On last night’s O’Reilly Factor, multimillionaire Bill O’Reilly adjudged Vice President Joe Biden a “pinhead of the week” for not donating as much to charity as O’Reilly thinks he should. But I suspect O’Reilly’s real beef was that Biden hasn’t donated to O’Reilly’s charity. And what better way to show your heart and generosity than smearing a political foe who won't cooperate in making you look good?
The first two pinheads in the segment were the Dallas talk show hosts who disagreed with Fox’s latest Christian martyr, Amy Kushnir, who walked off the set because she was upset her colleagues would defend Michael Sam’s gay kiss. It was a typical feat of Fox News doublespeak: Label the intolerant Kushnir as the champion of free speech and her tolerant colleagues as the anti-Christian bigots.
When it was O’Reilly’s turn, he chose “with all due respect, of course” Joe Biden. Yeah, the same kind of “respect” he afforded Eleanor Clift when he baselessly suggested she might be senile. O’Reilly said about Biden:
I criticized him a few years ago because he gave 1.5% of his income to charity, as opposed to Mitt Romney giving 30%. …We learned yesterday, that (last year) the vice president upped his donations to charity to $20,000 on a $410,000 gross between him and his wife. However, the wife had a children’s book and almost all of the charitable donations are because of the children’s book. Alright? So Biden didn’t give anything! His wife writes the children’s book. All the proceeds go to charity - about 20K. What does Joe give? What does Joe give? (shouting) JOE! WHAT ARE YOU GIVING?
Let’s take a closer look here. For one thing, a gazillionaire like Romney can surely afford to give a larger percentage of his wealth without feeling half the pinch (assuming he’d feel any) that Biden would.
Second, unlike the multimillionaire O’Reilly, Biden has lived almost his entire life as a public servant. He and his wife, an educator, have spent decades giving time and foregoing money they could be earning in the private sector. I count that as a contribution, too. And that’s not counting the personal sacrifice of commuting to Washington from Delaware in order to be with his sons after they were severely injured in a tragic car accident that killed his first wife and daughter.
Third, O’Reilly is in no position to be pointing fingers of stinginess at anyone. He’s a guy who is believed to earn more than $10 million a year, is estimated to be worth $50 million or more and yet thinks he’s being hurt by having his tax dollars go to providing food to the poor. He’s also the Scrooge who threatened to retire and stop investing rather than pay higher taxes to the country he supposedly loves so much.
O’Reilly’s next words revealed that his charitable-giving concern trolling was quite likely more about self-interest and less about sacrifice:
He’s a pinhead, is he not? …I say right here, I’m issuing the vice president a challenge. Buy a track chair for one of these amputees and blind vets. Right? …I will then (revoke Biden’s) pinhead status if he buys a track chair. Because he should. President Obama did a lot of good work with those track chairs. But Biden, we know what you’re doing! Alright? You’re not giving any money to charity. Stop it!
Which indicates that what O’Reilly’s really mad about is that Biden wouldn’t give to O'Reilly's pet charity. You can Google "O’Reilly" and “track chair” to get the connection. While O'Reilly's cause seems worthy, any appeal for me is blotted out by how it is being used as his personal tool: Get Biden to donate and O’Reilly looks like a grand, bi-partisan benefactor. Meanwhile, he gets to advance a partisan agenda by attacking Biden for not donating and hold up his charity as some kind of gold standard of giving.
What’s particularly galling about all this is that while chickenhawk O’Reilly plays the great wounded-warrior champion, Biden’s much more the real deal. That children’s book O’Reilly sneered about? It’s based on the family’s own experiences when Biden’s son was deployed in Iraq. From WhiteHouse.gov:
As a military mom, Dr. Biden understands firsthand how difficult it can be to have a loved one deployed overseas. In Delaware, she was active with a nonprofit organization called Delaware Boots on the Ground, which helps families during times of military deployment by organizing community events to raise awareness and support. As Second Lady, Dr. Biden has dedicated herself to shining a light on military families’ strength and courage as well as the challenges that they face. She travels regularly to military bases in both the United States and abroad to visit with service members and their families.
Dr. Biden’s children’s book – Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops – was released in June 2012. Inspired by real-life events, the book tells the story of a military family’s experience with deployment through the eyes of Dr. Biden’s granddaughter, Natalie, during the year her father is deployed to Iraq. The book also includes resources about what readers can do to support military service members and their families.
Through their Joining Forces initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Biden have issued a national challenge to all Americans to take action and find ways to support and engage our military families in their own communities. Joining Forces aims to educate, challenge, and spark action from all sectors of our society – citizens, communities, businesses, non-profits, faith based institutions, philanthropic organizations, and government – to ensure military families have the support they deserve. At JoiningForces.gov, Americans can find many ways to take action.
So I understand O’Reilly might be disappointed – feeling snubbed, even – that Biden has not donated to his organization. But demeaning a lifelong public servant and military father is a sleazy fundraising tactic, to say the least.
If I were Biden, I’d never give them a dime.
Watch O'Reilly act the pinhead below.
And those are likely what O’Reilly calls his good qualities!
And why would any Democrat consider O’Reilly’s charity a necessity? Fox acts as it is the only conduit to the needy.