The Gospel Truth

Is Bill O’Reilly A Pinhead?

October 4, 2010
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I just finished reading TV and radio host, Bill O’Reilly’s latest book, Pinheads and Patriots: Where you stand in the age of Obama.

For the uninformed, a regular feature on O’Reilly’s Fox News TV show is where the host categorizes news figures as pinheads or patriots.

The latter are the worthies who have done something that benefits society.

Pinheads slide on a slippery slope.  Get in with the wrong crowd, get taken in by their own success, or get some bad advice, and all of that can lead to a residence in Pinheadville, a place everyone should avoid if you can.

Like his TV show, the Factor with its no spin zone, O’Reilly has an uncanny knack for irritating me to the nth degree.

As par for his mini golf course, he vainly attempts to be fair and balanced, which by my standards only guarantees that he will be wrong 50% of the time.

The very nature of his motto implies a certain kind of moral equivalency that is destructive to moral issues, such as abortion.

He takes so much time in bending over backwards so as appear to be fair that he nullifies or undercuts the truth that his positions supposedly are based on.

Oh don’t get me wrong, there are times when he shows his true combative mettle, especially in dealing with the likes of Barney Frank, the homosexual Congressman from Massachusetts.

 

Congressman Frank doing his Elmer Fudd "look"

O'Reilly finally got combative

 

After reading Pinheads, I have come to the conclusion that O’Reilly is at his combative best when discussing economic issues as demonstrated by his boisterous confrontation with Frank and his splendid but incomplete interview with Barack Obama–the latter which comprised the last and arguably the best chapter in his book.

But I wasn’t crazy about how Bill was so chummy with the president.  They bonded like two pals after a friendly game of basketball.

 

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What's next--shooting some hoops?

 

I have noticed that aspect of O’Reilly’s demeanor when dealing with left-wing icons–with the sole exception Mr. Frank.

His deference reminds me of the way opposing lawyers pal around after a nasty court case.

You could have had them switch sides during the court proceedings and they would have done so like chameleons on a bush.

My biggest complaint with Bill is his bogus claim that he is a cultural warrior.

That would be risible if it were not so serious.  To Bill the culture war involves saving a few Christmas trees and creches from extinction.

He is more like a cultural spectator, sitting on the sideline, afraid to really take a side than a real cultural warrior.

The major issue of the current culture war is abortion.

It serves as the symbol for the attitudes and deep beliefs that separate us as a people…just as slavery bifurcated the nation 150 years ago.

 

Missed the whole point!

 

Abortion has divided us into right and left, red and blue states, and conservative and liberal.

I interviewed Bill on my old radio station, WGNU, just before his ascendancy into the big time…though I take absolutely no credit for it.

The interview on WGNU lasted about 15 minutes–I was a big deal around the station for landing O’Reilly–on our small station.  I usually produced my own show—well at least I procured all my own guests.

Of that 15 minutes, I spoke no more than 90 seconds and let him do most of the talking, which was not a difficult chore.

I think that’s what has made me a really good interviewer— I let the guest speak.  I believe people would rather hear the ideas of the guests than my interpretation of their ideas.

As a footnote that’s why O’Reilly is a poor interviewer— he is too interested in giving his spin and in his own the no-spin zone–rather than letting them talk.

The only issue I challenged him on was abortion.

I feel that he does not like to discuss the subject.  I think he may be afraid of the acrimony and unpopularity that is attendant to being authentically pro-life.

His answer if my recall is accurate was pure whishy-washiness…a vapid, non-committal bit of unadulterated intellectual fluff that was designed to get out of the hole with the fewest scrapes.

His autobiography A Bold Piece of Meat or whatever the nun called him many years ago went a long way in understanding just who Bill O’Reilly really is.  I was generally impressed with his candor about his wise-guy past. (No, I am not saying he was a hitman for the Mafia!)

I was amazed as to how poor a student he was in grade school.  He prided himself on being the bane of most of the nuns existence.

Fortunately for him his buddy Clem was did some things, Bill would never in all of his boldness have attempted.

At 6’4″ tall sports were his forte.  He played virtually everything that had a ball or a puck.

O’Reilly appears much taller when you stand next to him–which I did at a benefit for the St. Agnes Home here in St. Louis.

One thing I will say is that he is very generous with his time for charitable causes–I believe he waived his usual $75,000 fee.

The format for his talk was written questions in advance so he could filter the ones he did not want to answer.

I had written one about abortion but I was told it never made it to the floor, even though he did spend three hours answering questions.

I had a personal conflict that night–I really wanted to hear him speak but dinner took so long that I did not want to miss any more of the Holy Cross-SIU basketball game that was being televised at the same time.

Bill’s father had gone to Holy Cross and became an accountant.

 

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Taller in person

 

I tried to use this as an ice-breaker during my interview but his father’s education did not seem to hold a high place in his priority system.

I tried that with a Cardinal of the Church one time with a similar result.

That’s how I got to briefly talk to him.  We were waiting in the wings, getting ready to bolt when he was making his entrance from the same spot.

