The Jessica Journals:

January 09, 2005: Why I Hold Bill O'Reilly In Derision

The new year is upon us and firmly established, and the old year is but a memory; however, history is what has brought us to this day, and memories deserve a place in our thoughts if only on occasion. I, therefore, think it acceptable to turn our minds back to my last blog entry of 2004 and upon a comment it engendered....

“Long live the republicans!” [wrote Clansi] “hahaha.”

Anyway, COME ON Bill O'Rielly (sic) is a funny guy to watch. I love it when he verbally kicks some behind. Some of those retards on there need it.

Now, it goes without saying that we here at the Jessica Journals love Clansi*; however, we also hold a strong belief that love of Clansi does not also entail a love of Bill O’Reilly. This belief is not the result of adolescent petulance, but instead (like Minerva from the forehead of her father Jupiter) springs from cold, hard, sobering experience.

(Actually, it has very little in common with the birth of the gray-eyed, virgin goddess.)

Unlike a vast multitude of people in the First World today, I do not have 24/7 access to the cable networks. I have, therefore, never had so much as a chance to tune into The Factor with Bill O’Reilly. As a result, I have had to acquired my O’Reilly knowledge elsewhere, and, let me tell you, the results have been less than flattering.

I first became aware of Bill O’Reilly as someone who was more than just a vague and shadowy figure on the outskirts of the world that comprises Jessica, her surroundings, and her interests when Matt Drudge reported that O’Reilly was planning to start a talk radio show that would go head to head against Rush Limbaugh and to launch it while Rush was still struggling to deal with his sudden deafness. O’Reilly immediately came out with a statement claiming that he and the radio executives had been in talks for months and that Rush’s deafness had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the timing of the planned launch of O’Reilly’s new show. Possibly true, possibly not; who am I to say?

I will say this much, however: I will never forget the arrogance and condescension that oozed from Bill O’Reilly’s voice when he appeared on Drudge’s radio show to do further damage control. He denied any implication of ill-intentions, then in the guise of an older, wiser, more seasoned journalist, proceeded to softly rebuke Drudge’s youthful reportorial exuberance. Pardon? Who, pray, is a pioneer in the field of online reporting and runs one of the most popular news websites in the world? Who, pray, has earned a footnote in (a few comprehensive) history books through his involvement in the events that led to only the second impeachment of a president in the entire history of the United States? It wasn’t Bill O’Reilly; that much I know.

As if that wasn’t enough, O’Reilly had the gall to finish up his advice to his online nemesis with these words: “Don’t let them use you, Drudge. Don’t let them...use you.” ...As if the mere act of reporting a story that reflects poorly on a right-winger, regardless of the truth of said story, should be avoided because it abets “them”. Beyond that, I find myself seriously questioning the mental stability of a man who evidently thinks that he, himself, alone is so important to the conservative “cause” that he ought not be questioned by anyone else who has even tenuous Republican ties.

That was, as I said, my first experience with the bizarre and twisted creature that is the O’Reilly, and I told myself afterwards that I ought not think too poorly of him because it was only one brief moment in his life and anyone can give a solitary bad performance. Beyond that, I was admittedly predisposed to side with Drudge.

I went on with my life, the memory the O’Reilly/Drudge encounter becoming both distant and foggy, until, in the passage of time (as they say in the Bible), I left my darkened hovel in Los Angeles and visited my family in the shining land of Wisconsin. There, one dark night, my brother Paul and I sat down and watched The Late Show with Conan O’Brian. Who do you think was a guest? I’ll give you one hint. He didn't win Playgirl's sexiest news anchor title.

I think the only way Conan could have a worse segment than his Bill O’Reilly interview would be if he has George Soros on, and, even then, I might enjoy it more if only because of the higher ratio of wild to normal eyes. Conan’s show is one of the easiest talk shows for anyone to do. You go on, say a few jokes, then sit back and let Conan be Conan; a retard could do it, which probably accounts for the large number that appear on the show. Everybody knows that people watch Conan’s show for Conan.

Tra la la! ...Everyone, that is except for Bill O’Reilly who apparently thought that everyone tuned in because of his (O’Reilly’s) sizable intellect and actually wanted to see him carry on a political debate with Conan O’Brian. The only thing worse that watching him try to seriously discuss politics on an entertainment show was listening to his feeble jokes about the art of writing sex scenes for novels. Midway through the interview, my brother and I turned to each other, shook our heads, and simultaneously said, “worst interview ever”. At the end, I was forced to wonder if using “Bill” instead of “William” was the only non-uptight action O’Reilly had ever taken in the entire course of his life.

“Well,” I said to myself, “he’s pompous and tight-assed, but presumably he’s a skilled debater and champion of conservative causes (or something [insert eye roll]) and, therefore, is slightly more than an unwelcome blight upon humanity.” Time, however, corrects many things, and it was not willing for me to continue in my ignorance.

The 2004 Republican Convention rolled around and with it the massive form of Michael Moore who had been hired to cover the Republican Convention for some newspaper or other. Moore was, at that time, at the height of his glory. Fahrenheit 9-11 had but recently come out and, although it didn't make boffo box-office, it had, at the least, been critically acclaimed by left-wing newspapers. Bill O’Reilly also was at the convention, and it could only be assumed that these two great egos would see each other and immediately start thirsting for blood.

...So, O’Reilly invited Moore up to his t.v. studio where they proceeded to engage in one of the most juvenile debates about the war in Iraq I have ever read. My only regret is that I wasn’t able to watch it play out before me like the sad, sad farce it was but instead was reduced (by my lack of cable) to reading the transcript.

If I had to come up with a Number One Rule of Debate, it would be: never, ever, under any circumstances, allow yourself to accept faulty and/or off-point premises. Argument has to be based on truth and logic. The moment you move from either of these you set yourself up for defeat. One would think that a man as “skilled” in political discourse as is Bill O’Reilly would know that rule, but evidently he doesn’t, as evidenced by his inability to knock aside Moore’s demand of “so you would sacrifice your child to secure Fallujah?”--an argumentative thrust that is laughably easy to parry.

As I finished reading the transcript I began to reflect on my past observations of the man who’s looking out for me. In three distinct and unrelated incidents, he had come away smelling far from nice.

“The man’s pompous, self-absorbed, and an idiot,” I said to myself, then concluded, “You only get three strikes.” With that, I cast him from my mind.

...only to log onto thesmokinggun.com one month later where my innocent, little peepers were assaulted by the repressed fantasies of an uptight, middle-aged, loofah-wielding champion of conservativism. I nearly died laughing.

Whatever floats your boat, I suppose...but please have the good decency to not rail against inappropriate sexual behavior if you yourself are engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior. If that’s not the height of hypocrisy I don’t know what is.

And so, my Dear and Beloved Readers, I fear that for the reasons enumerated above I cannot hold any love or any respect for Bill O’Reilly. There are men the Jessica Journals hold up as worthy of praise and adoration, and there are men the JJs hold up for mockery and even excoriation. And, Bill O’Reilly, after several years of labor, has found himself on the Matt Dart side of the list instead of with Matt Drudge on the Side of Awe and Glory.

Not as smart as Sherlock Holmes, not as sexy as Matt Drudge, not as street-wise as Bogie, not as charismatic as Dubya, not as bald as Yul Brynner, and not as feral as Barry Pepper

Footnotes

*For 3 reasons:
(1) She’s a Republican
(2) She’s from Texas
(3) She’s the only non-family member who reads my blog
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Attention: Bill O'Reilly cartoon copyright 2002 Rick London and Andre-Guy Landry


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Copyright 2005 Jessica Menn