Last night Bill O’Reilly engaged in a particularly obtuse and angst-ridden defense of himself. His pique was inflamed by critics who brought attention to the commentary he gave on election night when he slammed voters who “want stuff” and seemed nostalgic for a majority white, “traditional America.”
O’Reilly: “The white establishment is now the minority. And the voters, many of them, feel that the economic system is stacked against them and they want stuff. You are going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama. Overwhelming black vote for President Obama. And women will probably break President Obama’s way. People feel that they are entitled to things and which candidate, between the two, is going to give them things? The demographics are changing. It’s not a traditional America anymore.”
That’s fairly typical for an O’Reilly rant and isn’t newsworthy in and of itself. what’s interesting is that he had the gall to wrap this screed in an attack on left-wing critics who merely reported what he said. This led to him saying even more things for which he surely will be remembered. For instance:
O’Reilly: “There are entire media operations that exist solely to promote ideology.”
Indeed there are. And O’Reilly should know. He is the kingpin host for just such an operation. Fox News was built from scratch to promote the ideology of a lizardly old Australian and is run by the former media guru to Richard Nixon and the Republican Party. There was never any intent for Fox to be anything other than a conservative propaganda machine. So this makes O’Reilly’s remarks drip with irony. And it isn’t the first time he has obliviously wandered off the reservation. A few years ago he was candid enough to make this observation:
O’Reilly: “There are few journalistic standards left these days, as we’ve proven on this broadcast again and again.”
Yes, bill, you have certainly proven that many times over. I can’t think of another program that proves it more conclusively.
O’Reilly’s homage to a bygone era of a “traditional” nation that was predominately white and never asked for handouts is remarkably similar to Mitt Romney’s vision of an America where 47% of the people are moochers who won’t take responsibility for themselves. Romney even reiterated that thought post-election when explaining to his fleeced donors that he lost because “the President’s campaign focused on giving targeted groups a big gift.” To Romney, the race was determined by loafers whose votes could be bought by promises of federal swag – inconsequential things like health care and food. It’s funny that Romney neglected to note that his own campaign also promised big gifts to targeted voters, except the voters he targeted were wealthy folks who yearned for lower taxes and federal subsidies.
I suppose we should be grateful that O’Reilly has come forward to admit the existence of ideological media enterprises. If only he knew what he was actually talking about and recognized his own complicity for slinging the most biased hunks of pseudo-journalistic gruel ever broadcast.