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Bill O'Reilly's Pants Are on FirePerspective by Tim King Salem-News.com
O'Reilly's brand of medicine cures few but ails many, and I predict that his span of days on the air are numbered.
(SALEM, Ore.) - I was instantly reminded by media pundit Bill O'Reilly on New Year's Day, how easily human belief systems are swayed when confronted with believable lies. It isn't about politics or viewpoints or left or right, this guy creates a fictitious reality and then shares it with people over the airwaves.
People believe what is not true, and at the end of the day Americans who listened to him knew a little less instead of more. Things aren't supposed to work that way. Americans shouldn't be tasked with having to relearn information that O'Reilly falsely communicated to them in the first place.
O'Reilly and other hard driving right leaning talk show hosts will say anything to inject that influence and they do it without rules or barriers. To many, that doesn't seem like the action of a true conservative.
What he said New Year's Day stemmed from another story, which involved middle school age girls on the east coast whose nude pictures were posted on the Internet. O'Reilly said, "You can go to any beach in America and find young girls, 12-13 years old, with piercings and tattoos, smoking openly, and doing other things- in full public view."
So let's slow down and go to square one. Ask yourself if you have ever, ever gone to a public beach and observed little girls of that age even with tattoos? Then there are the piercings, the smoking and his other implication which was suggesting "open" drug use I assumed.
I have surfed for most of my life, I admit that I have insight that others lack, but the picture O'Reilly describes, like something from a bad Hollywood movie, (or fantasy Bill?) is not something I have ever observed at a beach in California or Oregon. I've seen piercings, tattoos, cigarettes and plenty of young girls, but rarely in one package.
In fact, most kids at the beach are looking for a tan and a swim, some waves and maybe a party, but O'Reilly's description of "what anybody can see at any public beach" and suggestion that the kids are all running rampant must be alarming to the farmers in Kansas.
Are the police officers and lifeguards of our coastal cities slacking off on the job?
O'Reilly is clearly trying to influence the minds of people where there are no beaches, what color are those states again? He wants people to believe evil things about the west coast and the east coast as well, and farmers in the Midwest know beach state culture as well as they know the lyrics to the Red Hot Chili Peppers' latest release. They believe O'Reilly's negativity, they don't know any better.
I've written about this character before and I know people are dedicated fans, but why? I can't figure out what the appeal is. Years ago he worked for my former TV station in Portland, Oregon, KATU Channel-2. There are horror stories about his time working there. O'Reilly was in the newsroom several years before I was, I can tell you that he isn't fondly remembered by but a spare few.
If lying were a martial art, O'Reilly would be a 10th degree black belt. He made the statement before that American soldiers in WWII killed "unarmed Nazi guards" at Malmedy, Belgium when in fact, 84 American Army prisoners of war were gunned down by the Nazi's.
Some people take the approach that O'Reilly is entertaining because he is so outrageous but I can't accept that in my personal life. I think in terms of truth and non-truth and I can't go to square two if square one isn't being straight with me. Funny how the term "square" so easily found its way into this article, just a natural word when describing this media baboon.
I hope his listeners and viewers catch on sooner or later, and that they listen to their hearts more than this know-it-all who in reality, knows only how to argue and win at all costs and bolster his ratings.
Perhaps O'Reilly represents the thinking of a previous generation to a degree, but this is a new time and the only way people are going to come together and improve this already endangered world is by broadening the spectrum of their thinking. It starts with their choice of a radio station, Website or TV station. Sometimes that choice should be to simply turn it off.
O'Reilly's brand of medicine cures few but ails many, and I predict that his span of days are numbered and maybe some day we can reel all of this nonsense back in and hold people accountable for the false information they choose to spread.
The part about girls on the beaches is just one small sidenote of that day's program, but it is all it takes to see how ridiculous it is to try and take anything from O'Reilly seriously. There are too many problems on this earth for people who do nothing but spread polarity in our society while feeding the "fear of children" mentality.
Am I endorsing censorship? Heck yes if you have to call it that, but only if people are not held accountable by their own broadcast companies for spreading lies to the public and unduly influencing them.
There is a reason that screaming "fire" in a theatre goes beyond free speech, and there is a reason that the FCC should take action over rules that I understand actually already exist, but are not enforced.
If a broadcaster makes a mistake or slips up, that is a different case. Here we are talking about a well established pattern of spreading lies and false information. It isn't acceptable to allow O'Reilly to just make things up in his head and present them as fact. At the very least he should be mandated to issue retractions at the direction of a disciplinary board and taken off the air.
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with almost twenty years experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist and reporter. Today, in addition to his role as a war correspondent in Afghanistan where he spent the winter of 2006/07, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated only with Google News. You can send Tim an email at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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