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Bill O'Reilly: American Print Press Is a "Bunch of Vicious SOBs"

Reported by Marie Therese - December 14, 2005

I believe Bill O'Reilly sees the world only as a reflection of himself. He's made a fortune using his own name as his brand. The chatzkies he hawks every day promote his own special persona. Always and everywhere, no matter what you buy at his BillOReilly.com Holiday/Christmas/Chanukkah/Mother's Day/ Father's Day/Easter/Summer/Winter/Spring and Fall store, you see his name prominently displayed for all to see. He has convinced legions of "folks" that he and he alone will take care of them. (The sad thing is that there are so many who are willing to let him do it!) They buy his coffee mugs and No Spin pins and jackets for high prices, because he advertises that they are "proudly made in the USA." They pay $49.95 a year to become Premium Members, just so they can e-mail him directly through BillOReilly.com, watch his online interactive Q & A sessions, listen to the Radio Factor at any time and rate the segments on each night's show.

It is clear from past shows that he has researchers combing the various media outlets, culling out references to his name, both positive and negative. I'm sure he enjoys feeding his ego by reading those that praise him. As for the negative ones, that's another matter. Like a blind man swatting at flies, O'Reilly goes on the offensive any time he is treated negatively by the media or even by ordinary citizens who write to him. Many times over the past two years I've gasped at the malevolence of his comments when responding to some poor. unsuspecting citizen who had the gall to challenge his opinion in an email.

Since his own ego is the filter and his success rises and falls on the power of his "name" to further the conservative agenda and line his pockets, he judges the worth of everything by how it affects him personally. Consequently, he attacks anyone who attacks that "name." Last night's O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel was no exception. In fact, it was classic O'Reilly.

The opening salvo was his Talking Points Memo in which he moaned and groaned that the only newspaper in the whole of these great United States that treated his "War on Christmas" story with the respect it deserved was the Ventura County Star of California. He said "Every other newspaper has either ignored the subject or criticized us for even bringing it up."

He then repeated his standard claim that the war on Christmas has been mounted by heathen forces desperate to enforce their minority will on the great baptized majority. He referenced some unnamed poll [but I assume it's this one] that claims that 45% of America is angry about the war on Christmas. As usual, he named a few of the "bad" guys, including FOX News' very own Neil Gabler.

Here's what he had to say:

This is about the ACLU suing over manger displays. A common tactic in the print [sic] is to say the entire controversy is the work of fanatical Christians. The far-left Madison Wisconsin Capital-Times, the Tacoma News-Tribune, the far-left Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the liberal Philadelphia Enquirer have all done that, misleading readers into thinking that only committed Christians are offended by Christmas exclusions when the truth, according to the polls, is that almost half the country's angry.

The Columbus, Georgia Ledger-Enquirer has been especially nasty about the controversy. This Knight-Ridder newspaper does not reflect its community and really needs to wise up. The usual left-wing ideologues like columnists Ellen Goodman, Bill Press, Nicholas Kristof are very worried about the Christmas deal largely because the secular movement's getting it's is getting its butt kicked. All over the USA, Christmas is back, thanks to you, citizens who have had enough.

Even on this [net]work, secularists have attacked:

VIDEO CLIP OF FOX News Watch, Saturday November 26th:

NEIL GABLER: It's the elephant in the room. It's FOX News. Come on! It's O'Reilly. It's Hannity. It's Gibson. They're demagogues who realize that at Christmastime you can ramble away - you rouse the masses on this issue!

END VIDEO CLIP

Now we asked Neil Gabler to explain his demagogue remark on the Factor but he is hiding under his holiday tree! Gabler needs to see the Wizard about some courage. It worked for the lion.

The fascinating part about this story is how wide the gulf is between the U.S. media and the American people. When only one newspaper understands the disrespect that's in the air, there's a huge problem. Twenty years ago there WAS no Christmas controversy. Back then, saying "Merry Christmas" was the accepted greeting of the season. That's not true any longer.

[COMMENT: Duh, Bill, that's the crux of the matter. You, Hannity and Gibson have CREATED a controversy, where none existed before. You have just admitted it in so many words!]

The secularists may be retreating now but they have made large gains, thanks to the overwhelming support of the American media.

