Dear Bill O'Reilly: Kindly Stuff Your Self-Righteousness Up Your Keister

Ok, as a warning: this is my first Pit rant, and I’m not much for swearing, but I simply must share my boundless rage.

For those who didn’t catch it, Bill O’Reilly had a special on Fox last night, Corruption of the American Child . It was one of the most awful, intellectually worthless pieces of sensationalist bullshit that I have ever seen. Normally, I have a rule when it comes to Bill O’Reilly: I change the channel whenever I see his face. I do not do this often, as I also have a rule not to watch Fox News anymore. However, I thought I’d break it just for this oh-so-special event. Why, why, why do I do this to myself?

In any case, I didn’t catch the whole thing (between doing dishes and walking off my rage), but the segments divided up by topic: such as ‘rap music’, ‘pro-wrestling’, and ‘radio’.

Now, let me say one thing: I know that 90% of what the entertainment industry churns out (and probably higher in popular music) is absolute crap. Even the film lobbyist came out and admitted that there is just not enough time or money to produce good and worthwhile stuff to satisfy the American audience. However, blaming the entertainment industry for satisfying what we want to see is like blaming Keebler for American obesity because we like eating cookies and they sell them. Yes, there are people out there without scruples. However, I believe that we have to take responsibility for ourselves, as unfashionable a concept as that might be.

Bill O’Reilly chose to frame the theme by talking about a hypothetical child. This child would not be supervised by parents, instead having unlimited access to movies, TV, and the Internet. He regularly brought up this poor, poor child and asked why each guest didn’t seem to care about how this innocent tyke was being corrupted. Of course, he never bothered to cover the fact that the corruption itself – that entertainment causes society to degrade, rather than the other way around – is highly debatable and far from proven. But, of course, this is Bill O’Reilly we’re talking about. His “bulldog journalism” doesn’t have time for facts, only for getting on the offensive.

His interviewing style basically consisted of antagonizing the guests. Rather than asking questions, he told them things and basically asked them to agree (of course, they would not). When he didn’t get the answer he wanted, he would simply ask the question again, or comment nastily about how they apparently agreed but wouldn’t admit it. Bill: Why even have guests at all? Why not just spit and rave at a still picture? It would have saved editing time to make sure that their point of view could never be coherently shown.

First, those representing rap music were criticized for not helping empower the poor. When they explained that it was not their responsibility to lift people from poverty and rather that they were a reflection of inner city life, Bill commented that they must just not care about the fact that their audience was poor. Of course, the rap representative brought up the real audience: suburban kids with cash to spend. Bill simply said repeatedly that he didn’t want to talk about that, and refused to allow the guy to speak about it. Rightly so, because it simply debunked his argument. Rap music (and moreso music videos) are aimed at people with surplus money! How many kids in the ghetto can spend $17.99 on every new rap CD and have cable to watch MTV? People in true poverty are an audience, but I daresay not the main one. Rap took off when it was taken up by the middle class.

Now I agree that rap has a lot of crap about ho’s and drugs and whatever. Yet, Bill seemed to think not only should there be a message that these things are destructive (which I believe there certainly is in at least some rap) but that they should not even be mentioned without hammering the point so that a ten year old child could have no way of misunderstanding. This is essentially impossible, because some idiot kid will always misunderstand. If rap music became all lollipops and rainbows and “don’t do drugs” and “stay in school, kids”, it would hastily lose all relevance and die. Of course, Bill doesn’t seem to realize that the entertainment industry doesn’t decide for us what we like. They are, instead, tyrannical beings that have decided they actively want to destroy society.

Next, he tore into pro wrestling. No, I do not like wrestling, so I don’t watch it. Bill showed videos of various morons imitating wrestling moves and some who got hurt. He then made the point that children can’t tell the difference – yet the guy who they brought up for being injured was an adult! This guy claimed that the wrestling people were responsible. Oh, give me a fucking break. They even showed that wrestling includes “don’t try this at home” messages, and quoted research that even the majority of children can easily determine for themselves that pro-wrestling is not real and that these moves are a bad idea to use on your friends. The wrestling representative even pointed out that kids are much more likely to be watching wrestling with parents. Bill didn’t care – he just, again, hammered on that same, poor, innocent, unsupervised child. When the wrestling representative said simply that they never claimed this content was suitable for everyone and that parents are responsible for what their kids watch, Bill, again, simply commented along the lines of “Ok, so you don’t care about kids. Next question.”

The next segment was about the Internet – or so they said, I turned it off at this point. I am pretty certain there was no real content to be gleaned from this exercise in petty inanity.

