Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Times Trashes O'Reilly

The New York Times has only reviewed a Bill O'Reilly book once. That was in 2004, when it slammed his "O'Reilly Factor for Kids" in a hatchet job entitled, "The Pinhead Factor." It has reviewed none of O'Reilly's other books even after they became best-sellers.

In tomorrow's New York Times Book Review, online today, there is finally a "review," if you can call it that, of O'Reilly's "Culture Warrior." It also review a favorable new book about O'Reilly by Marvin Kitman. Even though he is self-identified as a liberal, Kitman believes he has been maligned in an unjustified fashion. The Times will simply not let just comments pass without showing its sneering liberal bias in full flower.

The Times book review says snidely that the Kitman book wants to turn O'Reilly "into a towering figure in some ways reminiscent of Edward R. Murrow, whose legend, we are told, was built on the “opinionated positions he took in his news reports.”

No good, says reviewer Jacob Heilbrunn. He thinks O'Reilly is a a "thug, fraud, gasbag, windbag and demagogue." Heilbrunn attributes those adjectives to unnamed "detractors" but obviously embraces them himself.

He then turns briefly to O'Reilly's new book "Culture Warrior," which is supposedly also the subject of this book but Heilbrunn has only potshots here too. It "offers the trademark bluff and bombast that make up his pronouncements."

This polemic disguised as review ends by saying "No matter what this apostle of mediocrity and banality says, sparkling water and George Clooney are not menaces to the American way of life."

I don't think O'Reilly ever said anything of the kind, but dishonesty as well as bias are daily fare at this once great newspaper. This review is Exhibit A.

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