Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bill O'Reilly's crybaby conservatism

One of the character defects that seems to be nearly universal to many of the conservative media stars that dominate Fox News and AM radio is an ability to be brutally mean-spirited and vicious towards others, only to then turn around when called on it or when someone responds in kind and cry about how mean and unfair and hateful that person or category (e.g. "liberals") is.

Witness Bill O'Reilly, who routinely sends out slimeball producers to stalk and confront people going about their normal business, like when he had Jesse Waters stake our Amanda Terkel's apartment, follow her several hours across state lines, then start questioning her after she checked into a hotel; or when Jesse Waters confronted a judge in a gas station, then stuck his foot in the judge's car door in an attempt to prevent him from driving off. (In both instances, O'Reilly and partners were dishonest.)

So imagine what Bill O'Reilly's reaction was when he walked out of a hotel in D.C. and was approached by an Occupy Wall Street protester with a camera asking him if he attended a Newt Gingrich fundraiser. O'Reilly shoved his umbrella into the guy's face, then he tried to have him arrested by White House police. Then he went on his tv show and complained that if he had punched the protester like he wanted to he would have been charged for assault. My favorite part, though, is O'Reilly asserting that had the person identified himself before asking the question he would have been glad to respond.

So O'Reilly is perfectly fine with sending his minions out to interrupt people's lives and put them in extremely uncomfortable situations, but when someone tries to ask him a single question after accidentally coming across him (as opposed to the deliberate stalking that O'Reilly's team engages in) he considers it a criminal threat to himself and laments that the law doesn't enable him to physically assault the individual.

I actually do sympathize with O'Reilly's fear that some random person could come up to him and do him harm. I detest the tactics of paparazzi and believe the protester who approached O'Reilly could (and should) have identified himself and asked O'Reilly if he minded being asked a question and/or filmed - to which O'Reilly almost certainly would have said yes. (Or would have done the same exact thing, regardless, I'm guessing.)

But what bothers me is O'Reilly's own inability to take the feelings he has about being confronted and extend them to others put in a similar situation by his own crew. In other words, to empathize and exercise the Golden Rule which a self-proclaimed Christian like O'Reilly is supposed to hold as the bedrock foundation of his ethics.


Paul Sunstone said...

I think your post is one of the most damning -- and accurate -- criticisms I've read about O'Reilly in a long time. You've nailed it.

Mark Vuletic said...

But O'Reilly is a hero, and the people he disagrees with are evil, so of course he should be held to a different standard than everyone else.

Hume's Ghost said...

O'Reilly defended his ambushes (which are intended to harass and intimidate those O'Reilly considers enemies) by saying that his guys show up identifying themselves as Fox News and have mics and stuff.

That strikes me as kind of reinforcing the protesters point about O'Reilly being a mouthpiece for the 1% in that only those in the corporate owned media can ambush question people, and the non-corporate media folk should actually be arrested if they dare assault (i.e. ask a question and film it) the royal person of an elite like O'Reilly.

Grung_e_Gene said...

O' Reilly is a bully. He verbally bullies people on his show and he physically bullies people on the street.

I would believe his assertion about fearing the guy if he didn't go to the police officer after having struck the guy with the umbrella to lie that the guy attacked him.

Or like all Faux "Reporters" he has read so much propaganda and so many lies that he is self-conditioned.