I think that as of September 2008 O'Reilly officially started sucking. Actually, truth be told, he began to stink for me long before that. But when he sat down with the great pretender who now plays POTUS on TV, he could have put this guy's testicles in a vice and given the handle a few spins. The resulting screams would have reverberated across the political landscape and maybe -- just maybe -- have shaken up a few hearty souls in the Knee-Pad media® and resulted in their cowboying up and hitting this poseur with a few tough interrogatories themselves.
Quite possibly the election may have taken on a different appearance and people would have been a little less enamoured with their messiah, seeing he had feet of clay.
Of course, the jury is still out as to whether we would have been better off if McCain were elected. I mean, it'd be like that raging hangover you get where both your head and stomach give you problems and you lay abed deciding if you can muster the energy to tread into the porcelain maiden and ralph up your innards. With Obama, it's now no-brainer. You know as soon as we upchuck this offensive and undigested bit of pork fat, our system will begin to heal. (The only problem is that we have to wait a little over three years to vomit. This is -- what -- like the dry heaves?)
Alas, I stray from my subject of the Terminally Self-Referential O'Reilly.
Bloviating Bill is all about himself. His show is such a constant allusion to how he is the center of the universe that it calls from memory the old SNL editorials an egotistical, self-centered Al Franken used to do where each statement was humorously punctuated by the phrase, "..me, Al Franken." Now, when the daily fare of O'Reilly's dialog reminds one of an attempt at humor by someone like Franken, the show clearly sailed into uncharted waters. And it long ago grew tiresome for me.
I cannot remember a time, in fact, where I thought O'Reilly was insightful, original, or burn-down-the-house revolutionary. His program is so-o-o-o-o-o structured around posturing himself to be the quintessential arbiter of the middle ground that it comes off as supremely condescending with gimmicks like, "I'll give you the last word." If he ever tried that with me, I'll guarantee that I would never get the last word as our dialog would retreat into fusillades of four letter epithets and assertions of what each other's mother wears on their feet. It isn't that I would not be civil, it's just that I would be so flat-assed bored as the pablum-esque struggle to find out how Войска ПВО figured in the Wonderful World of O'Reilly.
To continue my unhinged bleat, what's patently phony is his attempt to portray himself as coming from mddle class roots. His speech patterns, replete with "dis", "dose", "youse", and similar, rankle me. Consider this excerpt from his Wikipedia bio. Man, he really works at it (emphasis added):
O'Reilly has long said that his inspiration for speaking up for average Americans are his working-class roots. He has pointed to his boyhood home in Levittown, New York as a credential. In an interview with The Washington Post, O'Reilly's mother said that her family lived in Westbury, which is a few miles from Levittown. Citing this interview, Al Franken and others have accused O'Reilly of distorting his background to create a more working-class image. O'Reilly countered that The Washington Post misquoted his mother, and he said his mother still lives in his childhood home, which was built by William Levitt. O'Reilly placed a copy of the house's mortgage on his website; the mortgage shows a Levittown postal address. O'Reilly has also said, "You don't come from any lower than I came from on an economic scale" and that his father "never earned more than $35,000 a year in his life." Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting has calculated that adjusted for inflation, $35,000 in 1978 would be worth over $90,000 in 2001 dollars. O'Reilly has retorted that his father's $35,000 income only came at the end of his long career.Similarly, he makes a big deal out of his independent political stance. From the same Wikipedia entry:
"I'm not a political guy in the sense that I embrace an ideology. To this day I'm an independent thinker, an independent voter, I'm a registered independent. ...there are certain fundamental things that this country was founded upon that I respect and don't want changed. That separates me from the secularists who want a complete overhaul of how the country is run."That would be wonderful if you heard this from some guy in the street or it popped up in a conversation with the guy on the bar stool next to you. But with O'Reilly, this is like the Big-L versus Little-L libertarian mantra. It's an affectation and he is just using this like a bookie gives points to get action.
Actually, that's a good analogy and probably goes to the core of why I think the guy is a crashing bore: he will say anything to get people to watch his show. He runs hot and cold. Now that popular public sentiment is that Obama is a disaster, he is out there on the front lines bashing the current administration with aplomb, raking them over the coals and condescendingly giving his lunatic left guests the last word. But back when public sympathies ran towards dumping the seemingly failed Bush administration at all costs, he did not have the ganas to metaphorically pull the trigger when he had Obama in his sights.
However, to be fair, it is all about ratings and how one packages one's self. Each commentator -- O'Reilly, Beck, Van Sustern, Hannity, etc. -- do what they think necessary to get their watchers. Hell, Fox News does what it does to get its ratings. I realize this is a very naive statement, but if you get past the political commentary to the packaging, one cannot help but notice the blonde-haired, lip-glossed babes that appear in legions as news readers, hosts, and adornments throughout all of the shows. One also notices that these info-babes are sprinkled, two-at-a-time, throughout O'Reilly and Hannity shows -- as what -- a subliminal suggestion that Fox commentary results in some sort of male fantasy? The point is that it's all marketing and it is designed to get people to watch and keep them watching over the breaks so that commercials sell product. Oh, and for the record, a lot of these very pretty ladies are extremely qualified; lawyers, etc. Fankly, I find it refreshing to watch someone who presents a pleasant appearance as well as a political point of view that coincides with mine.
I mean, one does not need to subject one's self to a bevy of Helen Thomases to attain news creditability.
And, one final remark about O'Reilly: This rant is just my opinion. He does have the best numbers going and recently outpolled Jay Leno in ratings, so I will be willing to concede to being a tad damp (as opposed to being all wet). And, the reality of it is that, as centrist Democrats tire of the shenanigans that their party is pulling, they are more apt to be pulled towards the opposite side of the spectrum by Bill O'Reilly than -- say -- Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck. For now, I consider Bill a pinhead!
But I will give him the last word.