Sunday, January 06, 2008

A Couple Of Humorous Bill O'Reilly Stories

First, a schoolgirl makes him look dumb - admittedly not the most arduous of tasks - and he refuses to admit his error.
During the course of plugging his new book, Kids Are American Too, on his show the other night (it "turned out to be a very hot Christmas gift this season!"), Bill O'Reilly thought it might be fun to answer questions from kids. But he was not prepared for Courtney Yong, from San Francisco. "Mr. O'Reilly, I really enjoyed Kids Are Americans Too," Courtney's question began, auspiciously enough. "But in the first sentence of Chapter Three you say the Constitution guarantees 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.' Isn't that from the Declaration of Independence?"

Now, some of us, in O'Reilly's situation, might have laughed. We might have made a joke about how everyone confuses those two old things, and later made a hissing, angry phone call to whatever HarperCollins editor let the sentence, "For openers, the Constitution guarantees all of us, in a famous phrase, 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,'" slip by untweaked, since while, as the folks at Media Matters have noted, the Constitution promises the government shall not deprive any person "of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law," Courtney is right: "Pursuit of happiness" belongs to the Declaration.

But what did noted America lover Bill do? He tried to cover it up. No, worse — hilariously worse — he tried to act like he did it on purpose. "An excellent question, Courtney," he responded. "The reason the Constitution was forged was to assure new American citizens the right to free life and access to pursue happiness in his or her own way. The Declaration was the statement; the Constitution, the instrument."

Then, he starts a shoving match at an Obama rally.
With his camera crew behind him and the sound boom overhead, O'Reilly waited to grab the senator on his way out the door. I had been watching him since his arrival (his group had bumped into me at one of the two press platforms), and I followed him to watch the spectacle it was certain he would create.

At first, the railing where O'Reilly stood wasn't very populated. Then, as the Obama team saw who was laying in wait, they started to huddle. Staffers started to arrive at the scene. Three policemen showed up, too. One of them stood in front of O'Reilly until O'Reilly asked him to move. One of Obama's staffers, Marvin Nicholson, took up the same post, standing in front of the Fox camera as Obama neared the door.

"You're blocking our shot," yelled O'Reilly.

"Oh, am I?" asked the Obama staffer, not entirely sincerely, and not moving.

This is not a new trick. When staffers block you because you're being too aggressive, the standard thing to do is give them a little business and then move to another spot. O'Reilly didn't do this. He shoved the Obama aide. There was an exchange and a little more shoving. I didn't fully capture it because as I looked at O'Reilly in his black leather Fox jacket, which resembled the kind we wore during football season in high school, I swore I could hear him challenge the staffer to a rumble out by the drive-in.

"That's really low class, pal," said O'Reilly.

I love Bill O'Reilly. He makes living so much more fun.

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