The most powerful traditional force in the American media now takes off his gloves in the ongoing struggle for America's heart and soul.
BILL O'REILLY, a two-time Emmy Award winner for excellence in reporting, served as national correspondent for ABC News and as anchor of the nationally syndicated news magazine program Inside Edition before becoming executive producer and anchor of Fox News's wildly popular The O'Reilly Factor. He is author of the mega-bestsellers The O'Reilly Factor, The No Spin Zone, and Who's Looking Out for You?, as well as The O'Reilly Factor for Kids and the novel Those Who Trespass. He holds master's degrees from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and Boston University.
In his latest screed, the host of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor mobilizes fellow "traditionalists" against a "secular-progressive movement" supposedly led by billionaire George Soros ("public enemy number one") and the liberal rhetorician George Lakoff. O'Reilly condemns the "erosion of societal discipline" flowing from an alleged "S-P [secular-progressive]" agenda of drug legalization, teenagers' rights, moral relativism, church-state separation, therapy instead of punishment for criminals and, above all, the "communist" freeloader's doctrine that the government should tax the rich to fund housing, health care and early-childhood education for the poor. None of this coheres well, but O'Reilly keeps fans stoked with red meat, including tales of ACLU Christmas-bashers who wanted schools to stop teaching kids to sing carols, and permissive judges who go easy on child molesters. Too often, though, he feuds with personal enemies like "smear-merchant" Al Franken, Hollywood liberals, press critics and unnamed "black-hearted websites." As a result, his populist swagger subsides into kvetching ("Clooney's press agent, a guy named Stan Rosenfield, began badmouthing me and Fox News around Hollywood") and paranoia ("S-P power-brokers... will command their forces to attack me in every way possible"). More resentful and self-pitying than feisty, O'Reilly may be suffering from battle fatigue. Photos. (Sept. 25) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"[Bill O'Reilly's] aura of command is fascinating. Success gives
him extra authority. He is diamond bright, ready to pounce, and
never at a loss for words....I left Mr. O'Reilly's super-hot domain
trying to think of whom he reminded me. It came to me: Gen. George
S. Patton, complete with ivory-handled revolvers on his hips,
couldn't exude more confidence, certainty, and know-how than Bill
O'Reilly. No wonder Fox feels he's their gem. His mojo is at an
--Liz Smith, syndicated columnist
More controversy from O'Reilly. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.