April 2, 2010

Bill O’Reilly: Hero*

Means v. Ends.

Bill O’Reilly can’t buy his way into hero-hood (but I don’t want him to stop trying)

Can we, walk-the-talk-wise, have our cake and eat it too?

Bill O’Reilly is stepping in and paying all court costs for a fallen Marine, costs incurred when the father sued the going-to-hell Westboro Baptist Church for protesting the soldier’s funeral.

“I will pay Mr. Snyder’s obligation. I am not going to let this injustice stand.”

Comments via my Facebook friends include:

“I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but Bill O’Reilly: class act.”

Wow. That’s pretty great. (I love it when people surprise me.)

As much as I am agitated by his ignorance, this is a noble act on his part!

Woah. I hate to say it but good for you O’reilly.

Still can’t believe it, but kudos to him. That whole situation was a terrible mess, and this finally gives it a happy ending.

I can’t believe it either… Good job Bill-O.

But my reaction to my FB friends didn’t jive, exactly.

I love this: exactly what big companies do. Make their money off the backs of others, doing bad work…then give .0001 percent of it away, everyone applauds. I know many rich ex-entrepreneur sell-outs who do same thing.

At least one another friend chimed in along a similar vein:

about as classy as a publicity stunt can be.

It reminds me of a friend who, while a sweet and genius guy, recently got a ton of love for (dramatically) quitting the multi-kajillion-dollar company he helped found because, he said, his clients weren’t clients he could believe in.

He was sick of pimping companies that were, fundamentally, far more bad for the world than anything else. And yet he’d made his fame, and his money, pimping them for years. So is he a hero for having a belated Jerry Maguire moment after a half-lifetime of selling his soul out to the Man for a big fat paycheck, nice house, travel, cars?

Not in my book. In my book, the ladies and gents I look up to are human beings who struggled, and celebrated, a path of integrity. Take Gandhi, who gave up everything but what is most important: his balls (or guts, or soul, if you prefer!).

Too many Americans see this as the smart path: start a company, sell out, make millions, then do good work. Our generation can do better. Can we, walk-the-talk-wise, have our cake and eat it too?

The means become the ends.

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