O’Reilly should be praised for passion and vigilance

I’ve spent the week watching his show and even reading one of his books, and there is one idea I have summed up: Fox News correspondent Bill O’ Reilly does not get as much praise

I’ve spent the week watching his show and even reading one of his books, and there is one idea I have summed up: Fox News correspondent Bill O’ Reilly does not get as much praise as he should.There, I said it.Although he often stumbles as he walks the line of a journalist and a commentator, the man has a history of excellent investigative journalism and Emmy wins. He cuts through the fluff and goes after what he believes is right. O’Reilly is as real as they come and should be praised.O’Reilly prides himself on looking out for “the folks,” especially when it comes to children. The first sentence of his book, Who’s Looking Out For You?, begins: “It is brutally unfair to the children involved but there are almost 12 million one-parent families in the USA.” He states the need for someone to look out for fatherless children and lists several cases he has pushed into the limelight that have revealed child abuse. Self-promoting? Perhaps. But efforts like these are nothing but beneficial.O’Reilly’s concern for children goes beyond knowledge of statistics. He is an active crusader for Jessica’s law, which requires mandatory minimum sentencing, at least, for first-time child sex offenders, and is only a law in three states.O’Reilly even endorsed Republican Doug Forrester over Democrat John Corzine for New Jersey governor because he said he believed Forrester would enact Jessica’s Law.O’Reilly has also lately been a crusader against Vermont Judge Edward Cashman, who sentenced a sex offender to only 60 days in prison. Thanks to O’Reilly and others, Cashman has since reconsidered his sentence and upped it to a three-year minimum.O’Reilly is often tagged as a conservative, and it’s fitting in most cases. However, he does take a liberal stance on many issues. He fully believes global warming exists and dislikes SUVs. O’Reilly is pro gun control and supports civil unions for homosexuals. He also believes that when states pass anti-sodomy laws that it is a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution.O’Reilly is successful and disliked by many because of his tenacity while debating. Many criticize him for yelling “shut up!” to his guests. Although the “shut ups” are few and far between, O’Reilly defiantly debates without restraint. He doesn’t pander, and he will never throw a softball.So why all the controversy? Those who don’t agree with him aren’t going to like his “guns blazing” style. But imagine if someone sharing your ideology would take up the demeanor of O’Reilly? You’d love it.As for all of the criticism, he needs it to keep him in check. O’Reilly sometimes misquotes a statistic or lets his emotions cloud the debate, and for that he should definitely be blasted. But to blast him for being passionate is foolish. He also tries to give the image that he is a humble man and constantly refers to himself as “your humble correspondent” while his bio says he is from “humble beginnings.” Although many, including myself, find that pill hard to swallow given his eight-figure salary.However, the tenacity he gets attacked for seems unreasonable. I bet most people who despise him have never seen more than one episode of his show or have never glanced at the summary of any of his four nonfiction books. O’Reilly often gets laughed at and ridiculed, but to me he is just a man on a mission. Sometimes his mission agrees with the masses, other times it may not.Regardless, Bill O’Reilly is great medicine; and if you don’t like him – shut up!Sean Blanda can be reached at scblanda@gmail.com.

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