It’s hard not to make fun of Bill O’Reilly.
The man is an educated Archie Bunker, a creature of crystal meth-inspired Republican evil, who pretends to be a regular Joe, while sharing screen time with wholesome, salt of the earth people like Oliver North and Dick Morris.
But O’Reilly recently outdid himself.
According to The Washington Post, at a charity event benefiting inner-city schoolchildren, members of the “Best Men,” as the sixth-to-eighth-grade boys in the program are called, were delayed getting onstage, to which O’Reilly ad-libbed: “Does anyone know where the Best Men are? I hope they’re not in the parking lot stealing our hubcaps.”
Even based on the standards of someone who accused the son of a World Trade Center massacre victim of being a traitor for opposing the war with Iraq, this is disgusting.
The Washington Post article went on to mention how, at the dinner, which featured guests such as cabinet members Gale Norton, Tommy Thompson and Mel Martinez, jaws dropped.
In his defense, O’Reilly countered that “No good deed goes unpunished.
If you guys want to snipe at me, then snipe at me. This thing raised a lot of money for a good charity. Everybody was happy. I don’t want to comment on anything else.”
By O’Reilly’s logic, if I was emceeing a fund-raiser dinner for a breast cancer charity, I could make mastectomy jokes and it would be okay because the dinner raised money.
By O’Reilly’s logic, inviting Slobodan Milosevic’s son to emcee an event for the survivors of the Bosnian genocide would be okay because it would earn money.
Fox News Channel promotional materials boast about how O’Reilly spent two years as a high school teacher before entering broadcasting.
This man, who was caught on camera making a racist joke about four pre-teens, used to be a teacher.
That does not fill me with confidence for the public school system.
O’Reilly’s biography goes on to say, “Bill O’Reilly continues to live on Long Island where his best friends are guys with whom he attended first grade.”
So, O’Reilly is an ordinary guy – got it.
There are plenty of bigoted Long Islanders in this world who hang out with their old friends from elementary school.
None of them have their own television shows, because they have the good sense to realize they’re, well, idiots.
Unfortunately, O’Reilly doesn’t, and that’s the O’Reilly factor right there: racism, ignorance and self-righteousness.
Neal Ungerleider can be reached at N_Terminal@yahoo.com