Friday, February 11, 2005

I Hate Bill O'Reilly, too.

I’m not a bit fan of Bill O’Reilly. I must admit I don’t get to see very often. Actually, I almost never get to watch him on television because I only get basic cable television, so I am denied the pleasure of watching Fox “news” programs. But O’Reilly does manage to make the larger news networks regularly for his inflammatory commentary. Most recently, I heard about his attacks on Ward Churchill, the University of Colorado professor who is receiving the national spotlight for his views (both unpopular and nonsensical) on the 9/11 attacks. Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick wrote a nice piece about the controversy you can read here. I think she calls his comments "moronic nonsense."

More to the point of this post, I found a great website dedicated to exposing the spin of Bill “no spin” O’Reilly: Sweet Jesus, I hate Bill O’Reilly, Intl. It’s a fun site (though a bit crass at times). They show that if O’Reilly really does have “no spin”, it’s because he’s already spun himself sick, puking up lies, inflammatory propaganda, and biscotti, and he’s broken away from the earth’s rotation into his own orbital reality (not unlike certain government officials who admit to making their own reality – read Ron Suskind's piece in the NY Times here). Of course O'Reilly is too busy yelling at people to hear anything they might say to rebut him. I think it's important that we hold people accountable for what they say, and it's a part of the job for pundits and journalists (to use the terms extremely loosely for O'Reilly) to be held accountable for what they say. Just as. . .say. . .O'Reilly wants Churchill to be accountable for his words. I don't disagree that Churchill should be accountable; I just don't' think he shouldn't be fired for voicing unpopular views. I don't know. I seem to hold some stake in that thing called the First Amendment. Call me crazy. I think there are other, more appropriate ways to hold Churchill accountable without shattering the foundation of academic freedom.

But, hey, that’s just one academic’s opinion.

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