Is Bill O’Reilly Really a Liberal?

My favorite fair and unbalanced newsman, Bill O’Reilly, has been doing some weird things lately.

The Internet has been saying, for example, he allegedly dragged his now ex-wife down the stairs, according to their daughter, “by the neck.” Some family values from a champion of that verity!

And O’Reilly freaks, who can’t get enough of this stuff, still haven’t forgotten the absolutely weird charges of inaccuracy coming down on his reportage like acid rain.

A candidate for the Pulitzer Prize in news fiction, he is acclaimed as a serial liar for his work on the Kennedy assassination, LA race riots, wars in El Salvador and Falkland Islands, among other shortcomings. Fact-checkers are rubbing their hands in anticipation for his next best seller, “Killing Reagan” (out Sept. 15). Don’t be surprised if it tells us Saint Ronnie really thought he was on a set in a movie for those long eight years in the Oval Office.

What you folks who follow the carpet-bombing of O’Reilly’s reputation don’t realize is that the Bill O’Reilly doing all these puzzling things is really not Bill O’Reilly. It is Bill O’Reilly playing the role of Bill O’Reilly on television. He is a method actor who deserves a Lifetime Emmy for his performance.

The fictitious character of Bill O’Reilly was invented by young Billy O’Reilly, as he was known growing up in Levittown, where his father abused him physically and verbally. “I expected only one thing from my dad,” he told me while researching my biography “The Man Who Would Not Shut Up: the Rise of Bill O’Reilly” (St. Martin’s Press).

The role was further carved in stone during his early education. When the nuns at St. Brigid’s weren’t hitting young Billy on the head with a ruler, and throwing a typewriter at him, they were predicting he’d be going to hell for his sins. Another Sister said, “He is not going to purgatory, but to the state penitentiary.”

What others might perceive as lies, for example, it is the character that is lying, not the real O’Reilly. This is how he manages to sleep at night.

The actor O’Reilly really believes there is no spin in his widely self-acclaimed “ No Spin Zone.” Actually, watching “The O’Reilly Factor” is an experience like watching a spin-dry cycle at your local launderette. It’s all spin. O’Reilly’s spin.

The absolutely weirdest thing about O’Reilly, which I hope will not alarm his many followers, is that the dedicated true red, white and blue, hard-core conservative is really a liberal.

I know this for a fact, having sat through 26 half hour-long private audiences with the man Himself over a two-year period.

Space limitations prevent me from regaling you with all his left –wing positions on issues dear to conservatives. A full list would knock the faithful off their recliners. Suffice it to say here, he is against capital punishment, favors treating gays fairly, supports gun controls, immigration reform, welfare checks, and is for campaign reform. “Why can’t we see the government is being corrupted by special interests,” he opined.

For the curious, I recommend pages 227 –9 in the St. Martins Griffin paper edition, of “The Man Who…”, especially the part where he denies he’s a conservative.

Now I’m not saying he’s a communist. I will leave it to betrayed fans. I am not saying he sings Joe Hill songs in the shower about their being pie in the sky, bye and bye. I am not saying he memorized all of Adlai Stevenson’s speeches along with catechism. But the recitation of his soft on progressive views is food for thought –and indigestion.

Will my outing either the real Bill O’Reilly or the actor Bill O’Reilly on Fox News bring them down?

Probably not. The only thing that can rid TV journalism of the blight known as O’Reillyismo is bad ratings.

Billo will never suffer the indignity of his program being cancelled, like Pastor Huckabee and the Russian scholar, Sarah Palin. As an astute Nielsen numbers cruncher, he can detect ratings anemia before they reach the gossip columns, and be out of there before the fat man sings.

His exit strategy, I predict, will be a return to the groves of academia. He will show up at Oxford one day to complete work on his doctorate, a study of the role in the rise of social degeneracy played by cable TV news.

When the curtain finally comes down on the Bill O’Reilly Act, he will be performing nightly in some Irish bar on Long Island with the real O’Reilly sitting on a stool, opining on the issues of the day, arguing with Himself. And always winning.



Marvin Kitman
Executive Producer
The Marvin Kitman Show
June 2, 2015

Marvin Kitman is the author of “The Man Who Would Not Shut Up: The Rise of Bill O’Reilly” [St. Martin’s Press, 2007].