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Book Review - "Sweet Jesus, I Hate Bill O'Reilly"

Reported by Chrish - June 3, 2006

Book Review - "Sweet Jesus I Hate Bill O'Reilly"
By Judy Daubenmier

Hating Bill O’Reilly is not just a fad anymore. It’s a full-blown societal trend. Al Franken’s book Lying Liars, Robert Greenwald’s Outfoxed documentary, and other work laid the groundwork that blogs such as The News Hounds have been building on for nearly two years. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann adds his personal vendetta against O’Reilly.

At last, these efforts have taken their toll, and O’Reilly’s ratings are starting to fall. Hating O’Reilly is becoming the “in” thing to do. (Either that, or all those BOR viewers over the age of 70 are starting to die off.) Now, just in time for anyone hopping on board the Hate O’Reilly Express, there is Sweet Jesus, I Hate Bill O’Reilly – the book that will get you up to speed if you’re just now getting to hate Bill O’Reilly.

Authors Joseph Minton Amann and Tom Breuer, founders of the blog www.sweetjesusihatebilloreilly.com, have put together the complete collection of reasons to hate Bill O’Reilly. All the classic BOR moments are recapped in case you missed them or just want to relive them – the Andrea Mackris sexual harassment complaint against O’Reilly; his mean treatment of Jeremy Glick, whose father died on 9/11; his non-existent Peabody Award; his citation of the non-existent Paris Business Review to support his claim that his self-proclaimed boycott of France was successful. What fun to relive those moments and relish just what a jerk this guy is.

Yet there is more. Sweet Jesus, I Hate Bill O’Reilly ((New York: Nation Books, 2006) also is highly analytical in its treatment of these greatest hits from the O’Reilly Life of Shame. Amann and Breuer have taken apart O’Reilly’s antics so that his tactics become obvious. There’s a chapter on the O’Reilly “half-assed apology,” his ability to forget what he just said, his love of outrage, and all the other traits we’ve grown to hate but couldn’t quite describe as succinctly as Amann and Breuer have.

On top of that, Sweet Jesus, I Hate Bill O’Reilly is extremely well-written and funny. The authors don’t just recount the sexual harassment matter, for example. They offer Bill-O tips on improving his phone sex technique – something that most women authors would have found way too disgusting to even contemplate.

In fact, the book is so much fun to read that it’s easy to overlook the hard work that went into it. Joseph Minton Amann and Tom Breuer not only have had to watch hour after hour of O’Reilly bluster (as have the News Hounds such as Marie Therese, ChrisH, and Deb), they have listened to his radio show, read his web page, and studied all five of his books. I only read one and that nearly put me over the edge. Actually, they only read four of the books. For the fifth, they read the first six pages which were available free on Amazon.com. Still, that was more than enough. And O’Reilly didn’t get any royalties.

Much of SJIHBO is built around the issue of whether O’Reilly is a liar or insane, although occasionally they phrase the issue as whether O’Reilly is stupid or insane. Sometimes, Amann and Breuer come down on the side of “stupid” and sometimes they come down on the side of “insane.” In one section, for example, they offer an insanity scale that allows the reader to rank O’Reilly on a series of traits to determine if he is truly psychotic.

In what is probably the book’s greatest failing, the authors have offered the reader a false choice. Why can’t it be both – stupid and insane? Lord knows, there’s plenty of evidence for both.

Despite that failing, the book is hilariously funny. I’m not going to spoil the jokes for you by repeating them here. Buy the book. The laughs are on the Loofah man.

Comment: News Hounds are offering a special for the rest of the month of June: receive an autographed copy of SJIHBO for a donation of $25 or more. Just click on the [Make A Donation] button at the top of the page, and make sure to fill in your current mailing address to receive your copy. This information will not be used for anything else, ever.

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