CNN’s Rick Sanchez’s smackdown of a lying Bully-O
Has it really been six years since the publishing of Al Franken book, Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them ?
Chapter 13 is dedicated to television’s most arrogant narcissist, Bully Bill O’Reilly, a self-styled “cultural warrior” and former war correspondent. (He once covered the Falkland Islands war for CBS and brags that he knows what it’s like to be under fire, although he apparently never left Buenos Aires.) His out-sized ego is so big that Stephen Colbert found it easy to step into his skin and make a mint satirizing “Papa Bear” on his hit tv show, The Colbert Report.
Bully-O got Franken‘s attention when he falsely claimed that he had won a Peabody Award for his television show, The Fucker Factor. (His radio show was far less popular and was dumped earlier this year, quite a feat given the engineered dominance of right wing talk radio). Bully-O was so incensed by Franken‘s book that he threatened Franken would get “what was coming to him.” Apparently that included a seat in the U.S. Senate, so Bully-O has at least been right about something.
In 2004, he sued his former producer Andrea Mackris for $60 mil for extortion, based on her allegations of sexual harassment. It didn’t take long for him to settle the suit, which became known as the “Falafel Affair.” Mackris apparently made phone recordings that captured of some of his more lurid remarks to her, including fantasizing about her with a loufa qua falafel in the shower.
To this day, Bully-O regularly includes stories and pictures featuring titillating women. On Monday of this week he dedicated 2 1/2 minutes of his (commercially sponsored) “cultural warriors” segment to discussing two year old photos of Britney Spears posing half naked and covered in fake tattoos, draped around a dancer’s pole. He opened the segment by offering a lame excuse as to why he thought BS’s pathetic display was so important and worth covering. Unfortunately for him, one of the fillies that he keeps in his stable of fawning blond bimbos, trotted out as trophy foils as the occasion demands, politely disagreed with him. Margaret Hoover, billed as a “Republican strategist,” said she didn’t think that Americans cared, frankly. (Thank you very much, Maggie. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.)
Bully-O‘s tag line, Who’s looking out for you?, is patronizing on its face. As if his major demographic hadn’t learn to do that for themselves in their 65+ years of life. (Okay, maybe some of them haven’t– some people never learn. Others may be suffering in their advanced years from the terrible affliction of age-related dementia.)
For some reason, CNN is promoting faux-populist Lou Dobbs‘ show with same tagline, minus the question mark. Juvenal’s ancient Roman warning Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? But who will guard the guardians themselves? remains as relevant as ever.
While hyperbolic spin has been Bully-O‘s stock and trade for years, he had, in the age of digital media and the internet, presumably tried to keep his blatant lies to a minimum. No more, and it isn’t just him. The whole winger commentariat seems to have chucked the requirement that their brand of propaganda is most effective when it contains enough factual accuracy to camouflage the falsehoods that are its rotten core.
Then again, desperate times call for desperate measures.
One good quote from Juvenal deserves another: Difficile est saturam non scribere: It is difficult not to write satire.