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Bill O'Reilly Plays the Religious Persecution by the Liberal Media Card....again

16 October 2013. Last night on the O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly Bill O'Reillyagain accused the "secular, liberal media" of being unfairly critical and snarky when it comes to people of faith like himself. Bill, a deeply religious man, was offended when members of the liberal/secular media made fun of his book Killing Jesus, which, he says, was written with the assistance of an invisible friend he calls The Holy Spirit. When his guest balked at painting the entire media as secular, liberal, and snarky when it comes to religion (he gave as an example the Boston Globe), O'Reilly was ready with a list of the top offenders. Number one on the list? Bill Maher. Hey, O'Reilly, Maher is a comedian and he appears on HBO, an entertainment network. Comedians are supposed to make fun of people, especially pompous asses who make false claims about themselves and the media.

O'Reilly is not persecuted for his religious beliefs and the rest of the world (except for his viewers on FOX) know this. He seems to think that if he professes some article of his faith, he should be immune from criticism. Let's get this straight. A grown man professes to have written a book with the guidance of one-third of an infallible god--a claim neither he nor anyone else on this or any other planet could prove--and who has the most popular cable news show in America whines about the snarky liberal/secular media? (Last night's broadcast of The Factor, in case you're curious, had 625,000 viewers in 25-54 demo and 3.2 million total viewers.)

Adding to his false sense of persecution and unfairness to religion by the media, O'Reilly cited the recent media coverage of Pope Francis. O'Reilly thinks the Pope is getting a lot of media attention because he's promoting the "gay thing," which the media, of course, has on their agenda of things to brainwash the public with. Actually, Bill, the media is covering Pope Francis because he's saying things that fly in the face of 2,000 years of Catholic Church history. I've seen several reports on Francis, including the CNN retrospective, and I'd say the media is just reporting what he's saying. Some people find the messages of the new pope refreshing; others are horrified. But the media isn't promoting anything.

O'Reilly started his whining about snark in the media for people of faith with a clip of Luke Russert offering his views on snark and religion. I quote from the Fox News website:

On his CBN show, David Brody spoke with MSNBC’s Luke Russert about the media and religion. “Does the media have some sort of bias against whether it be a strong conservative evangelical or maybe a strong Catholic, people of faith?” Brody asked. “It seems if you wear it on your sleeve too much you can get bit to a degree.”

Russert’s response is worth noting.

“I think that’s absolutely accurate and I think the current world in which we live in, specifically with the American media ‘snark’ is valued,” Russert said. “And it’s very easy to come after people of faith no matter what they’re [sic] religion is…You’re sort of tagged with this label of being puritanical and not understanding of others and different viewpoints and I think that’s kind of lazy number one and I think it’s just something that just feeds the snickering masses in that regard.”

The snickering masses? Maybe Russert is ignorant, but I doubt it, of the masses when it comes to religious beliefs. Or maybe Russert thinks the secular/liberal media has taken over the religious passions of the masses. Anyway, Russert's claims don't go to O'Reilly's point that he felt belittled because the "media" don't respect his belief that he is guided by an invisible friend with infinite powers and infallible truth. He seems to think that since he believes his Holy Spirit buddy is guiding him, that what he says and believes should be shielded from criticism. One snarky critic commented: "The Holy Spirit may have inspired Killing Jesus, but he didn’t fact-check it" (Candida Moss in Five things Bill O’Reilly flubs in 'Killing Jesus').

I know why comedians make fun of O'Reilly. He's a pompous ass, spouting drivel that his audience thinks is profound, and he's a major league hypocrite. I make fun of him because I think he's a pompous ass, spouting drivel that his audience thinks is profound, and because he's a major hypocrite. Nobody gets to hide behind the shield of "faith" to protect themselves from criticism....not even Pope Francis. Conservative and traditional Catholics will be relentless in their criticism of the pope and that's as it should be. O'Reilly might learn something, if he bothered to take off his self-righteous blinders and look objectively at how religious beliefs or the beliefs of religious people are dealt with by the media and others in a country that values free speech, independent thinking, and not being intimidated into silence.



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