I briefly mentioned his being on my program years ago.  He politely nodded with that disdainful look he sometimes has on the air when he wanted to dismiss a subject.

For the record my early departure was all for naught as Holy Cross was down by 10 points at the half and never got back into the game and as we were summarily eliminated from the NCAA’s Big Dance as we had been for the last 50 years.

 

File:Fenwick Hall CollegeOfTheHolyCross.jpg

Another link with O'Reilly

 

I was not surprised that O’Reilly had failed again to adequately broach the “A” subject.

In his book on the culture war, Bill does not even list abortion in the index.  How can he call himself a cultural warrior?

In his Bold Piece book, there are just two comments in the book on abortion. I think he said that we really didn’t know when life began and the second was similarly dismissive.

I do remember that his thoughts on this issue could have been written by Harry Blackmun, who had written the majority opinion on the infamous Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.

I am not saying that Bill is pro-choice but I think this giant cultural warrior is a midget when it comes to defending innocent life.

 

This is what REAL cultural warriors do!

 

He is a wimp, or whatever word fits someone who does not have the courage of his convictions.

Perhaps he is afraid of offending women.

After watching his colleague, the Foxy Meghan Kelly eat his lunch time and time again, maybe I am on to something.

I think all women should be offended by this attack on the greatest power that any human could ever have–the ability to give life to a child of God.

They should all know that abortion was invented by men for the benefit of men.

I don’t know who said that but it sounds like something Hugh Hefner could sink his false teeth into.

They tell me that the Jesuits at Holy Cross virtually let the feminists run the place because they are afraid of them.

Millions of real women are out there protesting what abortion is doing to women.

I have seen them..I have stood with them.

Where is O’Reilly?  Has he ever picketed an abortion clinic?  Has he ever attended a march in Washington D. C.?

That’s what cultural warriors do…not sit around and pontificate about the assault on Christmas as testament their membership in the culture war crusade.

Does all this make Bill a pinhead?   I’ll let you make up your mind.

 

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A resident of Pinheadville?

 

Send me your comments, I would love to hear what YOU think Bill is.


A Weekend of Yesterdays

June 22, 2010
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PART II

Saturday morning was the most memorable part of the entire reunion weekend.   It began with an Economics lecture from a member of the Department.

The professor spirited approach melded nostalgia with some current economic data.  He compared the prices of goods, and services as they were in 1965 and what they are now.

According to his calculations, gas was surprisingly cheaper today in minutes one had to work to earn the $2.65 a gallon.   Of course this was before the BP spill and the government’s failure to act swiftly to coordinate the clean up.

During the Q&A, his discussion of the national debt, which he described as a manageable $10 trillion, was less than stellar.

If he read the WSJ or listened to Fox News, he would have known that the official National Debt was more like $13 trillion but what is a few trillion among friends.

When asked about the unfunded debt of nearly $100 trillion for SS and Medicare, his thinking got even more fuzzy–like Robert Gibbs trying to explain ObamaCare with all of its self-contradictions.

(It just dawned on me that the two words that never came up the whole weekend were prostate and Obama.)

When the professor ventured into Theology during his lackadaisical attempt to show his mild concern about run-away  government spending he was on even thinner ice.

In talking about Congress’s in-born reluctance to cut spending, he quoted what he thought was St. Francis…Lord make me celibate but not just now.

Two ‘mates beat me in yelling out…Augustine! The real  quote was Lord make me chaste, but just not now!

None of his economic naiveté distracted from the best thing he did all day and that was–his opening theme–a rendition of the Beatles’ #1 hit from 1965, Yesterday.

Though it sounded more like an historian’s lament, it was a perfect characterization of the purpose of a reunion weekend for us as we recalled the many memories that we have from our yesterdays at Holy Cross.

Our very own tag-team of brilliant doctors provided some very practical and rudimentary ways to keep the memories warehouse functioning.  Next to my big mouth, a very good memory is my strongest feature.

What good will our yesterdays be when dementia has robbed us of our ability to remember?

My mother died of Alzheimer’s on 3/11 and her gradual memory loss sometimes torments me.  My theatrical production, The Last Memory of an Ol’ Brownie Fan deals with my fear.

Both doctors, Joe from Harvard and Leo from Yale were compelling.  How fortunate is our class to have these two consummate medical professionals instruct us about the ravages of age with the most up-to-date information on dementia.

While Dr. Joe gave us the scientific skinny on dementia, its roots, causes and treatments, Dr. Leo related the practical side with suggestions for picking good parents, eating right–little red meat and fatty substances– exercising,  and drinking red wine moderately.

It was obvious that the menus for all of our meals were not prepared by either of our doctors

One of their colleague, Dr. Phil, was seen bellying up to the red wine bar on every occasion–just for medicinal purposes.

The only thing I think that they left out was–laughter.  As the Readers Digest says, Laughter is the Best Medicine.

On a sidebar, during the Q&A I attempted to find a restroom in Fenwick.  I wandered all over the buildings until finally I found one.  I had neglected to drop bread crumbs.

