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Thursday, August 25, 2016

My Review of The O’Reilly Factor: The Good, the Bad, and the Completely Ridiculous in American Life by Bill O’Reilly

I have been thinking for a while that I needed something to read other than the pop fiction that we have at the house. We have other types of books, too, but I’ve either read them or they don’t quite interest me. I’ve also been saying for a while that I’d like to read up on our presidents. So, I went to this building where they actually give away books—although you do have to return them—called a library.

I hadn’t done my research, and nothing on George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, or the like, was jumping out at me. I know myself as a reader, and I need to ease into new areas. But I didn’t want to go home empty handed. Read my review on or right here:

The O'Reilly Factor: The Good, the Bad, and the Completely Ridiculous in American Life The O’Reilly Factor: The Good, the Bad, and the Completely Ridiculous in American Life by Bill O’Reilly

When I came across Bill O’Reilly’s The O’Reilly Factor, I decided to give it a shot. The book wasn’t that long, and O’Reilly talks about politics on his show of the same name. I thought maybe I’d get some insight on how things work in Washington, D.C., and I’d be broadening my horizons as I’m not a fan of Fox News.

Instead, except for some potshots at President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton (and others, including Republicans), the book offers O’Reilly’s view on . . . well, a lot. And that’s OK. He’s an intelligent guy, and he has every right to express his views. (Said the guy who writes a blog on pretty much whatever he feels like writing about.) He covers class (as in economics), sex, the media, drugs, raising kids, race, politics, of course, and plenty more. In fact, at the end he just starts listing things that he deems good or bad. Literally. Readers will be relieved to learn that Santa Claus is on the good list. I’m not kidding.

A few good, albeit potentially slanted-in-O’Reilly’s-favor stories about what it’s like to work in the media were the best part of the book. Otherwise, I didn’t think he said anything groundbreaking even when I agreed with him, and at one point I actually double-checked to make sure I wasn’t reading a self-help book. My guess is that his self-assured tone would definitely rub minorities the wrong way in his chapter on race, and the lecture he offers young women on keeping their virtue was odd . . . to put it nicely.

He managed to mostly ignore people with disabilities for which I’m actually grateful, considering a couple condescending comments he offered, including this nugget when urging parents to read to their children: “Unless your child has some type of physical problem or attention disorder, why wouldn’t he or she want to enter those exciting worlds that writers create for young imaginations.” (I’d need a whole other post to respond. I actually don’t think he meant to be that ignorant, but most people don’t mean to be ignorant.)

Obviously, the book (published in 2000) is a bit dated with some of his references about individuals. Even O’Reilly wouldn’t keep Bill Cosby on the “good” list these days. His comments about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are actually good for a chuckle given the current election. At times, in these comments and elsewhere, one might forget what station O’Reilly works for—but not for long.

(I’m not offering a starred rating because I don’t have a good sense of other books in this category.)

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