A Con Man?
Bill O'Reilly hasn't, as
far as I know, swindled money from anyone. So why do I say O'Reilly is a con man? O'Reilly is a con man of a
different, more dangerous sort. He is an ideological con
man. He's quite skilled at selling people a bill of
political goods that sounds good to them, but is in reality
quite pernicious, if not fatal, to their economic --
and perhaps even physical -- well-being.
O'Reilly exhibits unsurpassed
demagogic skill in riling up his audience over hot button
cultural issues. If only the ACLU would stop trying to
remove the phrase "under God" from the Pledge, if only
the IRS would audit Jesse Jackson's tax return, if only students
would stop shooting porn films on state college campuses, then
things would be better. Huh? Would the resolution of
such concerns truly improve the lives of any of the
"folks" whom O'Reilly purports to represent?
If O'Reilly was really
"looking out for you" ("you" being the
average American) then O'Reilly would be addressing the issues
that in a flesh-and-blood way affect their pocketbooks and their
health, their very lives.
Here are some of the critical
issues that O'Reilly rarely, if ever addresses:
- The need for a federal "living
wage"-level minimum wage to benefit the millions of Americans
now paid a minimum wage that doesn't allow them to
support their families.
- A national health care policy
to provide for the 40+ million Americans who lack health
enforcement of OSHA to reduce the number of workers
needlessly injured and killed on the job
- Corporate abuse of workers,
such as the Wal-Mart scandal, where management is charged
with forcing workers to work overtime off the clock
- A national jobs policy to
ensure well-paying jobs are not consistently replaced by lower-paying ones
- A halt to the rollback
protecting the environment
- A guarantee of an honest vote in
federal and state elections
If you asked "the
folks" which issues were of most concern to them, would they
pick the ones I've just enumerated above, or the Pledge and
Jesse Jackson's tax returns? O'Reilly has hoodwinked an
unfortunately large number of people into believing that rappers
and the ACLU are the biggest threats to their well-being. In so
doing, O'Reilly has diverted their attention from the real
threat -- those who fashion and enact economic policies that
create economic havoc among the middle and working class.
Looking Out Only for Himself
O'Reilly never tires
of ranting against "income redistribution" and
"socialism" and a host of other terms he uses to
denigrate the views of his guests. He constantly brings up
the fact that his poor self pays 50% of his income in various
taxes, and then asks his guest, how much more does the guest want
him to be paying? 70%? 80%?
individuals who truly have the well-being of the working and
middle-class at heart support a more progressive tax structure,
but not O'Reilly. He's looking out only for himself and the other
members of the wealthiest 1% in the country.
from the Past:
Saturday, August 21, 2004
To the Editor:
A letter writer after Bill O'Reilly's own
heart (remember O'Reilly's
advocacy of mass murder of civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq and
Nicholas D. Kristof focuses on the urgent threat of nuclear terrorism,
but his proposals are aimed only at denying weapons and delivery to
Prevention is an exercise in probabilities. It is bound to fail
eventually. An alternative is deterrence, which seeks to undermine the
motivation of the terrorists and their supporters.
Deterrence is the only nuclear defense strategy with a successful
track record, and it deserves a close look before concluding that it
cannot apply to terrorism.
What if an American president announced that the strategic doctrine of
the United States in response to a terrorist nuclear attack would be
retaliatory attacks on selected population centers of all the
countries of origin of the terrorists, as well as any countries that
were determined to have abetted the attack in any way?
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
CNBC's Tim Russert , O'Reilly likened Media Matters for America to the
Ku Klux Klan
O'REILLY: You are about the most
un-objective person on the face of the earth -- Media Matters! Why
don't you just call Fidel? Call him up in Havana. He'll tell you
what's going on?
O'Reilly is so dense he's actually proud of
this exchange, and played it on his own program!
KRUGMAN: Oh, wonderful. Now we've got the great (inaudible) Whatever
it is, it ends up being a Communist plot, you know?
O'REILLY: Oh my God! That's like me calling up some Klan operation.
Why don't I call the Ku Klux Klan up and --
KRUGMAN: Here we go, here we go, here we go.
Sunday, August 08, 2004
O'Reilly has more integrity than Chris Matthews when it comes to the
the anti-Kerry ad by the swift boat veterans. O'Reilly (and his guest
Dick Morris) both condemned the ad. But neutered, smiley-faced,
say-no-evil-of-Republicans Chris Matthews pointedly failed to do so
when discussing the issue.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Condemns Veterans' Anti-Kerry Ad
Republican Sen. John McCain, a former
prisoner of war in Vietnam, called an ad criticizing John Kerry's
military service "dishonest and dishonorable" and urged the
White House on Thursday to condemn it as well.
