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by Steve Young

Steve Young columns

Last week Bill O'Reilly went to Afghanistan last week and came back decrying that "the USO has sent very few famous people to visit the troops in Afghanistan."

"In the past year only a few people like Toby Keith, Tom Arnold and myself have showed up in Afghanistan."

I'm sure Arnold will be sending flowers to Bill for still being listed in the "very famous" category. But while Bill may have to spend the next week at Walter Reed recovering from injuries sustained from his incessant patting himself on the back, his trip to visit the troops should be applauded. Good-O Bill-O.

But if you're one of the Folks who gets all your news from Fox and The Factor, it might come as a surprise that many of those Bill despises have laid the groundwork for his visit to Afghanistan.

Comic Kathy Griffin, who Bill has labeled a "Pinhead" in his" Pinhead and Patriots" segment, entertained the troops in Afghanistan years before the Preening King of Spin did.

Robin Williams tossed punchlines out in Afghanistan before Bill made it over too.

You say you didn't know? I guess you missed the Factor's "The Hollywood Left Loons Patriots" segment where Bill tells the other side of dark side. You know, the Fair and Balanced side.

This isn't to say that even more haven't been working for the USO in combat territory.

Try comics Dave Attell, Jaimie Kennedy and David Allen Grier, Aerosmith, Carrie Underwood, Henry Rollins, and, of course, Gary Sinize. Bill wanted to know where American sports celebrities were. Afghanistan?

Guess Bill doesn't consider the National Football League an athlete sanctuary. They send a USO contingent of players to Afghanistan and Iraq every year.

Mentioning that might have diluted his "spin stops here" spin. In congratulating what Bill sees as the success of the surge, he pulled a blast directly from his ass able to spin it into a condemnation of the Democrats.

"The Democratic leadership, of course, opposed the surge. So while the Bush administration has made big errors in Iraq, the Democrats have now joined the mistake zone. Have they not?" Even if were anywhere near correct, what the fuck does that have to do with sending celebrities to entertain the troops? Point is, Bill can't do a good thing without climbing on top of it to complain about someone else. Never let a good deed go without a dig at your personal demons.

But Bill insists on more for the boys. He calls for a celebrity surge led by a reincarnation of the Mr. USO himself.

"Where is the modern-day Bob Hope?"

Good question, Bill. We do need another Bob "Never Spend Christmas At Home" Hope for the 2000s and I know you would agree that someone who's gone "over there" there without needing any urging from you -- more than once or twice -- would make sense.

That's why I'm nominating your old buddy, Al Franken. Franken, who Bill has nothing but contempt for, has been on four USO Tours since Bush has been in office, including Afghanistan and Iraq. If you really had the troops in mind, Bill, and aren't making your appeal as just another macho scream for attention and an attempt to demean "Hollywood," you'd agree.

And I'm sure when Al is elected to the Senate, he'll be glad to take you up on your invite to again visit the troops any number of places, including Afghanistan. In fact, how cool would it be if you went with Al as his Jerry Colonna? Ann Coulter could be your Ann Margaret. You want to get the word out about how this isn't about politics, tell me that wouldn't do it big time.

That isn't to say there shouldn't be more entertainment for the troops. Hell, it be nice if everyone of them could return home so they could see entertainment every night without having to worry about going out the next morning to become a target for some IED.

How about calling for that, Bill? I'd even sing your praises.

Award-winning TV writer, Steve Young, is author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful" ( and his "All The News That's Fit To Spoof" appears in L.A. Daily News opeds every Sunday(, right next to Bill's...really

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Albion Monitor   November 30, 2007   (

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