Bill O’Reilly: Hero*

Via elephant journal
on Apr 2, 2010
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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.

Waylon Lewis

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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11 Responses to “Bill O’Reilly: Hero*”

  1. John says:

    Perhaps the friend who was tired of pimping companies he did not believe in could have worked with the firm to move towards pimping companies he could believe in, and help them become successful.

  2. via my friend and colleague, Danny:

    There are certainly less personally costly publicity stunts one could pull (see everything else Bill-O does), and, unfortunately, I don't see anyone else offering to pay this ridiculous fine. He's no hero and, yes, he's milking this, but still it's nice that SOMEONE stepped up with a check.

    And, you know, frankly, if somebody has got to pay the Westboro Baptist Church $16 K, I'd rather it be Bill O'Reilly than, say, some kindly non-profit who might otherwise spend that amount helped people.

    Waylon Lewis
    Agreed on both counts, Danny—hell yes.

    Still, it's (something) like crediting Chairman Mao for deigning to give a year of rice to a peasant whose family he killed via the great famines his policy caused.

    O'Reilly is influential in media, and horribly so. He and his opinionator colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, are a cancer upon journalism and day in day out harm the American experiment. Remember Jon Stewart on Cross Fire? "You're hurting America."

  3. Adam says:

    On a side note, here are the charities Bill O'Reilly says he supports:

    I don't know how much he supports them, how much $$ he gives them, or what. How much of it is show? No idea. Maybe all of it, maybe none.

    An oddball on the list: The David Lynch foundation
    "Our Foundation was established to ensure that any child in America who wants to learn and practice the Transcendental Meditation program can do so. The TM program is the most thoroughly researched and widely practiced program in the world for developing the full creative potential of the brain and mind, improving health, reducing stress, and improving academic outcomes. We provide scholarships for students to learn the technique and to receive the complete follow-up program of instruction throughout their student years to ensure they receive the maximum benefits. We also provide scholarships for students who want to attend the growing number of highly successful schools, colleges, and universities founded on this Consciousness-Based approach to education"


  4. Greg says:

    As noted in another post — always a challenge to fully inspect why hatred rises in our hearts.

    Why do the Westboro Baptists have hate in their hearts? And why do some have hate in their hearts for O'Reilly? How does such hate take root and how does it grow?

    When I directed the fund-raising film for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum years ago, as I interviewed survivors the question that reappeared over and over was, "How does such hate come to grow in the human heart?"

  5. Great questions. I don't hate Bill. Why would I? I'm disappointed in him, and other "journalists," for hurting not only the integrity and duty on the Fourth Estate but turning American politics and culture into a football match.

  6. Great point on the first paragraph, hadn't really thought about that!

  7. roger wolsey says:

    On a related note, I too am pleasantly surprised to learn that O'Reilly has spoken in favor of the parents of the pre-schooler in Boulder who was kicked out of the Sacred Heart pre-school because his parents are lesbians. Actually, these sorts of unexpected surprises are evidence to me of the existence of God and even of the Resurrection. Glimpses of light in the darkness at the very least.

  8. integralhack says:


    I'm glad you reported this. Although I also *doubt* O'Reilly's intentions, we can never really *know* his intentions without some evidence. Unless there is a compelling reason to think otherwise, we should accept the act as being compassionate at face value.

    More than that, we should all get the word out about this as this will confound, fluster and divide the Fox News community. I can imagine Glenn Beck will be outraged at the emergence of a "pro-Gay" Bill O'Reilly. Any opportunity to weaken the hate-and-fear mongering Fox News network is a good one.


  9. smithnd says:

    Yeah. Thanks.

  10. Glimpses of a PR-hungry super-rich jerk giving .000001 percent of the money he's made off of being a PR-hungry jerk, more like. I give zero credit to generous acts by people who are able to be generous because they've made journalistic blood money.