They say it is not very kind to kick a man when he is down so I hope that this little ditty doesn’t come across as gloating. That certainly is not my intention.
But after all of the “Killing” books authored by Fox News star Bill O’Reilly it seems rather apparent to me that there is a great opportunity for some industrious investigative reporter to author a tell-all book about the downfall of cable news’ biggest star. “Killing O’Reilly” is sure to be a best seller.
O’Reilly’s show has been a smash hit and certainly shaped the expansion of the alternative media. He trail-blazed a new media frontier with his quasi news/quasi opinion format to the point it is now accepted behavior for media types to offer more opinion than news. There are many talking heads today who should bow his/her head in thanks that The Leprechaun blazed a new trail down which he enabled the likes of Rachel Maddow, Megan Kelly, Anderson Cooper, and Al Sharpton to kick up some dust.
But in the end it will have to be admitted that Bill O’Reilly wasn’t murdered as much as he committed hari-kari because of his inability to control his overblown ego. A wise man once said that “pride commeth before destruction” and there can be no doubt that O’Reilly had a double portion of pomposity.
On the air, Mr. O’Reilly loved to spout the line that he “was looking out for you” when in fact he spent most of his time looking out for him. The whispers of his extracurricular affairs with women have lurked in the shadows for years and finally it seems to have reached the point that the Murdoch boys could no longer control the rumors or the sucking sound of greenbacks being evacuated from their coffers.
Yep, it seems as if the one who dutifully warned us five nights a week that “the spin stops here” was unable to extricate himself from the whirling that was whizzing around him. Those of us with any semblance of discernment realized years ago that old “fair and balanced Bill” was actually neither. I haven’t watched his show in years.
Although his longevity was due in large part to his bombastic approach to his reporting of the news he was, in many ways, a wolf in sheep’s clothing to the “conservative” Fox News line-up. In fairness to him he never did call himself a “conservative”, but it seemed rather disingenuous on the part of both him and the management at Fox News to cast a “moderate” as the flag bearer of the network designed as an alternative to the liberal lamestream media.
Even worse, at least from my chair, was the mixing of his self-proclaimed Catholicism with a liberal position on most social issues. He was moderately pro-life, blatantly pro-homosexual, and a horrible role model for confused Catholics who were struggling to find common ground between their faith and their values. On issues where many conservatives need clarity, O’Reilly was murky at best. In his attempt to be “fair and balanced” his own moral confusion often bubbled to the surface. There is no such thing as fair and balanced Truth. The Truth is stand-alone evidence…Jefferson called it self-evident…and O’Reilly never seemed to find his footing on solid ground when it came to issues of morality.
In the end, his own version of morality is what did him in.
The final straw for me was a few years ago, in the heat of debate over the birth certificate, when I was sitting in my easy chair champing on some freshly popped corn when I heard him utter that his “staff” had “seen the birth announcements” and that it was legit. Here. I spilled my bowl of popcorn and my drink into my lap with the audacity of that statement.
It wasn’t that “birtherism” was such a big deal to me; it was simply that my research had shown that no certificate had ever been produced but that a copy was available on the White House website. I knew O’Reilly was pretty connected in political circles but I also knew darn well that neither he nor any member of his staff had seen it.
He doubled-down on the issue a few years later in spite of the evidence Sheriff Joe Arpaio uncovered. Read it here. I never turned him on again.
Fox News is now reeling a bit. In the past year they have lost Greta Van Susteran, Megan Kelly, and now the kingpin himself. That was the meat of their batting order from 7-10 pm. From what I understand Tucker Carlson has filled Megan Kelly’s seat admirably but filling O’Reilly’s shoes will be a tight fit.
But ultimately it was O’Reilly’s moderation that did him in. His loyal audience of 21 years had grown comfortable with him. His schmoozing up to Obama and eventually Hillary left him vulnerable with his base. When the call for his head finally arrived there were very few folks willing to go to the matt in an attempt to save the Bloviator’s job. In the end his audience didn’t love O’Reilly as much as he loved O’Reilly.
The Left was looking for a scalp and they found one in the fair and balanced, compromising, Fox News icon. There seems to be a bit of poetic justice in the whole affair, don’t you agree?
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, but Killing O’Reilly could be a death blow to the ratings at Fox as well. If they really wanted to pump some energy into their conservative lineup perhaps they should go out and recruit O’Reilly nemesis Michael Savage.
It was Dr. Savage who nearly two decades ago launched the mantra “borders, language, and culture” which is nearly identical to the platform that propelled Trump into the White House.
The spin stops here. We’re looking out for you. Fair and balanced news. The No Spin Zone.
Has anyone seen Roger Ailes? I guess O’Reilly’s word of the day is sayonara.
Image: By Chris McCann (US Army) – Striker dining facility becomes No-Spin Zone, drum.army.mil, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2176878