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What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Bill O'Reilly Gives Me a Headache

I used to be a big fan of Fox News. Most nights I would watch The O'Reilly Factor and Hannity and Colmes. I try to catch Fox News Watch every Saturday afternoon.

Now I hate Fox News.

Well, I still like Fox News Watch. But I find that it's impossible to watch The O'Reilly Factor or Hannity and Colmes. The shows are insufferable. I really, really, really hate Sean Hannity. Mainly because he's a smug, arrogant, hypocritical bully.

O'Reilly used to be tolerable. At some point he decided to appoint himself as morality czar and now his show is nothing more than a vehicle for the self-righteous O'Reilly to sit upon his throne and dictate morality for America. Which is ironic, considering the trouble he almost got into with a producer for his show, Andrea Mackris, who had accused O'Reilly of sexual harassment. Unfortunately, the case settled out of court, presumably to keep secret audio tapes of O'Reilly speaking with Mackris in a way that would be the opposite of moral, or decent.

Unfazed by the lawsuit, O'Reilly continues to dish out his tough-love approach to the world. Not just on television; he also hosts The Radio Factor, a show I have not yet heard because I am at school when O'Reilly's show is on.

Which brings me to one of the reasons why I hate Bill O'Reilly (not as much as I hate Sean Hannity, though): some would say that O'Reilly is an arrogant prick. I'd agree.

Take this transcript from his Jan. 13 show, where he's discussing wealth, poverty and education with University of Massachusetts Professor Randy Albelda. Here is Bill O'Reilly's thoughtful exchange with Albelda:

O'REILLY: Come on. The government never gave me anything, madam. I mean, I'm paying an enormous amount of taxes. And, you wanna take more and give it to somebody else who may have not gotten educated 'cause they're lazy. I mean -- I resent that --

ALBELDA: Is that why you think people aren't educated? Because they're lazy?

O'REILLY: Most people who don't make any money are not educated because they didn't wanna get educated.

O'Reilly has a firm grasp on reality, wouldn't you say?

People aren't educated because they're lazy?

Bullshit.

People aren't educated because they cannot afford to go to school. Or they are not educated because they're holding down a full-time job and managing a household. I know, O'Reilly claims he isn't a conservative, but he sure thinks like one, where the world can be broken down into black and white thinking, rather than acknowledging the shades of grey that exist.

I went into the military at the age of 17. I went because I didn't believe I could get a college education. Part of that decision came from the fact that college was never presented to me as a real option when I was in high school. My family was pretty poor, which would have qualified me for scholarships, grants and loans. I didn't know how the system worked. So, I went into the military, spent six years there, got out, and ended up working in high tech. All without an education, but not because I was too lazy to go to school.

In the same interview, O'Reilly also is surprised to learn that there might actually be poor people in Boston:

ALBELDA: Well, I'm a teacher, too. And, I live in a city where I see kids that wanna be educated but often can't -- either they don't have enough to eat every morning --

O'REILLY: They're starving in Boston? I lived in Boston for seven years. I never saw anybody starving in Boston.

ALBELDA: You never did?

O'REILLY: Never! And I was out in Roxbury and every place else!

That's classic Bill for you: if he hasn't seen it, it doesn't exist. Here's a news flash for Bill O'Reilly: people go hungry all across the United States, not just in Boston.

I mentioned being poor as a kid. We had it so bad on occasion that my step-father would get us food by stealing it from dumpsters behind grocery stores.

Somehow, I doubt Bill O'Reilly ever had to eat food stolen from grocery store dumpsters when he was a kid.

Bill O'Reilly likes to say he's "looking out for you." The reality is, of course, that Bill O'Reilly is looking out for himself first. I think looking out for kids is at the bottom of his list. Especially the poor kids in Boston, who apparently do not get educated because they're too lazy to do so, coming from families living on $8.00 an hour from welfare. I think it's safe to say that Bill O'Reilly does not earn $8.00 an hour.

Who's looking out for you? Not Bill O'Reilly, that's for sure.

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