can also be perceived as an attack on African-Americans, a group that O'Reilly has marginalized time and time again. There is almost nothing that African-Americans have done that O'Reilly has not attacked. The typical whining about rap, crime and babies born out of wedlock being the downfall of African-Americans is brought up on a routine basis by O'Reilly.

   "The truth is that the African-American community is going to have to change their point of view if the poverty level and inner city quality of life is going to improve," he says "The white power structure will always hold the gold in America. Blacks make up 13 percent of the population and disengaging from white people is a quick way to the unemployment line."

What makes it so bad is that O'Reilly is not paying attention. The "point of view" of the African-American community has not changed and the quality of life has improved over the past ten years alone with more African-American businesses, and professional people taking their place in today's society. The two things that make O'Reilly even more pathetic is 1) African-Americans in general are as conservative as the conservatives Bill O'Reilly defends (even though he is not one), and 2) even conservatives like Robert Novak are supporting people like Louis Farrakhan who is a popular leader among African-Americans, suggesting that it is whites who see the direction African-Americans are in as the correct one.

More on O'Reilly's race-baiting in a minute, by the way.

Another curious investigation is the one involving the charities after Sept. 11. O'Reilly is not the first person to question where money from large charities go, but it might not have happened in this case, according to Actor George Clooney, were it not for the snubbing he got when his show tried to "cover" the televised fundraiser Clooney put together. Clooney noted that O'Reilly did not get the access he wanted because he is regarded as a self-serving entertainment program. In short, O'Reilly's investigation is basically him sucking on sour grapes.

After Sept. 11, O'Reilly has been a major advocate for the dissolution of civil rights. Conservatives have long been opposed to civil rights to begin with, but the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon gave them more to work with. In the name of getting bin Laden, O' Reilly openly called for disregarding due process in the pursuit of Osama bin Laden, and even where there is a strong law enforcement presence, disregard the laws of the country the so-called "war on terrorism" is fought and go after whom he regards as the enemy. That would be Arabic people and Muslims. Arabs and Muslims have repeatedly tried to make the point that bin Laden is not representative of their faith and of their people, even on O'Reilly's show, and O'Reilly still says they need to speak up more. O'Reilly's race-baiting has gone completely out of control since Sept. 11.

And so has any notion of support of the First Amendment. As noted earlier, O'Reilly's support of freedom of expression is limited only to those he agrees with. The recent events are a perfect example. He cheers on as "a terrific thing" the idea that Bill Maher can be silenced, Katie Sierra being suspended and harassed for her dissent, or a little girl being run out of her school because her mother threatened to sue a public school after the principal erected a sign that said "God Bless America."

He also told a Canadian guest on his show on April 16, 2003 that in light of Canada's opposition to US policy in the Middle East, and while raising the threat that Americans will boycott Canada because of it, they had "better keep quiet" - even having the nerve to call it "democracy." When however, a student from Fairview Park High School outside of Cleveland posts on his locker some pro-war posters that have been described as racist towards Arab-Americans, O'Reilly lavishes praise on the kid for standing up for his first Amendment rights. And again he also defends the freedom of speech for white supremacists. Free speech should be across the board, shouldn't it, Bill?

The race-baiting may be catching up to him, however. Bill O?Reilly was emceeing an event on April 12, 2001 sponsored by the Best Friends Foundation, a non-profit that provides a curriculum and resources for children from 5th to 12th grade to make the proper decisions outside of school. During the festivities, a capella group of 6th to 8th grade boys called the Best Men (all of them black) was late making it back onto the stage to perform. Trying to fill the time, O?Reilly quipped,

   'Does anyone know where the Best Men are? I hope they're not in the parking lot stealing our hubcaps.?'


Now this isn't the first time he took a shot like this. Earlier in the year he refered to Mexican "wetbacks" on his program. There was not any fallout from that episode, however, there was from this one. Many members of the crowd, according to Lloyd Grove of the Washington Post, did not hear the remark. However, Bo Derek was in attendance and acknowledged hearing the remark, although provided no additional comment. Washington news anchor Andrea Roane, after hearing the remark, was purported to have muttered, "Unbelievable." Former Rep. Joe Scarborough, on his MSNBC program that shamelessly rips off O'Reilly's show, took a shot at him for this.

Since this made the third time that O'Reilly pissed off people of color in the year, perhaps it was the need to do some damage control that he seized upon a story about a whites-only "private party" in Georgia a few weeks later. The "private party was put on by white high school students upset that their school had started intergrating their proms. O'Reilly used his show to admonish the students, the school, and even Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. The result was a backlash from conservative and racist circles that otherwise supported him. Radio talk-shit host Neil Boortz was on his program and flat out charged him with trying to win points with African Americans after the April 12 remark. Boortz got a remark flung back at him at that point from O'Reilly:

   "You know, you're a vicious son of a bitch." 

Eh, what do you expect from someone who is not a conservative?

The whole boycott thing has made him look like an idiot as well. On April 27, 2004 he had on Heather Mallick of the Toronto Globe and Mail to discuss the two U.S. soldiers who deserted and fled to Canada. Displaying his usual dellusion of granduer, he decided to get into his badgering routine and threatened the entire nation of Canada with a boycott if they don't turn over the soldiers. Mallick was not impressed. This is the exchange:

   O'REILLY: Now if the [Canadian] government -- if your government harbors these two deserter [sic], doesn't send them back ... there will be a boycott of your country which will hurt your country enormously. France is now feeling that sting.
   MALLICK: I don't think for a moment such a boycott would take place because we are your biggest trading partners.
   O'REILLY: No, it will take place, madam. In France ...
   MALLICK: I don't think that your French boycott has done too well ...
   O'REILLY: ...they've lost billions of dollars in France according to The Paris Business Review.
   MALLICK: I think that's nonsense.

It's not just nonsense. Bill O'Reilly lied his ass off. According to Media Matters for America, there is no evidence of a publication named "The Paris Business Review." The closest thing to anything with that title is a journal called "European Business Review," which is published in England; however, over the past two years, "European Business Review" has not mentioned an American boycott of France. In addition, contrary to O'Reilly's claim that France has lost "billions of dollars" due to an his boycott, American imports from France have actually increased since international tensions with France began in the months prior to the start of the war in Iraq in March 2003. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in February 2004, the United States imported $2.26 billion in French goods and services, up from $2.18 billion in February 2002. THis little lie was mentioned in a Rolling Stone article about O'Reilly, so it is only a matter of time before he starts spinning - yes, spinning - this to save face. Meanwhile, since his comments, the Paris Business Review has made a few appearences, as you can see via links on his intro block above

O'Reilly is still the darling of the conservative elite. Around the time of the GOP convention in 2000, Bill O'Reilly gave the keynote speech at David Horowitz's conservative "Restoration Weekend" event, described by the Washington Times as the "premiere political event for conservative thinkers." O'Reilly has had the leftist-turned-racist Horowitz on his show numerous times to talk about race relations, leftist sentiments in universities and why they are wrong, and the Clintons. He has also spoke before Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, hardly a forum for progressive thought.

But make no mistake about it. Bill O'Reilly is not a conservative.