Posted by: David Kiley on November 1, 2006
Bill O’Reilly is all over the place, like, the saying goes, manure. His book, Culture Warriors, is climbing the charts. He’s on Letterman, The View. And, of course, his nightly Fox show and his daily radio show. The website. Ugh.
As I have written before, I sometimes watch Manu…I mean….O’Reilly. I do it for the same reason I occasionally listen to violent rap lyrics, watch an episode of a new sitcom and read an issue of People. Once in a while, the journalist in me likes to plug into, as O’Reilly would say, “what the folks are saying and watching.”
As I tuned in the other night, O’Reilly was on a truly empty-headed rant about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s position on gay marriage. He, and his staff, seemed to believe that Clinton had…wait for it…’FLIIIIIIIP FLOOOOOOPPED” on the issue. He had two gay advocates at the ready to comment. In fact, Clinton hadn’t flip flopped on the issue, they said. The advocates complained that, in fact, she was still to conservative on the issue, not advocating for real gay marriage. O’Reilly seemed flummoxed, and perhaps silently annoyed with his staff for not preparing the segment better.
What really struck me was that all through the rant segment, he only referred to Sen. Clinton, the former First Lady, as “this woman.” He said it several times. “This woman.” “This woman. “This woman.”
Is this some weird backhanded homage to President Bill Clinton’s reference to Monica Lewinsky as “That woman”?
Later, in another segment about a lawsuit Jane Pauley has filed against The New York Times for using an interview a rep of the paper did with her for an advertorial, he again kept referring to Pauley as “This woman.” “This woman.” And he pretty much suggested that Pauley was just out to do it for the money, which she will give to charity and get a headline and brownie points. Could it be that she wants to demnstrate to a major news organization that using her words and image in a way that was not explained to her was a terrible breach of ethics. The same thing happened to me once and the offender was Sirius radio, which used a soundbite from me in a video news release I didn’t approve.
I guess I’m more old fashioned, and perhaps more conservatively progressive (figure that one out Bill) than O’Reilly. But if I was doing a daily TV and radio, I think I’d accord professional and accomplished men and woman a bit more respect and civility than Mr. O’Reilly. How about…”Senator Clinton” and “Ms. Pauley.” I don’t know, but does he refer to the current First Lady as “This woman”?
If I had nothing but time on my hands, or perhaps a fellowship to study media patterns, I might track this over-time to see if he is an impolite lout to all the woman he talks about, or just the ones he deems “secular progressives.” What’s with “This Man.”
On second thought, such an undertaking would require that I watch the O’Reilly Factor every day for a few months. And I think I’d rather blow my brains out now and get it over with.