Bill O'Reilly: The Sensible Jerk
He tastes better with age.
I came to a certain point in life when I had to admit that I agreed with Bill O'Reilly more often than not. At first, he seemed just mean, an attacker of the powerless, a bully on a mission, a sheriff thinking he could be a one-man world, judicial system. And admittedly, his attitude is harsh; one imagines him in real life not too fun to be around. But the crazier and more explosive the world gets, the more our culture becomes sex-obsessed and over-saturated with gluttonous impulses on all levels, the more O'Reilly seems necessary and fundamental to the sensible American.
Unlike other extremists, he once said that socialism worked fine in Denmark, it just didn't work well in America. Hannity probably wouldn't admit that. But O'Reilly seems to say things time and again that don't have a narrow tunnel pigeon-holing the facts into an immature patriotism. He's (oh yes!) too smart for that. There are his ideals, which tend to be conservative, but there is not necessarily a "side" he roots for in each individual issue. He may seem to prefer a Republican in the white house, but on most things, he can often be a voice of reason in an age of hysteria. Colbert does a great job making fun of him, but O'Reilly will have Colbert and Stewart on the show, joke around with them, parlay with them. One gets the sense he may even spend quality time with liberals, befriend them, have dinner regularly. But that's speculation. The point is that many liberals or a-political people became so annoyed and disgusted with Fox News at the beginning, that O'Reilly became compartmentalized in the mental file under "conservative bigot." But over the years, he seems to get better, more reasonable, or at least, concentrating on the gaps, the holes in our culture. And yes, if you took the stances the O'Reilly factor actually took, removed any mention of Bill O'Reilly or Fox, and did a survey across America, I'd bet an overwhelming majority of the populus would agree with him much more than they disagree. And many of the people agreeing would define themselves as liberals.