April 4, 2013
I gave up Fox’s “O’Reilly Factor” for Lent. It did my soul good. So I wasn’t watching when the modest and retiring New Yorker slammed us “Bible Thumpers” for having no arguments about preserving true marriage. But, of course, I later saw it all on the Internet.
Now, O’Reilly is digging in his heels. And when his sometime guest host, Laura Ingraham took him to task for his offensive statements, he berated her. “You’ve bought into this garbage,” he said. “I don’t have time for any of that,” he said, giving her the back of his hand.
I go back a long way with Bill O’Reilly. I remember well defending him ten years ago when the liberal thought police were after him. O’Reilly had made a remark about young minority men that some took to be racist. Speaking to donors at a fund raiser for an abstinence and character development organization, O’Reilly complained that the young men were late showing up. “I hope they’re not out in the parking lot stealing our hubcaps.”
What a howl went up then. Liberals demanded O’Reilly’s scalp. The 2003 charity event was a 1950’s-style sock hop. Everyone who grew up on Bill O’Reilly’s Long Island, as I did, had heard that jab a hundred times from homeroom teachers. “What are you doing, stealing hubcaps?” In those Happy Days, that was about the worst that could happen in a high school.
O’Reilly is no racist. He’s just a chooch—a wise guy.
I gave up O’Reilly when I tired of his phony populist shtick. He’s looking out for me? Right. He’s the tribune of “the folks?” As we say in New York: Gimme a break.
I was irritated at how rude he always was. Now, we New Yorkers have a problem there.
John Adams complained to Abigail in a letter when he first visited New York City in 1775. “They talk very loud, very fast, and all at once.” And he never met O’Reilly.
I was embarrassed when my kids said: “Dad, he’s just like you!” OK, I admit I do sometimes yell at the tube. But I wouldn’t treat real live liberals like that. I wouldn’t call any of our liberal friends or those in our pews pinheads.
As Family Research Council has reported, as Heritage Foundation and Ethics and Public Policy Center have shown, the reams of studies showing that the married family that worships regularly yields the best outcomes for children. This is especially important for poor children and minority children.
None of these public policy groups thumps the Bible. But none is willing to stomp on Jesus just to get five minutes on cable with Mr. Number One.
Intact families that worship regularly are the key to the success of millions of Asian immigrants. Four hundred Korean-Americans rode buses through the night to come to Washington for the March for Marriage. They came from Flushing, Queens, O’Reilly, your back yard! I was proud to stand with them.
O’Reilly should be commended for his good deeds—when he does them. I’m still grateful for his serving as Emcee for the organization that hosted that fundraiser ten years ago.
But Bill O’Reilly’s arrogant dismissal of the social science case for true marriage, and for the protection of the women and children who are suffering now and who will suffer more if marriage is ended is unacceptable. If he cared, he might find a perspective on true marriage that is even bold, fresh.
He combines arrogance with ignorance. Supine ignorance, as one might say. He doesn’t know because he doesn’t want to know. “I don’t have time to do any of that.”
One hour, O’Reilly. In one hour, even you could learn the case for true marriage. If you were really looking out for us.
But you don’t have time for that, O’Reilly. You’d rather bloviate. “The Factor” moves along, as you say. And it will move along without me.