Much to his credit, Bill O'Reilly condemned
the ad, as did his guest Dick Morris. Susan Estrich, filling in for Alan
Colmes, should be praised also, doing a pretty good job cross-examining
one of the veterans featured in the ad. Thankfully, Estrich exhibited
none of her frozen-smile stares into the camera. On the down side,
Hannity, true to form, did not condemn the ad. Hannity also obsessed
about how horrible it was that Kerry admitted committing war crimes in
Vietnam. In the next breath, Hannity condemns Kerry for accusing U.S.
troops there of committing such war crimes. But if Hannity believes
Kerry's admission, Hannity must also logically agree with Kerry's charge
about U.S. troops in general there, since certain of the war crimes in
question, free-fire zones for example, were clearly part of official
military policy in Vietnam.
...Jim Rassmann, an Army veteran who was saved by Kerry, said there
were only six crewmates who served with Kerry on his boat. Five
support his candidacy, and one is deceased.
Friday, July 30, 2004
Two excerpts from O'Reilly-Moore on the
MOORE: Say ‘I Bill O’Reilly would
sacrifice my child to secure Fallujah’
O'REILLY: I’m not going to say what you say, you’re a, that’s
MOORE: You don’t believe that. Why should Bush sacrifice the
children of people across America for this?
MOORE: Right, I would not sacrifice my
child to secure Fallujah and you would?
Usual O'Reilly flim-flam. Saying he'd give
his own life is meaningless, since he's way too old to go fight over
there. But he wouldn't say he'd give his child's life, because
he has a kid and I guess couldn't bring himself to say such a falsehood
about something that then might, in a karmic way, come true.
O'REILLY: I would sacrifice myself.
MOORE: You wouldn’t send another child, another parents child to
Fallujah, would you? You would sacrifice your life to secure Fallujah?
O'REILLY: I would.
MOORE: Can we sign him up? Can we sign him up right now?
O'REILLY: That’s right.
MOORE: Where’s the recruiter?
O'REILLY: You’d love to get rid of me.
MOORE: No I don’t want—I want you to live. I want you to live.
O'REILLY: I appreciate that. Michael Moore everybody. There he is…
Friday, July 30, 2004
More smear tactics by O'Reilly, comparing
someone to Goebbels. This item is from the mediamatters.org:
On his July 28 FOX News Channel show,
O'Reilly said filmmaker Michael Moore "has more power than
probably anybody else other than Kerry and Edwards. It's scary. It's
scary. You know this happened in Nazi Germany. ... Who was the most
powerful person in Nazi Germany other than Hitler and Himmler and
Goering, who? You guys know? ... Goebbels. The propaganda
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
vs. Michael Moore Transcript I reprint,you decide.
Friday, July 23, 2004
- The O'Reilly Factor - Guest - Guests and Topics: July 23
It's dishonest of Fox to lead people to believe that the show is
live, when it's a repeat. To his credit, O'Reilly's own site makes it
clear it's a repeat.
Friday, July 16, 2004
Earlier this week Bill O'Reilly said that
in the last 20 years the United States has freed nearly a billion
A night or so later he referred listeners to his July 15, 2004 column
for the evidence.
But even taking as true O'Reilly's assertions of U.S. responsibility for
actually freeing all the people he claims in the article have been
freed, you come up with nowhere near a billion people, more like 250
And again, assuming that we really and truly "freed" all these
people -- and that's a big if -- O'Reilly conveniently omits
all the people in the last 20 years whom we denied freedom by providing
crucial support to the dictatorships that enslaved -- and in some cases
continue to enslave -- them. To name a few: Mexico, Honduras, El
Salvador, Guatemala, Chile, Brazil, South Africa, Philippines, Egypt,
Pakistan, etc etc etc.
Please turn on your sound
and check out what
has to say
you in on the secret about what
Bill "Snake Oil Salesman" O'Reilly
is trying to sell you?
A Very Special "Message
(and his supporters)
Bill O'Reilly Falsely Claims to Speak for Workers
fans of Bill O'Reilly prove they've been duped!
Bill O'Reilly Can't Even Tell the Truth
If a talk show pundit brags about
running a No-Spin Zone, how can you believe him when he misrepresents his
O'Reilly claims to have a "working
class" upbringing. He seems to feel that gives him some insight
into how to look out for "the little guy," one of his
self-appointed roles. Problem is, O'Reilly's childhood was not "working class" at all. See
Bill O'Reilly #1 .
Bill O'Reilly Advocates Mass Murder!
Bill O'Reilly had the brilliant idea that in
order to force the overthrow of the Taliban, we should deliberately starve
the civilian population of Afghanistan. O'Reilly threw in Libya and
Iraq for good measure. Even O'Reilly's military guest that day was
appalled at the idea. See Bill O'Reilly #2.
O'Reilly didn't know, and his staff was
apparently too ignorant to find out for him, that besides being completely
immoral, his idea violates the Geneva Convention on the conduct of war, a
treaty which the U.S. is firmly committed to upholding. See Bill O'Reilly #3 .
Bill O'Reilly Has a Jesse Jackson Obsession!
O'Reilly has devoted scores of segments to
his unsubstantiated criticisms concerning the finances of Jesse Jackson's
organization Operation Push. The bottom line is, O'Reilly never seems
to have risked anything for anybody, and he and other talk show blowhards
have no right to criticize those like Jackson who have risked everything
for others. See Bill O'Reilly #4 .
