Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bill O'Reilly and Coit Tower

I haven't yet said anything about Fox News "personality" Bill O'Reilly's recent comments that, because of the passage of Props H and I (banning possession of handguns by residents in San Francisco and wagging a symbolic index finger at military recruiting), Baghdad by the Bay should not expect any sympathy or help from the rest of the United States in the event that we suffer an attack from al Qaeda. I haven't said anything for several reasons. First, I'm hardly surprised any more by anything that comes out of the mind of wingnuts like Bill O'Reilly, Pat Robertson, and Sean Hannity. Second, I didn't want to leap into the fray only to say, "Me, too! Ha, ha, O'Reilly is stoopid!" By the time I heard about O'Reilly's latest, it had already been in the dead-tree newspapers. (Happily, I can't watch Fox News 24/7. Caution: watching large quantities of Fox News may cause torpor, lassitude, and verbal flatulence.)

Then this morning (yes, to a blogger, 12:57 p.m. is "morning") I found, via TBAiT's aggregator's pick-up of "You Forgot Poland," this comment by Mark Morford on the Chronicle's SFGate website:

Here's the takeaway, the only thing you need to know: Bill O'Reilly is a walking, snorting cautionary tale. For those of us who occasionally tread similar terrain of barbed political commentary (tempered, I hope, with satire and hope and sex and humor and fire hoses of divine juice), he is the Grand Pariah, the threshold, the Place You Do Not Want To Go as an intellectually curious human soul. He is the guy you can always look to, no matter how bad it gets, and say, Wow, at least I'm not him.
What is clear is that BOR has made a Faustian bargain of the ugliest kind, taken on a worldview where there is no room for humor and light and sex and joy and grace, whereby he gets to unleash streams of rather appalling ignorance upon the progressive segments of the nation — like, you know, cities that dare to encourage peace and nonviolence and a measured, respectful response to the world — and he gets paid enormous sums and lives like an angry, sneering king, while the gods of karma can only sigh, and shake their heads, and wait. — Mark Morford,, 2005-11-16. Hyperlinks added by the Third Path.
At least I'm not Bill O'Reilly, but I'd like to count myself in the company of the likes of Mark Morford.

About a month ago — well before this latest bloviation — I was visiting my parents in a very much "redder" part of America. One of the neighbors, on hearing that I live in San Francisco, asked me what I think of Bill O'Reilly. I replied that he can be entertaining, and that every once in a while, if only for a change of pace, he might say something that's actually true.

Friends don't let friends watch Fox News.