‘The Fraud Factor’

By Vox Day

No one can deny that Bill O’Reilly is a massive media success. However, contrary to the beliefs of some, he is neither conservative nor crazy. He is, instead, a complete fraud – a blowhard as devoid of principle as the iconic strawmen he sets up and knocks down with mind-numbing regularity. In other words, he is just another media whore, selling not ideas, but himself.

Mr. O’Reilly has mastered a confrontational style, which works as long as he is in control of his opponent’s microphone. His usual tactic is to ask a question, cut off his opponent halfway through the answer, then feign an emotional overreaction to an exaggerated and often inaccurate extension of their position. The fact that he has taken on many leftist lightweights and exposed their essential silliness has led many to conclude that Mr. O’Reilly is a conservative and a genuine lover of American liberty, but this is not the case.

Television is an inherently deceptive medium. It is much harder to deceive in text, where the reader has the opportunity to easily review something that might have been passed over in a casual first read. After reading Mr. Reilly’s first book, it was readily apparent this was not the product of a logical, intellectual or conservative mind, but rather a haphazard collection of muddled opinions which reflected a strong government moderate’s typically hazy grasp of political reality.

For example, Mr. O’Reilly once attacked the president of the Gun Owners of America as a nutcase on the fringe due to the GOA’s opposition to the assault weapons ban. This demonstrated three things:

  1. “The Factor” does not understand the purpose of the Second Amendment, which is to ensure that the people are able to militarily resist their government. Of all people, a New England man should know that Lexington and Concord were fought by those resisting the attempt of the then-legitimate government to confiscate private weapon stores.

  2. “The Factor” does not understand the Assault Weapons Ban, which does not concern itself with bazookas and machine guns, but pistol grips and magazine clips.

  3. “The Factor” has no intention of allowing open debate on his program. It’s his program, so that’s his right, but it puts the lie to his “No-Spin” claim. Mr. O’Reilly is every bit the agitprop artist that Michael Moore is, the primary difference being that Moore lies and seeks the destruction of his targets in order to destroy them, while O’Reilly lies and seeks the destruction of his targets in order to sell himself.

Lately, Mr. O’Reilly has taken to apish chest-thumping in proclaiming that various individuals are “ducking” and “backing down” from him. This is rather ironic in the face of the following transcript from Fox News:

The ACLU held its annual convention, but The Factor was not invited. However, The Factor said, “Colorado Gov. Bill Owens, a Republican, was, and he debated our pal Howard Dean, who remains too frightened to appear on [this show]. The debate dealt with the Patriot Act. Dean claimed it robs us of individual rights.” The Factor reminded, “If anybody has been abused by the Patriot Act, call us, please. We want to put them on the air.”

Upon hearing this, Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian Party’s candidate for president, was quick to respond to Mr. O’Reilly’s challenge, apprising “The Factor” personnel of his victimized status. But like bold Sir Robin, O’Reilly bravely ran away. When danger – in the form of a political candidate, who, unlike Bill’s pal, is not primary toast, but will instead be on the ballot in all 50 states this November – reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled. One of brave Sir William’s minions sent the following e-mail:

According to producers, the “challenge” has apparently been misunderstood in terms of what Bill actually said on the air. There is no interest in having Mr. Badnarik on the show at this time.

Oh, it was a misunderstanding! Did “The Factor” mean to say that he does not want to put someone abused by the Patriot Act on the air? Did he deny Badnarik’s victim status? No to both counts. As you see, brave Sir Bill, he turned about and gallantly he chickened out. Bravely taking to his feet, he beat a very swift retreat. Bravest of the brave, O’Reilly!

The cowardly “Factor” should change the name of his show. As “Fear Factor” is taken, “The Fraud Factor” would appear to be apropos.