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Bill O'Reilly goes "Howard Beale-ish" - demands Congressional interference in American auto market

Reported by Chrish - June 10, 2008 -

Bill O'Reilly's got the answer to the oil crisis - "the only way" - and laid it all out in his Talking Points Memo tonight 6/9/08. He then asked his two invited guests, bookend blondes with business titles, to agree with him, and when they tried to inject any other ideas he overtalked and shot them down.
With video.

Calling oil/gas prices the most important issue in the 2008 presidential campaign, O'Reilly claimed OPEC is deliberately gouging the US to bring us to our economic knees. He asserted that it costs Saudi Arabia $2 a barrel to produce the oil, yet "they" are charging $138/bbl. (We could make the same argument about American farmers robbing us, for we are charged $3.30 for a box of corn flakes containing $.08 worth of corn. Of course, in reality, it is not the producers who set the price, it is the market. Unregulated capitalism, baby. It's why a hack like yourself makes 8 figures.)

He dragged out every bogey-man: Iran, if they don't stop their "nuke build-up" and force Israel to attack them, will create an oil crisis and a world war that will make Iraq look like a high school dance. Hugo Chavez and radical Islamists are using oil money to create terror and havoc.

O'Reilly angrily demanded that Congress take action and mandate that car-makers produce flex-fuel vehicles, and insisted that the US begin drilling in ANWR, "environmental theory" be damned, the latter having also slowed the development of nuclear power. Undertaking his suggestions "could save this country in ten years," our humble correspondent claimed with no scientific back-up. (Note that while we are to develop nuclear technologies here for future energy needs, Iran's plans for the same are to be squashed under threat of pre-emptive attack.)

Brazil has millions of flex-fuel vehicles on their roads (according to various sources, around 3 out of 4 new cars sold are flexi), fueled by sugar-cane based ethanol - but US Congress has imposed huge tariffs on said ethanol imports "to protect American oil companies," said O'Reilly. XXX! Thank you for playing!

During the Reagan years quotas were imposed on Brazilian sugar imports to artificially inflate prices for American sugar growers, making Archer Daniels Midland (who allegedly financed the lobbying effort) and other industrial agriculture corporations' HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) more attractive. Mission accomplished, as increases in obesity and diabetes (among other side-effects) demonstrate. O'Reilly is counting on his audience's ignorance and need for one-word answers when he makes these simplistic cause and effect arguments.

He challenged his two guests, Jennifer Waters of MarketWatch and Sandra Smith of FOX Business Network, to find something wrong with his talking points. When Smith offered that we need to change our usage, not so much to cut demand which is global, but to save ourselves money, O'Reilly argued that we already have. The only way, the only way, is to get ourselves off this oil-based economy, he lectured, and when she agreed that not only do we need to change demand, we need to demand change, he interrupted again to demand she tell him he's right. Now, he doesn't want to do this big-government thing, but Congress must order automakers to make flex-fuel vehicles or gas-only cars will be taxed through the roof.

Waters agreed that it's time for Congress to intervene, even though people are already changing (for example, not buying as many SUVs). O'Reilly lectured her too, more of the same as above....when Israel attacks Iran ("and it's a when, not an if..."), world war, Saudi Arabia making $136/bbl... Once Congress passes a law, we'll see alcohol-based fuels everywhere because there'll be profit in it, and they'll (automakers?) do it. Waters disagreed, saying they'll do it when we demand it, and we're getting there, saying Americans are more savvy now. But when O'Reilly asked her if she'd have a problem with Congress mandating it, she too said no, no problem.

O'Reilly grew increasingly belligerent and rude to his guests, wagging that finger, curling that lip, and in a final contemptuous rant said "they don't like us."

Well, if you're the face of America they see every day it's understandable.

He wrapped up telling them they "gotta get angry like me. You gotta get Howard Beale-ish; we gotta get angry."

O'Reilly's plan to save the world:

BillO bullies blonde bookend business babes: