New Bill O’Reilly Reciprocal Mutual Fund

April 27, 2006

Here is a comment from a website dedicated to how much they can’t stand Bill O’Reilly. I am not at their level of contempt and vitriole, but I can honestly say that his grandstanding and lack of moral fiber (and his willingness to point out everyone else’s moral failures) puts him in the same dubious category as Rush Limbaugh in terms of how credible I find him. As in, not at all.

That is why I buy into this idea: Starting a mutual fund that invests in all the companies that Bill O’Reilly has proposed we, as the American buying public, boycott. Here is their assessment:

There are no certainties in life, and we’re certainly not qualified to give financial advice, but so
far Bill’s been pretty close to a perfect reverse barometer. If we had the capital and the clout,
we might consider launching a new mutual fund featuring the stocks of companies Bill has
strenuously warned his viewers against. We’re guessing we’d get our own Forbes cover in
about two weeks.

What our country needs are new innovative ways to call attention to things that we find offensive and distasteful. Protests, boycotts, email and mail campaigns (anyone remember snail mail…apparently no one, from the looks of my mailbox) are hugely ineffective.

The other day, I received THREE separate messages entreating me to sign a petition to protest the effort to remove “Touched By An Angel” from the airwaves because it mentioned God too much. It used a fictitious petitition supposedly put together by now-dead atheist Madeleine Murray-O’Hair to remove religious broadcasting from the airwaves. Every few weeks, I get another one of these petititions. First of all, there never was a petitition by O’Hair. Second, she died in 1995. Third, CBS never removed “Touched By An Angel”…the production company stopped producing it and no one wanted to pick it up. Fourth, even if all of this had happened, the petititions wouldn’t bother anyone unless there were forty million names on there. No one reads petititions. Would someone please check out one of the Internet Hoax sites before sending me another “petition that will change our country forever.”

More is changed when someone sets a good example than when they put on some meaningless protest. Today’s protests are only used by the media to argue over how many people were actually there. No one remembers them. Certainly not this one, even though it made the front page of the Bee. Do you think that changed anything?



  1. Let me ask you something: is Al Franken grandstanding and lacking in moral fiber? Or maybe Michel Moore grandstands and lacks moral fiber? How about the folks at Air America or NPR? Oh! Oh! Here’s a good one: how about James Carville, is he a grandstander lacking in moral fiber? You see, I honestly can’t say because I haven’t invested much time in listening to what they have to say and I don’t know any of them personally. I do know Christians move in both liberal and conservative camps but I would be very cautious about demonizing the likes of Limbaugh who has given millions of Christian conservatives a voice in the political arena; something the church—with a few exceptions—has sometimes been afraid to do. Yes, I know Limbaugh mocks those on the other side of the political aisle and mocking—no matter how funny—is never appropriate. Or is it? I seem to recall Paul having a sharp tongue now and then.
    Until the last few years I was a staunch conservative. Then I slowly came to the realization that neither the conservative or liberal camp is my home. I now believe it’s dangerous for Christians to align ourselves too closely to a political party. Both political camps have their unethical positions and their unethical mouth pieces. Republicans use us and democrats villainize us. The kingdom of God is where our loyalty lies and nowhere else. Working from within God’s camp it’s easier to tell the difference between right and wrong.
    And another thing, I agree that setting a good example has great impact but in case we have forgotten, we are in the middle of a spiritual war here on earth and we have an obligation to speak the truth about sin. And if boycotts and protests had no value to accomplish good then a black southern preacher might have never started the civil rights movement.
    Sadly though, the media has changed and the truth is elusive in their clutches. TV and radio commentators are not about arguing over how many people attend protests and boycotts; they are about manipulating stories and issues so they get higher ratings and more advertising dollars…period! The news and editorials are no longer a public service; they are now about the money. They report and hype-up the news and if there is no news they create news. It’s not much different than getting your information on a blog where anybody can say anything. I think I’ll check out my Bible next time I’m looking for truth.

  2. Yes, Al Franken and Michael Moore grandstand. So, for that matter, does Pat Robertson and James Dobson. That wasn’t my point. When someone moralizes and then does the very kind of things that they preach against, they lose credibility. I didn’t say that these people are always wrong. I was talking about credibility. For someone or something to have an effect to change society, their lives must mirror their message.

    You actually make my point better than I did by bringing in MLK. His life was a reflection of his message. Therefore, the speeches, sermons and marches had moral effect and brought a certain level of societal change (though the movie “Crash” accurately shows that not an awful lot has changed in this country, civil rights movement notwithstanding).

    The marches of today are not headlined by people of sterling character, sparkling message and the desire for change. For the most part, they are about villifying someone else and doing so to raise up their own banner.

    And btw…I totally agree with you. The most dangerous part of television is the news. I’ll take sitcoms over the news any time. The news is spun so completely that it isn’t helpful or truthful. You have that right.

  3. Sometimes I find Pat Robertson’s delivery quite offensive but I don’t know if I would say he grandstands. I have a hard time with the notion that James Dobson grandstands. Do you really believe Dobson is only in front of the microphone to impress others? If so, how about Billy or Franklin Graham? Maybe these men just believe in what they’re doing. And at what point is a public figure grandstanding? Is it anytime they get in front of a crowd? Or perhaps it’s the size of the crowd or the medium used to convey the message that defines grandstanding? How does one look into a speaker’s heart and say, aha! he’s just up there to impress others?
    As for O’Reilly and Limbaugh—since personal perfection is your standard for speaking out on the issues—it would be nice to have a couple of examples as to how they moralized about something and then did the very same things they preached against. Please don’t use the examples of how Limbaugh railed against illegal drug users and then got busted for prescription drug abuse, or how O’Reilly railed against those who commit sexual harassment and then was “accused” of it himself. I already know about these two accusations that really didn’t go anywhere, and stink to high heaven of a witch hunt.
    If all who sin lose credibility forever then we should all resign, take a job digging ditches, and remain silent about moral issues. Do you live up to everything you preach 100% of the time? Do any of us?
    MLK was a great man but I believe it was sometime after his death that it came out he had affairs outside of his marriage. Did he lose all of his credibility?

  4. Anonymous, you’re taking an all or nothing approach to this. It is to the extent that we don’t live up to our preaching that we lose credibility. If we do it a little bit, we lose a little credibility. If we do it a lot, we lose a lot of credibility.

    Those in the public eye must (and are) held to a higher standard than others. That is the way it must be.

    Years ago, Billy Graham came out in total support of Richard Nixon in his run for a second term in office. When Watergate broke, Graham published an article in the largest Christian magazine at the time apologizing for getting too involved in politics. I admired him so much for doing that. After that move, he has never again endorsed a single candidate or criticized a single politician for their stand on particular issues. Who can argue with the effectiveness of his ministry?

    As to grandstanding, it means ” To perform ostentatiously so as to impress an audience.” Calling for the assassination of Hugo Chavez is not grandstanding? Telling the Prime Minister of Israel that his health problems are vengeance from God over real estate is not grandstanding?

    James Dobson (twice) telling his listeners to protect Christian broadcasting from the attacks of the FCC when it was proven that he knew the attacks were not true is not grandstanding?

    The argument that we cannot criticize someone because none of us are perfect if invalid. Perfection is not the standard any human being can use. I can criticize these men because they place their views in public…as I do…and as such are open to criticism.

    Limbaugh’s drug addiction is not just a media invention or a crusade by an overzealous DA. And it is not the grandstanding I am referring to. He makes bold statements and predictions and has never once come out and said that he was wrong. He just moves on to the next bold and attention-grabbing statement. His personal problems would stay personal if he stopped personally attacking other people’s problems. You get hoisted on your own petard in life.

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