O'Reilly then interviewed two guests on this topic, C. Jackson Bain, former NBC News correspondent, now chairman of his own communications firm, and David Andelman, former CBS News correspondent who is now Executive Editor of Forbes.com.

Andelman agreed with O'Reilly.

Bain did not. But, as is so often the case on FOX News, it was two against one.

Andelman started off by stating a fact, that newspapers are losing readership, then claimed that the loss is because they are "out of touch" with their audience. He never elaborated on what he meant by "out of touch," therefore leaving the audience to draw their own conclusions from insufficient information. However, because this statement occurred immediately after O'Reilly's lament about the lack of coverage of the important war on Christmas story, Factor viewers - who clearly like being "looked out for" by their surrogate father figure - could immediately make the assumption that Andelman was claiming that this loss of readership is directly caused by the newspaper assault on Christmas.

Bain jumped in to defend newspapers, claiming editorial board meetings are very concerned about the needs of the local community: "What they're doing, basically, is not just thinking about, you know, what their circulation is and how many ... column inches of advertising there are - although that's part of their jobs - they're also thinking about: What's out community like? How do we define our community? And I think that somewhere around - after Thanksgiving - everybody who's a newspaper editor reaches some kind of saturation point on angst and negative stories and polarization stories and things like that and I think, frankly, they are looking for ways to diminish stories that pull people apart."

When Jackson said he thought most newspapers were trying to make their communities better, O'Reilly made a loud, dismissive noise and called his ideas "a bunch of hooey." At the same time, Andelman, who seemed to be seeking approval from O'Reilly, claimed that "there is no nobility left in the American newspaper newsroom."

O'REILLY: Listen, Jackson, we respect your opinion but you're dead wrong on this one. Now, in the south, Richmond Times [Dispatch], for example - now, this is a conservative city, Richmond. This is not Madison, Wisconsin where you expect those people to be communing with Satan up there in the Madison, Wisconsin media."

Throughout this piece of supercilious puffery, the "liberal" Jackson Bain kept AGREEING with O'Reilly's statements, which weakened him as an oppositional voice. Why on earth would he say "right" and "yes" to a stupid statement like people are "communing with Satan"? Such behavior made him look like a doormat for O'Reilly and Andelman, who seemed square-jawed and definite by contrast. This is a recurring situation on FOX News Channel, as we News Hounds have documented repeated in the past two years.

O'Reilly continued, saying "... But not in Richmond. (reading) 'Richmond. Bill O'Reilly: Christmas lies under siege. Unless defended, it could even disappear.' That's a lie and they know it's a lie. Then they go (reading) 'Christmas vacation as winter break is in no way demeaning to Christmas.'"

To his credit Bain gave a staunch defense of the editors of the Richmond Times-Dispatch to which O'Reilly replied, with typical journalistic impartiality, "Crazy left-wing paper!"

O'REILLY: I think I've made a pretty persuasive case, when only one newspaper in the country has weighed in on a positive realm on this. All the others are either demonizing me or deny it exists. I believe it's that most of these editorial boards do want a secular society. That's what it's about."

Andelman in essence agreed with O'Reilly's assessment. Bain, however, dissented and asked "Could it possibly be a view of the world in which there's less fighting and more peace?"

O'Reilly and his echo, Andelman, immediately pooh-poohed this as just plain stupid.

O'REILLY: The print press in this country is as vicious as it comes and for you to sit there in Washington and say they're a bunch of benign little elves trying to make things nice - they're a bunch of vicious SOBs!"

BAIN disagreed saying "they're a bunch of very good guys."

O'Reilly threw up his hands in disgust and said (bringing it back to himself, as always): "I don't know how many more examples I have to say. I mean I've been called every name under the sun - every name under the sun - for trying to get a little respect for Christmas."

Jackson Bain noted that "more people want Christmas inside than outside." However, he was overtalked by David Andelman who noted "I've worked in three of the four major newspaper in the city, in this city, New York - the Daily News, Newsday and the New York Times, alright. There are some very good solid professional journalists there, who believe in reflecting the world around them. Now, perhaps, they've lost touch with the world around them."

COMMENT

It's O'Reilly who's lost touch with reality. Only a consummate egotist could claim that being ignored is proof that he's right!

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