Monday, August 12, 2013

A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity by Bill O'Reilly

 A number of years ago, some friends recommended that I watch The O'Reilly Factor, and I started watching it fairly religiously, as its host seemed to truly operate a No Spin Zone, and there were some excellent debates between different political players, and Bill tried to keep everyone honest, seldom letting anyone weasel their way out of a question with empty phrases. But after a while, the show began to be more about O'Reilly than about anything substantive, and it seemed that he spent more time talking about personal attacks he was dealing with, and plugging his books and Factor Gear than he did actually talking about the issues of the day. So I tuned out.

It's funny, speaking of that, that people who are very conservative tend to think O'Reilly is too liberal, while the progressives complain that he has a conservative bias. I tend to think he's pretty darned close to the middle of the spectrum, given those gut responses from left and right.

You might wonder why, if I got tired of O'Reilly on O'Reilly, I'd pick up an allegedly autobiographical work to read. Well, there's a difference between hearing endless self-focus on the air versus reading amusing stories about a person's childhood, and A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity is more about the least for a while.

It was interesting to hear about Bill's childhood in Levitton, PA, and his adventures in Catholic school with the nuns, as well as his college years, plus a few anecdotes from his early days in broadcasting. I was hoping to get a more personal feeling for the man, perhaps something about his wife, his home life, his children, but he really doesn't divulge much on those subjects - are they painful, or just intensely private?

The book is a little unfocused, bounces from subject to subject, darts back and forth in time like the Tardis, but it may give you a feel for who O'Reilly really thinks he is, anyway.

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