Bill: you claim to care so very, very much about the poor, innocent children. Yet, your show – with graphic content of both hideously violent and disgusting things and suggestive sexual content – was played at 8pm (9pm EST), a time when unsupervised children likely have easy access to the TV. This included clips from R-rated movies that you claimed were so hideously disgusting as to be inappropriate for children. Well, no shit. That’s why they are rated R – 17 and up without a parent! Hence, your poor, innocent, unsupervised child should not be able to see these films unless the movie theatres screw up! Of course, you didn’t mention this. You simply mentioned how these films are marketed to kids, and how exactly somehow, mysteriously, they have access to them (with parents) you didn’t bother to mention.

Oh – and if you care so much about bloody poverty, why don’t you take it to somebody who might be able to do something about it? Perhaps a congressman might be able to solve this problem a bit more efficiently than a rap musician? Oh, but that might cause a tax increase! Heaven forfend we actually put our money where our fucking mouth is! Why don’t you stop trashing welfare while we’re at it?

All right, now the final reason why I am pissed off: despite the fact that I am usually not bothered by violent content, the repeated showing of graphic gore of the worst kind – without context, plot, or resolution – gave me a bloody nightmare! I haven’t had a nightmare in at least a year (at least not one that woke me up in the middle of the night). And yes, I know it comes squarely from this fetid pile of irresponsible journalism. Here’s a brief synopsis:

I dreamt that I was in the house I grew up in. I presume I was a kid, because I was ‘smaller’, because I was in that house, and because my sister was about 6 years old. (I’m usually a kid in nightmares and dreams where I feel powerless.) I went upstairs and I found Juliette Moore’s bloody corpse. Now, I’m not sure why – I haven’t seen anything with Ms. Moore in recent memory, and I surely bear her no particular ill-will, but nevertheless, there she was, propped up in a chair with her mouth wide open and blood pouring out her mouth and down her chin.

As my mind turned over the horror of this situation, it somehow morphed into the fact that she was only brutally injured, not killed (though I remember clearly that she was initially). She was very angry at me for some reason I didn’t understand. Then, inexplicably, she started shouting (around mouthfuls of blood) questions in Bill O’Reilly style! She wouldn’t believe me that I wasn’t a Hollywood producer. (She wasn’t angry about violence in the media, but instead child actors. She kept screaming about how I’m making these kids work in films like slaves. That part I really don’t get, but hey.)

Finally she made a move to attack me. I ran downstairs and got the biggest knife in the house (a serrated breadknife) and went to the hall beside the stairs waiting to see if she’d follow. Of course, she did, and came at me zombie-like with blood still streaming down her, shouting questions and accusations as if I had done this to her (though I hadn’t), but always about the film industry. Even though I would answer no, I didn’t do it, no, that’s not the way it is, she would, in Bill O’Reilly style, never accept what I said – she would try to twist my words and tell me how I just didn’t care about kids, and to just admit it! Finally she jumped at me and I grabbed her, held a knife to her, and told her not to move or I would kill her. My sister Meri was standing by in horror, and I frantically told her to call 911 because of this intruder attacking me. She did, and I began to fear what would happen when the police arrived finding me with a knife to this injured woman, but I was too afraid to let her go…

Finally, I awoke. 5:30 fricking AM? Of course, I couldn’t get to sleep, because of thinking about this stupid dream I got so angry that I started composing this rant. Finally, I went back to sleep for awhile, and when I got up, came directly to the computer to write this rant.

So, if you’re still with me: In conclusion, fuck you Bill O’Reilly for being the hypocritical asshole that you are. Fuck you for giving me this weird fucking nightmare and fuck you for making me so angry. Fuck you for being such an idiot that I can’t help but rant about you. But thanks for the laugh at the irony of showing “The Corruption of the American Child” on the FOX Network.

Lastly, I apologize to my fellow posters for the relatively low ratio of profanity in this thread, but I simply wanted to vent, not be imaginative. Plus, I didn’t sleep well. Goddamnit.

“We interrupt the originally scheduled ‘Glutton Bowl’ and ‘Celebrity Boxing’ to bring you some blowhard moralizing about how there’s too much crap on TV.”

FOX, heal thyself.

It’s OK to argue that the entertainment industry has no moral obligations to its customers beyond simply obeying the law. The corollary is that entertainers are moral laggards – no better than Big Tobacco.

However, at the Academy Awards, I saw preening entertainers preaching their higher goodness and moral sensitivity to the rest of us. They can’t have it both ways.

Entertainers and athletes are individuals, and much like this board, have different opinions of what each should represent.

As for Reilly, I caught a few bits during Smackdown! commercials as I watched with my 9 year old stepdaughter. [hijack]We all rolled on the floor laughing when Kane copied the Rock’s and Hogan’s catchphrases and mannerisms.[/hijack] She has a better understanding of wrestling than he does. Probably of music, too, but we don’t listen to any hardcore rap in the house, and I’m pretty sure she’s not exposed to it at Catholic school. Reilly’s an ass; even when and if I agree with him, I wouldn’t want him on my side.

