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Saturday, February 21, 2004
Bill O'Reilly In LA--The Pasty-Meter Pegs Up
The last time I saw anything as close to this high a percentage of white people at an event in the LA area was a 2000 Nader rally in Long Beach.I think the last time there was a crowd this pasty was when Dick and Lynne arrived at a Cheney family reunion.
Let's contrast this with the working people of Los Angeles. I live in a working class neighborhood and I commute with working class people on the bus and metro. The people there were not the working classes of LA. What I could tell from the people I saw and the cars they drove, it would be fair to say that the audience was primarily comprised of middle and upper-middle class whitebreads. I thought it was a big contrast with the Brentwood Coffee Bean I visited after O'Reilly's talk; about one third of the customers were nonwhite.
There is no dishonor in this. I have nothing personal against the O'Reilly's audience for being middle and upper-middle class white people (especially the blonde wearing the miniskirt and fuck-me boots). I come from a middle class white background. I honor many of the values of middle class society (e.g., when I have to tell someone to quit talking in the movie theater, it is very rarely a middle class person). I went to a predominantly upper-middle class undergraduate school (and if it were possible to still be there, I would still be there). So my dispute is not with middle class white society, it is with O'Reilly's claim to represent the American working class. He may be their champion, but they weren't the people who showed up to his speech.
My thesis was further supported by audience reaction to O'Reilly's talk. O'Reilly brought down the house when he made the following observations:
"...[E]veryone in California should have a right to carry a concealed weapon."
"He [George W. Bush] did really well [in an interview on the O'Reilly Factor]."
"Stuart Smalley [Al Franken] is the biggest liar in the country!" [O'Reilly didn't elaborate on any of Franken's alleged lies to the audience]
"If the presidential race were held tomorrow, Bush would win. Bush would win." [The applause was very loud after this comment]
"Well-informed people don't listen to Barbra Streisand."
The crowd really ate it up over O'Reilly's most obnoxious comment that night: "If I were gay, I would marry Hillary!"
These comments also don't exactly square with one of O'Reilly's comments in his talk: "I'm not an ideologue. I don't have an agenda. What I want is the best for America--the best for the folks." Is O'Reilly full of it? I'm reporting; you decide.
Addendum: NewsMax sponsors O'Reilly's newsletter: The title the story on O'Reilly's trip to LA this week in his 2/19 No Spin email newsletter was "Bill Survives a Week in California." It also noted that the newsletter was sponsored by Chris Ruddy's NewsMax. Celebrity Boxing? In his talk, O'Reilly made the following comments: "...Snoop Dogg, who, by the way, in a magazine said that he wants to b-slap me [audience laughter] ... I've got a message for Snoop: Hey, Mr. Dogg, you may be sniffing around the wrong guy here. [Audience laughter] ...You lay a finger on me and your rap days may be over fast!" [Audience applause and laughter] One Thing I wanted to ask O'Reilly: I wanted to ask him about the phony quote in Who's Looking Out for You?
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