Friday, June 20, 2008

Bill O'Reilly: An Independent?

Posted by Teresa at 3:58 PM
I saw this ad today on the Fox News channel for "The O'Reilly Factor":



I was particularly struck by the caption "no party lines" image:



First, it caught my attention because he's always blasted by liberal bloggers as
being a right-wing demagogue. O'Reilly and Fox News is so hated that the
Democrats wouldn't debate on the channel and it took years to get Hillary Clinton
on The Factor (and that was only after it was evident that she had basically
lost the anti-war, ultra-liberal base). I know some will probably laugh at the
thought of O'Reilly being an "independent." I've watched his show for years
(not so much lately because it's become too tabloid-like) and he's always claimed
to an independent.

If one actually takes the time to evaluate him on the issues, he is quite moderate.
I've heard him on several occasions on his show say something to the effect if he
had to do it all of over again he would not support the war in Iraq but now that we
are there we must be successful. That's certainly not a hawkish "neo-con." A few
weeks ago I listened to a portion of his radio show and he was steaming mad about
gas prices and railing against oil companies. He sounded like a populist, sorta like
John Edwards. However, I don't recall him call supporting the wind-fall taxes on
oil companies. He also believes global warming exists. Well, I guess one can argue
that's not really a partisan issue since everyone's buying into global warming these
days.

Liberals can argue he's hyper-partisan because of whom he chooses to attack and
they would have a point. He saves his tirades for Daily Kos, MoveOn.org, Al Franken
and Code Pink types. But truthfully aren't those easy targets? I think it would be
absolutely foolish for conservatives to viciously go after a pundit for taking on Ann
Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. I would say, "Have at it!"

The only area I can see him as a ideological hardliner is more on social issues.
He's not for gay marriage. He was on the "War on Christmas" band wagon. He
targeted a Kansas abortion clinic doing late term abortions.

However, his position is more nuanced on gay rights. He supports civil unions.
In an interview with Mike Wallace he said he was for gun control and is also
against the death penalty. Here's the video:



So that doesn't sound like a conservative talking head to me. Still he and Fox
News continue to have the reputation of being a Republican media tool. I actually
appreciate his independent streak. What I don't like about O'Reilly is the way he
interviews. He interrupts guests, shouts, and has a huge temper. I'm sure that's
one of the reason he has become a such a punching bag for those who disagree
with him.

Let's compare O'Reilly's show with what's going on MSNBC. The person they
have opposing O'Reilly in the same time slot is a hard liner, Keith Olbermann.
His positions aren't nuanced, they come directly from the left blogosphere. He
hates President Bush and dreams of impeachment. He hardly has guests on his
show that oppose his point of view. He turned against Hillary Clinton as soon
as the left blogosphere did and compared her to a Republican.

I know some would say that Olbermann is MSNBC's answer to the successful
O'Reilly. In fact, "The O'Reilly Factor" continues to beat "Countdown" in ratings.
I would argue there's a big difference between the two. Fox News didn't let
O'Reilly anchor on election nights during this long Democratic primary. They
know the difference between political commentators and having neutral journalists
cover election night results. Sadly, MSNBC didn't do the same this year.

Perhaps, if Keith Olberman wants to beat Bill O'Reilly in the ratings he should
take a few cues from him. He should be more interesting and have at least a little
diversity in his commentary. All one has to do is look at Daily Kos to know what
Olbermann will talk about. That's boring. He should invite more people who hold
opposing views.

I've heard Bill O'Reilly and Fox News being called a lot of things. Liberals say the
news network is biased to the right. That's probably true. I can't imagine Brit Hume,
the D.C. managing editor, voting for Sen. Barack Obama this fall. However, he doesn't
overtly cheer on a certain political party. I can stomach bias, what I can't stand is
advocacy. I've heard liberals call O'Reilly a loud mouth. That's true. However, he's
not designated to do news. He does political commentary and it's more nuanced
analysis than he's given credit for.

Update: I wanted to make sure I had his position on Iraq right. Here's what I found.

13 comments:

typewriterking on 3:16 PM, June 21, 2008 said...

The proper classification for Bill O'Reilly would most probably be Christian Democrat, a political ideology common in Catholic countries in Europe and Latin America.

