I've been told that it is best to rise above petty insults, to refuse to descend to the level of uncultured tallywhackers such as Bill O'Rielly. But experience has told me that if one does not lower oneself just a little, no communication at all will occur. And more practically, while there may be no effect upon the target itself, the resounding "thwack" of correction may prove either instructing or amusing to one's audience. Echidne of the Snakes brings our attention to yet another turd plopping into the intellectual watershed of America. And - as is not unusual - it comes courtesy of Bill O'Rielly and - of course - the Fox Network.
It's Bill O'Reilly having fun imitating Helen Thomas, calling her the wicked witch of the East and so on. But the most fascinating bit is the one where O'Reilly asks us why his mother isn't out there sitting in the front row of Obama's press conference, asking questions. Or Colmes' mother. Or any old lady at all! (He doesn't say that but it's what he means.)
To deny Thomas the respect her experience and professional qualifications deserve is probably a sexist response on O'Reilly's part. Try a reversal by imagining an older male journalist in her place and then O'Reilly arguing that his own dad is equally qualified to ask questions at the press conference.
If you think O'Reilly should apologize for his comments, go here.
I would not bother demanding an apology - it amounts to the solicitation of perjury, without the satisfaction of being under oath.
More to the point, the proper response to offensive speech is more and better speech; that is to say, better targeted and far more amusing at the expense of the the target deserving such public correction.
I firmly believe this is a better and more productive response than the amusingly typical attempt to pressure Bill-O into apologizing to Helen Thomas for being disrespectful of her gender, age, wisdom and status. Hell, consider the source; the fact that he DOES disrespect her tells you exactly where he stands as a gentleman, journalist and carbon-based organism.
It's not so remarkable that he said what he did. It's that it's so apparent he believes that what he said is self-evident; moreover, that he believes that he is, due to his gender, skin color and political viewpoint, of inherently greater worth than Helen Thomas in particular and pretty much anyone else, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary that he's a moral and mental midget, unworthy of being in the same room - or time zone - of persons of any color, gender, political philosophy or sexual orientation with an actual informed opinion about anything at all.
It reminds me of the time my father - a life-long grifter, racist and Orangeman - informed me that he was of course a better man than Martin Luther King - after a reprise of the "I Have A Dream" speech.
He, like Bill, was held in contempt by anyone who had the misfortune to come to know him, much less have to do business with him. And like Bill - he was completely impervious to that well-earned contempt. Even by white racists.
If there was a cover illustration for "Unskilled and Unaware," it would properly feature Bill's smirking face.
So, here's my response, Bill.
Your Momma is embarrassed enough by your antics without you dragging her into this. And if she could hold her own in the front row in the white house press gallery - how come you turned out the way you did? Dude, your best gig was Hard Copy - it's been downhill ever since. I mean, from a journalistic perspective. The fact that you and your show is not a constant, burning humiliation to the people in charge of Fox News, in all aspects, simply shows how little they care about the people they exploit - which would include both their listeners and their employees.
There's no better illustration of that amoral calculus than the fact that you still have a job, loofa boy. Trust me on this, Bill-O; they don't employ you because they respect you; not one whisker more than they respect the poor saps that produce, direct and light your show while enduring your innuendos. The fact that you are permitted to still work following your serial public sexual embarrassments demonstrates a systemic lack of respect for anything but ratings, by whatever means.
You will be on the air just so long as it is still illegal to show convicts being raped to death by donkeys - as was the amusing practice of the Roman Colosseum shows - shows that pandered to the exact same demographic of unwashed, uneducated pinheads as you do. When Running Man was made - I'm absofuckinglutely sure that you were an inspiration to everyone involved.
You have always appealed to that sort of mindset, and in rude point of fact, that means that you have equal or less value to Fox News than a literal donkey dick. If they could replace you that way - they would. In a heartbeat. Nor would it trouble their consciences in the slightest. Their sociopathy is evident enough in the fact that they employ not just you, but many examples of persons no better and even less skilled.
It's also why you so deeply fear the return of the fairness doctrine - because you would be getting your asshole kicked up around your ears by the "other side" every single day. And I'm not speaking of persons of the stature of Noam Chomsky. You get owned by anyone who has a good opinion of themselves and a mike you haven't switched off yet.
Media Matters - whom you hate with a blind passion - need only archive your own words to prove that this is by no means an isolated lapse on your part. Sad to say, it's not even the most profound lapse, in a journalistic sense. They focus on your deliberate lies, things that are provably false to fact, as opposed to the oozing, palpable, sneering contempt for competence in any form; feeling that in the final analysis, malicious lies are of more significance than mere stupidity.
Your standard response to being busted for falsehoods is also documented. You just repeat it - louder. While whining about being picked on by "liberals." Bill, you are not only an embarrassment to journalists and editorialists of honor and stature - you even manage to be offensive by the standards of professional liars. Ask around. Use the grapevine. See if you can find out what Tony Snow really thinks of you. Even for such a polished prevaricator as the Snowman, it might be difficult for him to come up with a semblance of sincerity while uttering a complement. And I question the likelihood that he'd consider you significant enough to bother lying for.
The standards that permit you to flourish like black mold around the base of a badly installed toilet has caused people to confuse "liberalism" with "People who know what the hell they are talking about" and/or "People who don't lie to me."
Not being a Liberal, I find this somewhat troubling. But it HAS done wonders for Barack Obama in particular, and truth-tellers in general.
So, I say, turning my back on Bill and speaking to the gallery - what have we learned from this?
I have learned, once again, that anyone or anything that Bill O'Rielly thinks is bad is worth having a look at and than anything Bill hates and fears is quite likely worth doing. Twice.
Further, I've learned that anyone that makes Bill O's tiny penis shrink on air to the point where he has to mock and ridicule probably has a book that's well worth reading. And that's the best possible response to this public dissing of Helen Thomas - put her book on the best-seller list. And be sure to tell everyone why.