**

I disagree. I do not believe it is the responsibility of entertainers to take on all of society’s problems. On the other hand, I do think it is the responsibility of those who provide goods to consumers that they not actively deny that they are marketing a harmful product. There is a big difference between the measurable risk of lung disease and other ailments and the subjective “degradation of society”.

As D_Odds said, these are individuals. I think it is great when individual entertainers do good things and work to bring positive things to society. However, Bill O’Reilly seemed to believe it was not an option – it was an obligation because they have the means. This is like saying that the wealthy are obligated to give away 20% of their income to charity simply because they are able to.

I applaud those who make worthwhile entertainment, but I don’t consider it some sort of moral failing to give the country what it wants. I roll my eyes at Temptation Island, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s causing mass havoc and moral decline, so I simply choose not to support it. I find it funny that the sanctity of the free market system touted by conservatives doesn’t apply in the case of entertainment, pornography, and so on for some of those same conservatives (though not all, of course).

I simply believe that the blame should fall where it belongs – with the people in society that demand trash entertainment; I also believe that if we are going to talk about moral corruption being someone’s fault, we should know for certain what (if any) moral corruption is occuring. We simply don’t.

Exactly! So why’s everyone blaming O’Reilly for giving the American public what they want to see? :slight_smile:

Ha! There’s a difference between pointing out bad journalism and considering him responsible for the degradation of modern society. :wink:

Touché! :slight_smile:

Ok, I think everyone agrees to the fact the Entertainment industry puts out some real trash. Things that no child should be aloud to absorb. I believe that the main responsibility lies with the parents. As any parent knows, there is so much shit out there its hard to shield your child from everything. What you have to do is instill in your children a basic moral foundation. Stop using the TV and the radio as a baby-sitter. Don’t let the entertainment industry instruct your child, cause it is obviously not qualified to do so. As for a child with out caring parents? How are they protected form the shower of bad influence? Well for starters if their parents don’t care enough to monitor what their child watches or listens to, then the child will have other problems to deal with besides entertainment corruption. Second education for the parents, make them aware of what is out there, maybe they will pull their head out the sand and put their ear to their children’s door once in awhile. That is what I believe O’Reilly was trying to do. Trying to bring attention to these corrupting influences, although I think he was hammering on the symptoms and not the problem. I don’t think O’Relly is the evil right wingest you guys make him out to be. I think his anger is sometimes misdirected, and it ruffles a lot of feathers.

I’d be willing to bet that Mr. O’Reilly was nailing his secretary at the very same time this program was airing…

Personally, I think the only reason Mr O’Reilly is on TV is because he personifies the blame culture we live in clearer than anyone else. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, just a thing.

What Bill O’Reily need is a whack on his skull by a baseball bat wielded by Greg the Bunny.

I will agree with maxx that O’Reilly is NOT your standard-issue “right-winger” (hey, he’s against SUVs!), but rather someone whose anger is often directed at the wrong target (and yes, too often at the symptom rather than the cause).

However he HAS grown into a smug, self-righteous SOB. Didn’t seem so bad at the beginning but now… Or maybe he just was always a smug self-righteous SOB and “came out” once he got big enough.

Alas, Bill O’ has proven too willing to use the “think of the CHILDREN” device to stop all other rational thought. One of his themes that has begun to really grate on me is his recurrent “I want my children to have a childhood, I don’t want them knowing about gay sex, etc.” This he has brought up on the gay adoption issue, O’Reilly is in favor of allowing gay adoption, as better than endlessly fostering the kids to inappropriate hetero households … but his attitude is that to achieve this the gay person should shut up and not talk about being gay. WTF??? Oh sure, better for the kids to get shocked out of their skins at age 16 when you try to explain to them there ARE such things?

Hear hear! I recently saw O’Reilly on The Daily Show and this very thing pissed me off intensely. He spent most of the interview talking about how Rosie O’Donnell shouldn’t come out. Because he doesn’t want to know what other people are doing in their bedrooms. Hey, dumbass, being gay isn’t something that only happens in the bedroom. There are non-sex aspects to homosexuality. Should Ms. O’Donnell take a male friend with her to awards shows and whatever rather than her partner, because heaven forbid you should have to think about what they do in the bedroom! I suppose his lack of interest in what other people do in the bedroom doesn’t extend to politicians, however. (I was disappointed that my sweetie Jon Stewart didn’t make more of this apparent hypocrisy.)

Hmmm… I didn’t know O’Reilly was one of those “gay-rights-as-long-as-you-are-in-the-closet-so-I-don’t-have-to-imagine-it” types, though I can’t say I’m surprised.

