Thursday, October 19, 2006

Still A Horrible Human Being, Only More So

The Continuing Sorry Saga of William James O'Reilly Jr.

If you haven't been following the actions of this reactionary madman recently, he seems to be on the brink of total mental breakdown. Let's take a look at some of his more egregious transgressions against Truth, Fact & Sanity, but be warned: This is not for the squeamish.

Last week, in full self-pity mode, he bemoaned the fact that daytime talk show queen Oprah Winfrey never invites him and other conservatives on her show. He pathetically wondered why Oprah was disinterested in letting him promote his O'Reilly Factor For Kids tome, which he called the biggest selling non-fiction childrens book of the year, as well as his newest work, Culture Warrior, a demented diatribe against liberals and secular progressives that serves as little more than a glorified enemies list -- assuring O'Reilly a permanent place in the pantheon of other paranoid American basket cases like Richard Nixon, J. Edgar Hoover and Joe McCarthy. He raved about Winfrey having a liberal bias, evidently not seeing the irony that he hosts a show on a cable channel where opposing voices are rarely if ever welcome. He cross-promotes his books and other products on his cable show, radio show and newspaper columns, but apparently that's not enough of a forum to satisfy Mr. No Spin.

I'm sure in private moments he wonders when the Pulitzer and Nobel committees are going to get around to calling him, and checks the mail daily for that MacArthur Fellowship grant and the invite to his Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony. (Okay, maybe that last one's not so farfetched, given some of the recent honorees.)

This man's insecurity knows no bounds. He recently lamented that he never gets invited to parties. O'Reilly probably thinks it's because of his "uncompromising" political views, but the real deal-breaker is his toxic personality and his inability to, how can we put this, desist from making things up not only about politics but his own personal background -- from lying about his Independent voter registration and "combat record" to claims he led the NCAA in punting while attending football powerhouse Marist College, as well as exaggerating the "rough and tumble" circumstances of his childhood growing up in the no-man's-land of Westbury, Long Island. We're talking clinical, chronic, inveterate prevaricator here. It literally never stops. This is why he fits right in with the current administration, where reality always comes in a distant second to politics.

The other day he conducted a disgustingly sycophantic interview with President Bush, coming off as little more than a toadying flatterer, while shabbily working in a bit of self-promotion. Back in 2003, O'Reilly looked into the camera on his cable show and declared that if there turned out to be no WMDs in Iraq, then it was our obligation to hold Bush responsible, for Bush to come clean to the American people. Somehow we're still waiting for Bill to do his part, because it didn't seem to "come up" in his interview on Fair & Balanced Fox News.

Yesterday on The O'Reilly Factor he apparently lamented the influence and sheer profusion of Internet bloggers, threatening to blow up the blogosphere with hand grenades if he could get away with it, presumably only those who don't share his political viewpoints. That's the typical brand of heady discourse we've come to expect from this irrational man. But we all know he's a physical coward and rodomont, without even the requisite guts to come out and say he's a Republican, instead choosing time and again to hide behind the tissue-thin canard of being registered as a political Independent.

Last week on his cable show he provided his viewers with this stunningly simplistic take on the recent North Korea nuclear missile test: it was an attempt to influence the upcoming elections in favor of the Democrats, the same tired line he has used before about Iran.

Something about Bill O'Reilly really sets people off and sends them spiraling into raging paroxysms of hatred, at least those with a modicum of intelligence and integrity who see through his lies and utter fabrications. And of course he also deservedly inspires craploads of humor where he is the target of ridicule, scorn and extreme mockery. But before today I had never seen a song parody of Bullshit Bill that was quite so effective and so right.

My favorite TV moment of this or perhaps any other millennium was David Letterman informing the stunned blowhard that 60% of what he says is probably crap (obviously a lowball estimate), after lecturing O'Reilly that he was way out of line to criticize Cindy Sheehan, who lost a son to Bush's Folly in Iraq. It simply never gets stale to watch it over and over again.

Here's a man who was lucky to retain his position following a sordid sexual harassment case, but like most neocons and conservatives in the Dick Cheney mold, being wrong repeatedly does nothing to temper their hubris, arrogance or rabidity. The best we can do is closely monitor the overwrought ravings of this small-minded, fractious man until we can bear witness to his inevitable downfall into an even more unglued, non compos mentis state. We'll be watching and waiting, watching and waiting...

1 comment:

Wayne A. Schneider said...

Good article. I look forward to checking the rest of the links to see what news of him I missed. And thanks for thinking of me.