TV’s two-fisted O’Reilly follows up his disgruntled bestseller, The O’Reilly Factor: The Good, Bad, and Completely Ridiculous in American Life (not reviewed), bashes the bad guys, and twists noses off while supposedly offering a fair shake.
Instead, he quotes them in snippets while dismantling them at length. “Because it’s my book, I get to set things up with commentary, and that may be a bit unfair, but hey, it’s my book.” Okay. Nonetheless, the reader often would like to know more about his opponents’ arguments. He takes issue with the ACLU defending the rights of the “vile” North American Man-Boy Love Association whose Web site stands up for perverts and pedophiles. NAMBLA is so offensive that one wishes to know something more about what they stand for. Rather, we are told how NAMBLA may have led to a child’s death, thus the ACLU, O’Reilly posits, has absolutely no right to defend it in court. He likes former US Surgeon General Dr. Jocelyn Elders but states that her guide to sex education was too “permissive” (Clinton did fire her) and that “Government does not have the right to intrude into the fabric of the family.” All right—but Elders gets short shrift in presenting her case. Steve Allen on violence and sleaze in television gets easy treatment since O’Reilly agrees with his premise—and O’Reilly leaves stilettos in Puff Daddy and Eminem. In fact, Puffy gets extra stabs when he shows up on O’Reilly’s No-Spin Zone TV show to defend his inner-city spirituals about “bitches,” “booze,” and “niggas.” O’Reilly bashes “progressive” Susan Sarandon on one cheek, kisses her on the other. Al Sharpton holds his own against O’Reilly, while Jesse Jackson . . . well, he winds up a voodoo doll full of needles. Among others also on hand: Mario Cuomo and Dan Rather, punching bags who slug back. Hillary dodges him.
Hammer strokes of cocky bombast that give off a bodiless thump as often as a full-throated truth.