This is not to say there aren’t some gay folks I wish would shut up about their sex lives (a former roommate comes to mind), but I don’t believe it’s any more rampant a problem than heterosexuals!

mighty_maxx, you’re entitled to your opinion, but I don’t think O’Reilly was trying to say anything about the parents. If so, why wouldn’t have have listened when guests, repeatedly, pointed out that the responsibility for raising kids is on the shoulders of the parents and not society at large? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that his intended viewers are a lot more parents than entertainers, and that no doubt he realizes that it’s a lot easier to put blame on others than to accept criticism of how you are handling your responsibilities.

Hell, I have straight friends like that! Hell, there’s this one guy at work who asked me why his girlfriend might be mad at him-this guy, who I barely know, starts telling me he moved in with this girl after knowing her for four days and wonders why she doesn’t want to be serious-even though they’ve only known each other for a week. “Because we had sex.” Um, whoa-hello? Do I KNOW you?

Then starts telling me about a former girlfriend who wanted a threesome. I think this was one of the only times I couldn’t wait for my lunch hour to be over!

He wasn’t…that was my point. He does tend to gripe about the symptoms and not the problem. The problem lies mainly with the parents. Maybe I didn’t make that clear. I think he was misguided on this issue, but he is right on many others

just a little note; the woman he was interviewing about pro-wrestling was the CEO of WWF, Mrs Linda Mcmahon, Mother of Shane and Stephanie, and wife to Vince, not just a wrestling representative. :cool:

In response to Fluiddruid’s long reaction to the stupid O’Reilly report Thursday night, Flu Dru is right on, it makes me want to cry. I was thinking the exact same thing as he was while I was watching the program (even though I probably shouldn’t have watched it).

Concerning the first topics Bill addressed (TV, music, movies), the entertainment industry is in no way responsible for the corruption of children. The parents are completely responsible if their children are corrupted at all from what the see on TV and at the theater, or hear on the radio.

If the TV shows naked people, people shooting each other, people using adult language, so what? Parents: turn the fing thing off! Kids turn in back on? Hide the fing box.

If your kids see any of this stuff in the movie theater, don’t let them go to the movies by themselves, and they won’t get into R movies. If they do get in, it’s the idiots at the movie theaters trying to make a few bucks. Either way, I say it’s the parents fault. They should have total control of their children.

When Bill interviewed Insane Clown Posse (foul-mouthed, face-paint-wearing, rap group), all he tried to do was embarrass them. He quoted some of their songs about killing people and, of course, f***ing them. So what? If kids are listening to this stuff, their parents are letting them buy the CD or download the track, whatever.

Bill interviewed someone and tried to argue that the 1st amendment doesn’t defend the artists. Of course it defends the artists. Although the lyrics of a song are morally wrong, they are in no way constitutionally wrong. Even if someone wrote a song about killing the president or screwing his daughters, there is no crime that violates the 1st amendment.

Parent-child relationships have lost all control, so it seems. You go to a restaurant; if a child is making a lot of noise, the parent ignores him, suddenly the child dives on the floor, trips a waitress, the restaurant is responsible. That’s what this has all come to. A kid is outside, illegally riding a motorized scooter (illegal since he has no license) on a road with a 55 MPH speed limit. Kid dives out into the road. Guy in the car can’t avoid hitting him. The driver pays the hospital bills. What’s the deal with that?

It’s just the same with the entertainment industry. Bad parents are lazy and irresponsible, and instead of taking time out to watch what their kids are doing to make sure they aren’t corrupted, they just blame everything else for their child’s corruption. If they don’t have “time” to watch their kids, then just trust em. If they break the trust, don’t trust them. Take away the computer, the TV, whatever.

Finally, concerning the internet . . .

It’s really pathetic to think that a parent could somehow blame the internet for their child looking at porn. If you catch your child looking at porn, wouldn’t the natural reaction be just to stop them from looking at porn? In America, apparently, the reflex action is to blame someone.

Sure, some kids in the end are going to see a few balls, hear a few bad words, see how to kill people, whatever. Hell, little kids think it’s funny. But there is absolutely NO argument that is valid that can successfully find the entertainment industry guilty of corrupting the PARENTS’ children.

Am I wrong, or is Insane clown posse last years news?

Are they still important?

Truly, I don’t know. I know their name, but I thought they were big a few years ago. I just know artist by who my whigger kids talk about and buy.

Did any of you watch the last 15 minutes of the program? It was ALL ABOUT the parents. Discussed how parents want to be “pals” and not parents, discussed the parents being bad role models (like the hockey dad killing the other hockey dad), and so forth. He probably should have emphasized it more, but he did discuss parents’ responsibility.