Copyrighted material


by Steve Young

Steve Young columns

There is a movement afoot to bring back sensible debate back to politics and political talk. The plan is being instigated by a certain Hollywood player who has come late to the politico wars. When he reveals his hopes and methods for a more decent and positive-for-the-people dialogue he will certainly be demonized immediately by those whose business it is to demonize. They will cherry-pick any comment he makes to reveal some sort of anti-American motive. They will dust off his hit movies to disparage and find some underlying, indecent message in the script (that he did not write). But that they must, for if anyone, especially SP's (Bill O'Reilly's secret code for Secular Progressives), promote real discussions of real issues, the result will reveal the idiocy and poisonous communication breakdown that today's "I control the mike so I'm right" talk radio and TV.

O'Reilly, for one, has let it be known in the most vivid manner, that he won't (make your own disgusting reference to any O'Reilly lawsuit or novel here) go down easy. Friday's Radio Factor was a classic that should be enshrined in the Radio and TV Museum archives. In less than sixty minutes during his World-famous All-Skate, Bill was able to -- once and for all -- blowout the engine in the sorely underused Fox News Insanity Filter.

First O'Reilly says that he has far more liberals on his show that he has conservatives. I'm guessing that sipherin' came out of a Factor Poll. Wonder if the hundreds of times that he has on Dick Morris count as one. You get the idea Bill has decided that the rules of actuality no longer apply to his little factoids.

Bill discussed "despicable" newspapers that you should not read. Leading the list was the despicable Dayton Daily News who Bill said is "the most friendly (newspaper) to child rapists" in America. This had to do with the newspaper's anti-American call for due-process in the potential ousting of a judge O'Reilly vehemently disagreed with on a child-rapist's sentence. Bill said the paper "supported Judge John Connor's sentence" of probation for a man who raped a 5 year old boy and a 12 year old boy. They didn't, but when does truth need to enter a no-spin zone.

Bill maintained that seventy-five percent of the country's papers are not only despicable, but also "far-left." The other twenty-five percent are "moderately" conservative. Forgetting his criteria and calculation to reach the seventy-five percent, key here was that Bill believes the Left demands a "far" preamble and conservative deserved a "moderately." Keep in mind Bill's "an independent." A moderate independent I presume.

On to the Factor poll. Bill was a bit surprised by the results of his poll which asked the folks whether it going into Iraq was the right thing. Seventy-five percent (running percent theme?) of the "committed" voters said it was; about opposite of what the country thinks. This is the O'Reilly listnership, though if recent ratings are a yardstick as to the size of Bill's audience, they're either turning off Bill in droves or they're just dying of old age.

Now, this isn't to say that the percentage of Bill's audience who still think the Iraq invasion was a good thing will diminish with the steady decline in ratings. In fact, the way radio/TV wars math works, while less people care what the no-spinster thinks, Bill's seventy-five percent might even grow.


750 Folks = 75 percent of 1000 Folks

500 Folks = 100 percent of 500 Folks

Voila...more folks, sort of.

Back to the fun-filled hour as Bill went on to spend some time with the right wing cry that Bush is getting battered unfairly by the "Hate-Bush" crowd (which is basically anyone who questions the President) and that "it wasn't this bad with Clinton," clearly a fairy-tale that I'm sure more than seventy-five percent of Bill's fans still believe.

Bill ended the hour by taking a call from a man who said that he and others who don't agree with Bush don't hate him, they just love America more. Bill then went into interrupt overdrive and asked the caller if he could think of anything he liked about Bush. The caller couldn't come up with anything. Bill made it clear that logic contends, "if you can't think of anything you like about the President, you hate him. There ya go." Show over.

Apply Bill's reasoning to someone who can't think of anything they like about lacrosse. You don't have anything good to say about lacrosse? Then you have to hate it. 'Course lacrosse never started an unnecessary war (except perhaps at John Hopkins).

So when our Hollywood friend reveals his strategy to bring actual debate to the table, here's hoping he knows that he will be facing formidable opponents who will not welcome the newcomer gladly, for he will be taking food and shelter away from their families. Oh, he will be invited to appear on Bill's show, and if not, will be labeled a "coward" by Bill. Here's hoping he remains the "coward," for if the ratings are a factor, it won't be too long before no one's going to be listening anyway.

Steve Young, author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful" can be read every Sunday in the LA Daily News Op-Ed page (right next to Bill O'Reilly)

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Albion Monitor   March 23, 2006   (

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