(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
Ok- so I don’t like Bill O’Reilly, don’t watch his show, etc.
I also think that he should have made a more substantive case against Frank. Anybody who buys stock based on what some Congressman says on CNBC, after all, is asking for trouble, especially if it is Barney Frank.
Having said that, Frank’s story he tries to get out about doing something about the Freddies as soon as he became chairman is simply revisionist spin.
I’m glad I watched the painful six minutes of this clip because it is indicative of much that is wrong with American culture in terms of political discourse. Years ago, I ran across the Bill O’Reilly show and was amused for a while, and I thought, “Hey, this is interesting. This guy is like Morton Downey, Jr., but with a brain.” Sadly, I overestimated the “brain” part.
Certainly, Barney Frank and the Democrats need to answer for the status of FNM/FRE, but this display was, quite simply, a disgusting display of ranting “info-tainment.” Nothing good can come from people tuning in to this show seeking information. I can’t imagine why anyone, including Bill O’Reilly, thinks this is productive. Sadly, 10-14 million people get their news from shows like this each week.
Years ago, in his work “Amusing Ourselves to Death,” Neil Postman noted that all the information contained in an hour-long television news show could be found on one page of a newspaper. That is a disturbing statistic, especially when the amount is probably lessened by a “Factor” of ten when Bill O’Reilly is screaming “that’s Bull!”
Being an educator, I weep for the days before this kind of drivel, and I hold out hope that someday shows like this will again become the realm of only cheap, late-night, local cable access like Morton Downey, Jr.
Yeah, I agree with you here. With about 20 minutes of staff research, O’Reilley’s staff could have built a case against Congressman Frank that would have been very interesting to see him respond to. Instead, he jumps all over a comment on CNBC as if a bunch of old ladies liquidated their life savings to buy Freddie stock.
I really hoped to see Frank taken down. But stupid yelling doesn’t get the job done.