Bill O’Reilly: Brave Little Soldier

In a journalistic handjob that would sooner win an AVN Award than a Pulitzer, ABC News profiles Bill O’Reilly, who has deemed himself in his latest book a “Culture Warrior.” Or, for those who are cheap with the syllables, a “T-warrior,” short for “Traditional Warrior.” ABC, happy to oblige his fantasies of service and self-sacrifice, and carrying on the military jargon that conservatives so love, describes O’Reilly as having served “tours of duty in the more conventional news departments of CBS and ABC” before he went on to become Generalissimo Bill on The O’Reilly Factor, fighting a “war” he helped create and perpetuates on a nightly basis: the war he describes as “pitting traditional Americans—those who believe the United States is noble—against those who are secular progressives and believe the country is fundamentally flawed.”

"It's the traditionalists who really want to keep the country pretty much the way it is," O'Reilly said. "Against the secular progressives who want drastic change. … They control the media."
Says the man being profiled on ABC’s 20/20.

Standing at 6 feet, 4 inches, he can resemble a formidable culture warrior at times.

He even calls himself, "T-Warrior," short for "traditional warrior."

When "20/20" pointed out that he had one of the loudest voices in the media, O'Reilly said he and his fellow traditionalists were outnumbered and had been since the days of Walter Cronkite.
O’Reilly took issue with Cronkite after he found out he was a “real radical left guy” (the concept of being objective regardless of one’s political leanings being ungraspable for the likes of O’Reilly). Until then, he’d thought Cronkite was “fair,” but finding out about his personal political leanings sent O’Reilly on a crusade against the media—apparently, by becoming a part of it, though he continues to speak about “the media” as if he is somehow separate from it, in spite of hosting a daily television show, a daily radio show, and being a published author.

"The media is really the balancing agent here between the 20 percent of Americans who are secular progressives, and about 60 percent who are traditionalists," O'Reilly said.

"I gotta expose it."
Not “expose” so much as “fundamentally alter based on my interpretation of what the media should be.” The media was never meant to be a “balancing agent,” but a clearing house and conduit for factual information, irrespective of who stood to benefit from the truth—a notion that O’Reilly is surely clever enough to comprehend, but, being a conservative and a liar, doesn’t particularly like. Of course, he also has no integrity, so instead of being honest about his motives, he continually frames his relationship with the media as its critic and censor, as opposed to one of its most prominent members, who has simply decided to turn his back on its purpose, for convenience of disseminating his agenda. Men like Cronkite kept their political leanings hidden, because their agenda was truth-telling. O’Reilly keeps his agenda hidden, so that he might claim to speak the truth. It’s a fun-house mirror image of the traditional media, which makes his “traditional warrior” tag absolutely appropriate—although he is not a warrior on behalf of tradition, but a warrior on behalf of its obliteration.

Like conservative politicians who seek to destroy the federal government, conservative media shills seek to do the same to the media. Any institution that stands in their way gets slated for the wrecking ball, and each time it’s the same playbook—ruination from within. The great irony is that they call themselves the traditionalists, a moniker so manifestly inappropriate for those who decimate traditional institutions while claiming to restore them it would make Orwell blush.

They grasp onto a couple of issues—abortion, gay marriage (both of which O’Reilly references in the piece)—to bolster their credentials as traditionalists, as “culture warriors,” but in every other aspect, they are, quite literally, radicals. Preemptive warfare, disdain for the Geneva Conventions, domestic spying without warrants, contempt for the rule of law, disregard for the separation of church and state, tax cuts during a time of war, the unitary executive—these are largely unprecedented, and radical, deviations from traditional American policy.

When O’Reilly says his culture war pits “traditional Americans—those who believe the United States is noble—against those who are secular progressives and believe the country is fundamentally flawed,” he’s almost right. Progressives (though certainly not just secular ones) do believe the country is flawed, as is any country, and that one of its starkest imperfections is the group of people who believe the United States is noble no matter what it does. Those aren’t “traditional Americans” at all, but extremists, led by our president who believes that as long as we’re fighting “evil,” we must necessarily be “good.” History tells us that nothing good ever comes from fanatical blind nationalism, which is in what O’Reilly’s “traditional Americans” engage—and that’s anything but traditional.

And when he says that it’s “the traditionalists who really want to keep the country pretty much the way it is... Against the secular progressives who want drastic change,” he’s dead wrong. It is progressives who are the protectors of America, even and especially in pursuit of freedom and equality for all its citizens. And in pursuit of the truth he ever endeavors to disguise.

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