Can Bill O'Reilly Ever Admit He's Wrong?
Bill O'Reilly, even when presented with
irrefutable evidence that he is wrong, refuses to admit it. This
instance relates to his false charges about the United Way. Bill O'Reilly #5 .
firstname.lastname@example.org is how you get in touch with
O'Reilly to tell him you're onto his game!
Teachings of the Catholic Church
That O'Reilly Continually Trashes
O'Reilly constantly expresses views about
how society and our economy should be organized which not only directly
contradict the teachings of the Catholic Church on these issues, but
ridicule these teachings. Following are links to the specific teachings he
trashes. The full document can be read here.
resources were meant for all to share equitably, so that each individual and
people have a sufficient share:
duty must be similarly global in scope, our responsibility being to all of
alone can not address all human needs, and its shortcomings need to be
of unjust political and economic structures must be recognized:
are these structures that they can even be called "structures of
remove these structural injustices, or "structures of sin," is
critical, so much so that even the Vatican itself will become involved:
acts of charity are not enough:
role can be appropriate in effectuating the social Gospel:
life-threatening poverty is caused by injustice, not laziness:
of the poor is therefore wrong:
must exercise a "preferential option for the poor":
A living wage
is required by fundamental justice:
immigrants, even for undocumented aliens, is required:
changes in global economic structures and practices are necessary:
The Parable of the Sheep and the
Goats: Will Jesus Send Bill O'Reilly To Hell?
In Matthew 25:31-46,
the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, Jesus proclaims that how
you treat the hungry, the thirsty, the sick and other "least
of these," is how you treat Jesus himself:
"Lord, when did we
see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in
prison, and did not minister to thee?' 45. Then he will answer them,
'Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these,
you did it not to me.
If you have failed
to help the "least of these," Jesus promises, he will
send you to "eternal punishment".
Can O'Reilly be considered
a true Christian if he continually seeks to thwart others and society itself from implementing such a fundamental teaching
of Christianity as Matthew 25:31-46?
It's fine to oppose
government programs to help the Matthew 25 "least of these,"
as O'Reilly so often does. But to avoid violating the Matthew
25 injunction, O'Reilly must then propose Equivalent Alternative
Solutions. Equivalent Alternative Solutions are ones
- help at least
the same number of those people who legitimately need help
- provide at least
the same amount of effective assistance to those people
- get the help to
them at least as quickly
- are at least as
certain to accomplish these goals
Solutions can certainly be completely non-governmental, as long
as they meet the four criteria directly above.
But O'Reilly consistently
both opposes the plans of others to help the "least
of these," and fails to offer Equivalent Alternative
asked: "What about Matthew 25? If you oppose my plan
to help some of the "least of these," what do
you propose instead? How does what you're espousing here
fulfill what Jesus commanded in Matthew 25? In fact, isn't
what you're doing exactly what Jesus condemned in Matthew
Matthew 25 applies
only to individual acts of charity.
The response is,
Matthew 25 neither says nor implies any such thing. If anything,
the contrary: Jesus gathers the "nations," who speak to
him collectively as "we." Beyond that, should a
passage such as Matthew 25 be interpreted narrowly so as to avoid
responsibility? Would anyone seriously maintain that Jesus
would say it’s okay for society as a whole to let people suffer
and die, as long as some members give some money to
Yes, you are individually
held to account under Matthew 25 for your individual one-on-one
acts of charity or lack thereof, but you are also individually
held to account under Matthew 25 for how the actions you take influence
your society in its treatment of the "least of these."
As Pope John Paul II has written in this context:
It is a question
not only of alleviating the most serious and urgent needs through
individual actions here and there, but of uncovering the roots of
evil and proposing initiatives to make social, political and economic
structures more just and fraternal. Ecclesia in America
has plans to help the poor, and that certainly satisfies
the injunction in Matthew 25.
The response: O'Reilly's
"plans" are inadequate to fulfill the Matthew 25 mandate.
O'Reilly consistently advocates courses of action which by design
do not help all those legitimately in need, or will help them inadequately,
or will help them for too short a time, or are much less certain
to take effect.
for Matthew 25 are vague hopes that "the free market"
or "competition" will solve the problem. Vague
hopes are not enough: plans to help the poor must be concrete.
As the Pope makes
Christ's words "as
you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it
to me" (Mt 25 :40) were not intended to remain a pious wish…Centesimus
The motivating concern
for the poor--who are, in the very meaningful term, "the Lord's
poor"…--must be translated at all levels into concrete actions,
until it decisively attains a series of necessary reforms. Solicitudo
Jesus didn't say
to have a government program to feed the hungry.
Jesus didn't specify how to help the "least of these,"
he just insisted it be done. So again, the reply to O'Reilly
is, if you oppose a government program, what is your Equivalent
Alternative Solution that will help the same number of people, the
same amount, as soon and as certainly?
treating the "least of these" as he would treat Jesus
himself. Then, and only then, can O'Reilly and other conservatives who
claim to be Christian be considered Christian in more than just
Until that time, O'Reilly
is on an ever-accelerating spiritual express train headed in a radical