Bill O’Reilly- Tide Goes Out

Bill O'Reilly

Bill O’Reilly

William James O’Reilly, Jr., known better by his nickname “Bill,” is the host of a show that regularly commands the highest ratings on cable television. His staunch conservative views along with a particular aptitude for delivering scalding political rhetoric makes him a favorite among many conservative Americans, especially those of the Roman Catholic faith. He got his start working at local television news stations before working at CBS and ABC. After that, he was the anchor of Inside Edition from 1989 to 1995.

He was born in Washington Heights in 1949, and grew up on Long Island. Both of his parents are of direct Irish descent. Attending a Catholic boys’ school in high school before going to Marist College as a history major, he had many extracurricular activities, including amateur journalism, football, and baseball. In 1973 he returned to school, receiving a Master of Arts from Boston University in broadcast journalism (unfortunately).

His work on The O’Reilly Factor started in 1991, under the name The O’Reilly Report. The name was, obviously, later changed. Since then, O’Reilly has been the champion of both conservative politics and stupidity, and, quite often, a mixture of significant amounts of both. For example, he is known throughout the online atheist community as a laughingstock for a January 4th (this year) interview with David Silverman, the  president of American Atheists, during which he stated that the tides, and workings thereof, are beyond human comprehension and knowledge. The quote is as follows:
“You know, I’ll tell you why it’s not a scam, in my opinion, all right? Tide goes in tide goes out, never a miscommunication. You cannot explain that. You can’t explain why the tide goes in…” -Bill O’Reilly.

Well, Stephen Colbert already covered this section, but for those of you who don’t tune in to The Colbert Report, it turns out that we actually CAN explain the tides. It’s pretty simple, really- a matter of physics,and the gravity of the moon, spinning of the earth, and a few other smaller details.

This is old news, though. More recently, Mr. O’Reilly has threatened to quit his show if  Obama raises taxes on the rich. Anything for ratings, right? Yet that raises an interesting point to those of us that know his history pretty well. You see, Bill O’Reilly prides himself on taking his inspiration from his “middle class roots.” That’s how he attracts the majority of his fan base. Yet, with more of America, and the working class, under the poverty line than ever in history, he insists that a slight redistribution of wealth is not the answer to the deficit. Not only that, but in a recent poll conducted by Gallup, sixty-six percent of total Americans and over half of Republicans support raising taxes on upper-class citizens. Looks like Bill isn’t sticking to his roots on this one.

As of this writing, Bill O’Reilly’s Facebook page has 477,436 “likes” on it. In my eyes, that is disgusting. He supports his roots, all right. Until they look like they might come between him and his paycheck. Oh wait, I forgot- that money goes somewhere good. Nope, not a charity. Not benefiting America. No, no. It goes to…combating evil, of course! That’s what Bill O’Reilly does- he’s a combatant of evils. Or should I say…evil’s? In case you are worried that I made it up, don’t worry. I pulled that from a Newsday article published in 2005.

Something quite a few of his  fans don’t realize is that he has been sued for sexual harassment by an ex-employee, and forced to settle out-of-court for an undisclosed (and probably quite large) amount. During the court hearings, there were phone recordings of him “talking dirty” to her, a prospect, which, although frightening, is also quite entertaining to think about. The transcripts are available to the public, in case you’d like to Google them sometime.

Let’s not forget who he works for, of course- my personal favorite news corporation, Fox. Although, technically, I suppose they aren’t really a valid news source. After all, when I think news, I generally think of an un-biased reporting of current events. Fox, however, loves censorship so much that they will ban you from their Facebook fan page if you make posts that are derogatory toward them. Also, any political candidate or personage that they happen to endorse. Meanwhile, when thousands of death threats toward atheists were posted on their page, they did not ban the offending persons- they just removed the comments. As an atheist myself, I am greatly offended.

I think that it is a matter of principle that secularism should be a huge part of media. The conservative right needs to learn that religion has a place, and that place is not government. Nor, in fact, is it politics. It is the philosophy classroom, or history classroom. Bill O’Reilly’s discrimination against non-Roman Catholics and especially non-Christians is disgusting.