Last week Bill O’Reilly spent several minutes gushing about himself and his ratings. This is a regular feature on “The Narcissist Factor” wherein he boasts about the huge pool of lemmings that are transfixed by his megalomaniacal visage. On this occasion he offered up an explanation for his popularity amongst the brain-dead demographic:
“Well, a major reason is the health care debate. While the other network news broadcasts downplay the dissent and promote the government takeover of the health care industry, FOX News highlights the intense debate. When we cover the town hall meetings, we don’t describe the protesters as loons.”
Oh Really? O’Reilly’s self-righteous homage to his fairness and/or balance rings somewhat hollow when his actual record of name-calling is examined. The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart touched on it briefly, airing a video of O’Reilly calling some protesters loons. Then a smug O’Reilly struck back asserting that Stewart had unfairly taken him out of context. O’Reilly’s rebuttal was actually wide of the mark, but even if we give him the benefit of a doubt, if O’Reilly wants to represent himself as someone who has never unfairly characterized political opponents as loons, he is going to have to deal with more than just Stewart’s single example, he is going to have to face up to this (partial) collection of his childish loon-acy:
The Far-Left Loons / She’s a loon / I know a loon when I see one / these far-left loons / and he is a loon / there are enough loony judges / if you’re a far-left loon / some kind of loon / these loons get completely out of control / about 4000 loons are roaming / obviously a loon / A left-wing loon / a loon catcher / the loon who wrote that / Some loons / he’s a certified loon / protesters as loons / because loons control / because those loons / and their loony parents / you’re a loon / left-wing loons / attacks by far-left loons / radical left wing loon / Hey, you loons / some loons want / get the loons / anti-American loons / Enter far-left loon / number two, you’re a loon / you’d think the far-left loons / Far-left loons continue / some left-wing loons / The loony Web sites / Far-left loon Katrina van den Heuvel / radical loons are still / I believe Wright is a loon / many far-left loons hate / opposing the loons / allowed loons to post / Far-left loons may / with the loons / far left loon Nickie Think [sic] / far-left loons who believe / dishonest loon like that / far-left loons are furious / bother the loony left / John Edwards is a loon / hear some loon say / put loons on / some progressive loons / One loon opined / another far-left loon / is he a loon or what / encouraged the loons / these loons step up / the Kos loons / dangerous loons / some loons are even supporting / far-left loons gleefully / the far left loons who put / politicians who are far-left loons / the loons from Barack Obama’s past / You sound like a raving loon / far-left loons and America haters / far-left loons are – vile people / San Francisco loons / That’s the far left loons / the far left loons demean / some loons decided / their loony commentators / far-left loons have denigrated / postings by loons / duke it out with this loon / Left-wing loons desperately want / If far-left loons gain power / the same loons back again / funneling money to left-wing loons / their parents are loons / derailed by some loony guy / a complete loon / pieces on those loons / far-left loons are targeting broadcasters / the loons who spit / Moore and his loony philosophy / Enough loons running around / far left loons are running wild / they’re just left-wing loons / biggest left-wing loon conference / Say the loons in Sacramento / hundreds of loons are on the streets / certifiable left-wing loon / We don’t need loony ideologues / all of these far-left loons / far-left loons like Franken / outnumbered by far-left loons / the lefty loony agenda / the goal of those loons / some of it is just loony
Yes, there are 99 of them. I had to stop somewhere. I’d love to see O’Reilly try to justify his habit of demeaning those with whom he disagrees by calling them names. The documentation above proves that it is not the rare moment of excitement that draws O’Reilly to sink to these tactics. It is a core element of his behavior, one which he repeats incessantly. What’s more, his disparagement is ALWAYS directed at liberals. There was not a single instance of him referring to a “right-wing loon” or a “far-right loon” when searched in Google. Despite his disingenuous claims of neutrality, his words belie a record of bias that is indisputable.
One has to wonder how O’Reilly jumped to the conclusion that his ratings benefited from him not calling town hall protesters, with whom he agreed, loons. He certainly called everybody else loons. And he has called protesters much worse when he disagreed with them. In December of 2005, he had this to say about anti-war protesters, including peace activists from World Can’t Wait:
“…early in Hitler’s rise to power, Nazi brown shirts did the same thing that World Can’t Way [sic] and other radical extremists are doing now, disrupting speeches, denying opposing points of view [...] ‘Talking Points’ respects honestly held views, including those held by Communists, socialists, and other radicals. This is America. They have a right to believe what they want to believe. They don’t have the right to infringe on the rights of others by trying to stop them from speaking. And they don’t have the right to spread malicious propaganda unchallenged.”
From O’Reilly’s perspective, anti-war protesters were monstrous traitors for engaging in activities that disrupted speeches and denied opposing points of view. But when town hall tea baggers do it they are patriotic icons of free expression. But the most ironic of O’Reilly’s assertions is his professed opposition to spreading malicious propaganda. Of course, if he truly believed that he wouldn’t work for Fox News.
One More Thing: A study by Indiana University found that…
“O’Reilly called a person or a group a derogatory name once every 6.8 seconds, on average, or nearly nine times every minute during the editorials that open his program each night.”
The study proved that O’Reilly is a textbook propagandist who “consistently paints certain people and groups as villains.”