Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bill O'Reilly: But you really ARE a dimwitted conservative at odds with smart Republicans!

For some perverse reason, I'm subscribed to Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly's newsletter. Now, normally, those e-mails go straight to the proverbial /dev/null, but the headline of a recent issue caught my eye and granted his waste of electrons a brief reprieve from the bit bucket. The newsletter's teaser claimed "the left-wing media" were somehow "marginalizing" Sarah Palin, someone who I might add does quite a fine job marginalizing herself with no assistance needed, thank you.

After presenting an unrelated paragraph lauding a prior column and demonstrating a total lack of statistical acumen, Bill gifts us with this gem:
"Now we have another media deceit. In the most recent Newsweek magazine, there is a nasty hatchet job on Sarah Palin by a guy named Rick Perlstein. The piece is presented as hard news, not an opinion column, and basically says that the governor is a moron who is supported by dimwitted conservatives at odds with smart Republicans. Perlstein also submits that the dumb GOP folks are led by me and other Fox News people."
Obviously, since O'Reilly is defending the former Miss Alaska runner-up and quitter of a governor, he must count amongst those accused of being "dimwitted conservatives at odds with smart Republicans"; he goes on to take personal offense to being lumped in as a "leader" of that dimwitted bunch (perhaps he feels it's more a case of the blind leading the blind?) with his Fox (aka Faux) News cohorts.

I hate to demur, but I must submit as evidence to the court that Bill's continued unflinching, unwavering, and unthinking support of Palin is a sign exactly of the sort of dimwitted idiocy he's been labeled with. We're talking a woman who in a single speech meandered the length of the Iditarod and back, including her truffle decrying the "quitter's way out"--when she was, in fact, announcing the moment of her quitting as Governor of Alaska.

This is a woman whose qualifications for national political office are the fodder of Saturday Night Live skits (Tina Fey's frightening-spot on parody earning the SNL alum an Emmy nomination), and which seem best described as being able to tick off Democrats (I must thank Charles P. Pierce for that realization, in his Idiot America) and deliver zingers to rile up a base who would already vote for a decaying log if said timber were running with an (R) next to its name. This is a woman whose behavior has bordered on the bizarre ever since her nomination, mixing a constant whine about media attention on her children (while lugging the tots and teens to every media-covered appearance), about media attention in general (while whoring herself out--pun intended--for every media appearance possible).

In short, smart Republicans are afraid of Sarah Palin and what she represents for their once-proud party, and realize that they must find someone other than the lipsticked-pig as their mascot if they are to regain their lost glory. To them, Palin is at best a distraction to be tolerated while they must, a serious detraction to the party's future at worst. And Bill O'Reilly continues to display his dimwittedness by insisting otherwise.

I was once a Republican in all but the letter after my name; as a Libertarian, I often voted for the GOP's candidates. That was before the party became one of religious extremism, more concerned with keeping gays from marrying and spending trillions in Iraq than with reducing the deficit or fighting for long-held individual rights. Like me, many moderates have been driven away from the party by the brainless pap foisted upon us in the persons of Sarah Palin and her ilk.

What the Republicans and pundits who feel St. Sarah is the Messiah transubstantiated in the flesh don't realize is that she brings no moderates, no independents, to their party. She offers no solutions, only criticism delivered in the form of one-liners and tautological bullet points. She only appeals to the very people who already vote reliably Republican and preaches only a divisive wedge, not an embracing circle.

Bill O'Reilly is not a smart Republican; he's a rat who refuses to flee a sinking ship, a horse who runs back into the flaming barn. Perhaps he feels a special kinship with the meandering "dialogs" of the former Alaska Governor; I raise this last point in a tangential criticism of his "column" quoted above, which digresses from its topic (claiming the big ol' meanie media is out to "marginalize" St. Sarah) to repeat his favorite broken-record canard of the "evil secularists" and their agenda to take the "G" out of "God" and the pie out of America:
"[T]he left sees a major opportunity to knock out Judeo-Christian traditions, replacing them with a secular philosophy."
I hate to break it to Bill, but this country was certainly not founded upon "Judeo-Christian" traditions (which oddly enough always seem to skew decidedly to the Christian and away from the Jewish part in the words and minds of the speakers of that bit of revisionist history). That's not my argument for today, though; I'll take it up in a future post. O'Reilly rants onward with an invocation of Godwin himself, comparing the "left-wing media" to Nazis--a point where in any discussion you know there can be no room for reason or dialog (though, to be fair, that point typically comes with the first word out of O'Reilly's mouth; no need to wait for the accusations of Goebbels-ism).

Le me close with the unintended irony of Bill's own closing line from his column:
"If crazy ideologues have infiltrated the news business, we need to know about it. And now you do."
Yep, Bill, we hear you, and we know about it, indeed--I'm just glad you're finally willing to own up to being a crazy ideologue who has tried to infiltrate the news business--along with your Fox "News" compatriots like Sean Hannity and company.

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