?`s and ANNEswers

Ten minutes to write. Less time to read.


It wasn’t his political opinions or his bravado that brought him down.  Heck, it wasn’t even the complaints about and pay-offs for harassment.  It was money, plain and simple.

When approximately fifty advertisers pulled their support for his program, Bill O’Reilly was done. Personally, I won’t miss him although I doubt he’ll be sidelined for long. Some other network will wrangle a deal with him and his no-spin zone.

I assume “no-spin” is code for straight talk. I’ve never really heard the term explained, although I did a cursory check on the Internet to see how it was used. Mostly I found disgruntled commenters complaining about the abundance of spin in the no-spin zone.  But maybe they were liberals.

O’Reilly was a master of the use of statistics.  He frequently said 85 percent of this or 63 percent of that felt a certain way.  Most often, it was the same way he felt. I have no objection to using statistics – Two other women and I once wrote a book on the topic that was used as a college text — but I do object to their being pulled from thin air. O’Reilly never cited where his numbers came from.

He was remarkably glib with the spoken word, and at one time in his career urged letter-writers to be “pithy” if they hoped to be read on-air. Toward the end, pithy didn’t seem to matter as long as the comments enabled O’Reilly to critique the correspondent. He also deplored “pinheads,” whatever those are.

He had the ability to persuade candidates, activists, lawyers, judges, and just about anybody else in the public eye to come on his show although I’m not sure why.  He rarely let any of them complete a sentence without interrupting. I promised myself if I ever ran for president I would decline his invitation.

And so one part of the nightly ritual at our home is changing. I’m not sure what Earl will do for the eight o’clock hour, but at least I can keep the doors to his office open. Thanks for that, Bill.

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