The Moron Factor

So last night I had the television on for background noise because the wife and kids were still in Tennessee visiting her sister. I really wasn’t paying attention until I heard Bill O’Reilly launch into his hilarious Talking Points Memo trying to justify Fox’s lawsuit against Al Franken’s book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right.

I should say that I can’t stand Franken. His book about Rush Limbaugh was almost as pathetic and annoying as Limbaugh’s own books. It is disturbing that people like Franken, Ann Coulter, Limbaugh, and Michael Moore can move so many books.

The title of Franken’s book, however, is clever — a bit too clever for Fox which is suing the comedian arguing that the book infringes on its trademark for the phrase “Fair and Balanced.” Not only is this a frivolous lawsuit, but it is a stupid public relations move by Fox. Could there be more of a whiney liberal thing to do than sue somebody who says mean things about you and mercilessly parodies you?

And Bill O’Reilly just compounded that problem with a ridiculous monologue that was laugh-out-loud funny,

The main point here is that trying to hurt a business or a person because you disagree with what they say is simply unacceptable in America. And that message has been sent by FOX. There’s a principle in play. Vigorous debate is embraced by us, but smear campaigns will be confronted. It is simply a joke for The New York Times to editorialize that fabricated personal attacks are acceptable under the banner of satire.

Mommy, Al’s using satire again. Make him stop!

You can’t try to hurt a business or person simply because you disagree with what they say? Then what the hell was O’Reilly’s campaign to get Ludacris fired as a Pepsi spokesman about about? Apparently O’Reilly can dish it out, he just can’t take it.

It gets funnier on the satire issue,

I wonder if The Times thought that Donald Sagretti was funny when he manufactured dirt to hurt Richard Nixon’s political opponents. I guess The Times editorial board would be yucking it up if their pictures appeared on a book cover accompanied by the word “liar.” Satire, my butt.

Just in case it isn’t clear, O’Reilly here is actually claiming that Franken is guilty of defamation for calling O’Reilly and others at Fox liars. Of course this is the same O’Reilly who called Franken an idiot. I suspect a judge in either case would find that each charge is true and therefore not subject to libel or slander statutes. (It’s not like you have to dig especially hard to find instances of O’Reilly dissembling or Franken acting like an idiot.)

And what would a pointless rant be without an absurd finish that cites a well known authority about how to deal with one’s opponents,

But once again, that’s not the issue here. The point is accountability. We are shining a spotlight on the haters and the enablers. You can decide if that spotlight is aimed in the right direction.

Talking Points cannot understand how people could side with the defamers and their pals. But it’s important to know just who these people are. For as Don Corleone once said, “kept your friends close, but your enemies closer.”

Okay, when you start pulling Godfather quotes into the mix, you’ve really gone off the deep end. The effect of watching O’Reilly deliver this speech was to question his mental stability. He looked and sounded like someone who was on the verge of losing it — and all because of an insult by a nobody like Al Franken. God forbid Dana Carvey says anything mean about O’Reilly!


The Best Defense Is a Good Offense. Bill O’Reilly, Fox News, August 14, 2003.

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