I foresee in the coming years a realignment in America that will recognize the sizable Christian Democrat electorate in America, which
now have voices in men like O'Reilly and Lou Dobbs. In some ways, I guess the Constitution Party is already home to them, but a more mainstream future home could be the 'Modern Whig' party.

Anonymous said...

I think Bill ORilly (fox news) and Lou Dobbs (cnn) are the 2 VERY BEST the tv has to offer, I never miss those two showes,
I would love to see those 2 team up and run for president and vice president, and I LOVE there views,
they both are TRUE AMERICANS.
And some thing to think about,
Illegal are Not IMMIGRANTS,
they are CRIMINALS. and I dont care about there sad stories, just deport them.

jpcan said...

I think Bill ORilly (fox news) and Lou Dobbs (cnn) are the 2 VERY BEST the tv has to offer, I never miss those two showes,
I would love to see those 2 team up and run for president and vice president, and I LOVE there views,
they both are TRUE AMERICANS.
And some thing to think about,
Illegal are Not IMMIGRANTS,
they are CRIMINALS. and I dont care about there sad stories, just deport them.

Anonymous said...

Oh, c'mon Fox is bought and sold by the GOP and they do nothing but lie for them Those who watch (dumb) FUX News do so to fuel their own hate and fear.

reunionpi on 10:34 PM, June 22, 2008 said...

Keith Olbermann: the overdue New York State Tax Warrant, Chinese American Trading Company the buyers of his real estate, the corporation

Keith Olbermann: the address from 2001 of his, the parents of Katy Tur and the civil actions

www.webofdeception.com

John on 5:26 AM, June 23, 2008 said...

"O'Reilly and Fox News is so hated that the Democrats wouldn't debate on the channel and it took years to get Hillary Clinton on The Factor "

I find it quite amusing that the candidate who wants to talk with the genocidal leader of Iran was afraid to enter a debate moderated by Fox News. Is Brit Hume scarier than Mahmoud? Just more cheap political points with the leftist base that despises Fox News at the cost of the independents and conservatives who watch Fox News. But then again Obama is a pretty conventional liberal elitist, he probably can't even comprehend why people would watch Fox News- unless it has something to do with clinging to their guns, religion, etc. ;-)

Anonymous said...

"In some ways, I guess the Constitution Party is already home to them, but a more mainstream future home could be the 'Modern Whig' party."

Because the Modern Whig Party is mainstream and non-fringe, I do not see how they would fall into the Constitution Party or Dobbs/O'Reilly. The Modern Whigs are smack in the middle of the Republicans and Dems and likely would avoid the irrational rants of what you suggest. I did read that the Modern Whig Party is becoming the party of the military though, which is interesting in its own right.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that Oreilly lied. He is a registered Republican. He can't repeat that he is an independent four times an episode when he is a regitered Republican. He did not check the independent box on the ballot. He checked the Republican box. They are not next to each other. The ballot is obviously in his hand writing signed by him. I saw it. When he was asked why he didn't check the independent box he said that he made a mistake. That is a lie, we all know that he would have received numerous correspondence from the party of his choice(fundrasing and caucases). He has been a registered Republican for years. Both in Nassau and in New Jersey where he lived before. Whatever the analysis of his personality he registered and thus made a choice. You can't have your cake and eat it.

Anonymous said...

I don't hate the guy or anything, but he has a very clear cut agenda. He is Republican. Plain and simple. Why is he ashamed of his party? He is against the death penalty? When did he say that? I don't believe it.

Anonymous said...

Why is he ashamed of being a Republican? Is there something wrong with it? He sure seems to think so!!!!

Anonymous said...

Bill O'rielly sounds like a liberal in comparison to Sean Hannity!

Anonymous said...

Glad to greet you, ladies and gentlemen!

We are not acquainted yet? It’s easy to fix,
my parents call me James F. Collins.
Generally I’m a venturesome gambler. all my life I’m carried away by online-casino and poker.
Not long time ago I started my own blog, where I describe my virtual adventures.
Probably, it will be interesting for you to find out how to win not loose.
Please visit my web site. http://allbestcasino.com I’ll be interested on your opinion..

Anonymous said...

Awesome web page, I hadn’t found this before in my lookups! Proceed with the excellent job!

 

Terry Ann Online Copyright © 2010 Designed by Ipietoon Blogger Template Sponsored by Online Shop Vector by Artshare