I had to exit the building and I was somewhere near the library on the opposite side of our talks.

By then the gloom of a rainy day had set in Worcester and I got wet.  The unabated rain was in stark contrast to the sunny camaraderie that filled our meeting room that morning.

Next came the Class Mass, arguably the high point of the weekend.  It was concelebrated by Fathers Charles Dunn and our ‘mate Father Paul.

I believe Father Paul is the only mate of the seven who entered the priesthood after graduation.  (One was murdered years ago on the island of Jamaica.)

I did the 1st reading and it was loaded with tough words, like Elijah, Elisha, Baphomet and a bunch of oxen.

Another ‘mate read the intentions, followed by four other ‘mates who provided a requiem for our dead.

I waited until my roommate of three years, Peter L.’s name was called and blessed myself.   I think I still grieve his memory.

Father Paul was ebullient and had the enthusiasm of a rookie priest.

Father Dunn alluded to Paul’s bold imitation of himself during one of our banquets.  Father Dunn was our Prefect of Discipline–a man whom I vowed NEVER to encounter for my four years.  As was part of his job description he never smiled!

When Paul walked in dressed in Father Dunn’s dower attire, he marched around in front of over 700 shocked students, who sat it stunned silence as the proverbial pin crashed loudly on the floor.

I thought they were going to toss him out of school–maybe they made him become a priest because of his stunt.  (They should have made him a bishop.)

I suspected Father Dunn’s comments were payback for what had been one of our class’ most memorable events.

Father Dunn, who was nearing 87, appeared fresh, fit and not only smiled but laughed throughout his talk.  He was like fine wine, which just reaffirmed Dr. Leo’s comments about wine and its medicinal properties.

Father Dunn told us that there was a war going on–against hedonism, materialism and modernism.  He didn’t name the collective enemy but I think he meant the Culture War, which is unlike anything the country has seen since the 1860’s.

He also used St. Paul’s fight the good fight in the same context.

I don’t know if I was the only one to remember this but in 1961 during our orientation period, an English Professor–Edward Callahan also told us to fight the good fight.

Without really knowing it, Father Dunn had brought us full circle from nearly 50 years ago.

It was good advice then and it is good advice now.

I saved the most inspirational moment for last.

Just before the talks began, one ‘mate came in the back door of the room, pushing a walker.

A couple of people were on canes with broken limbs but no walkers.  We’re too young for them, I thought.

Well on Saturday night, while in the red wine line, with Dr. Phil, I asked him about it.

He said quite casually as someone might say they had allergies— I have ALS.

My only response was amyotrophic lateral sclerosis–as if I wanted him to say it was something else.

He nodded and all I could think to say to him was I’ll pray for you.

I have and I will.  I can’t express the gamut of emotions that flooded my mind at that precise moment.

It wasn’t so much the seriousness of his illness but the calm, matter-of-fact resignation in his voice that stuck in my mind.

He was all right with the hand he had been dealt and that was quite an inspiration to me.

I saw Jim E. just before leaving on Sunday.  I was making the rounds, trying to get my last bit of the EA’s (environmental applause) and at the last table I stopped, he looked me right in the eye and gave me that peaceful nod again.

Again at a loss for words, all I could muster was Take care of yourself.

It was at that moment it all came together.  I don’t know if I will ever see Jim or any of the others again.

Life is terminal as Dr. Leo reminded us.  We have to Carpe Diem…in the Christian sense and cherish each moment together–each old memory because our postcards are already printed and waiting in the outbox of our history.

They are only waiting the word from the Divine Postmaster General.

That’s why this past weekend of yesterdays at Holy Cross was so vitally important to me.

The site of My Yesterdays


Playboy for the Masses

November 17, 2009
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In response to my last posting, my friend Emmett raises a good question about the Catholic faith.  How can a religion about forgiveness and reconciliation tick off so many people?   What is so offensive about a Savior and a humble family from 2000 years ago?

Perhaps it is the fact that Catholics are supposed to kneel before the Blessed Sacrament and secular society encourages its disciples to kneel before other men or ideas that promote the control of other people.  Sure the Church stresses conformity to its “way of thinking,” but it is voluntary.  Sure they used to use Heaven or Hell arguments to goad us into compliance with the right way of behavior but again free will was what set us off from lower forms of animals.

To the secular state we are no better than numbers and statistics—round people that bureaucrats want to force into square animal holes.  Just wait until they are running the entire health care system in this country. We might as well stop giving our children names and just call them by their SS numbers when they are born—Heck they even give you two middle numbers to go with your three digit praenomen and your three digit cognomen.  It will be easy and we will not have to worry about being overtly creative.

On a similar note, I was reading the obits in the Post-Dispatch this morning—I always check them to make sure I haven’t died in my sleep—I was drawn to a citing for an attractive woman who died this past Sunday.  It mentioned that she was the “companion” of some man, which I believe is Newspeak for she was “living in sin.”  Well that’s not what struck me.  It was more the “other” meaning” meaning of the word “companion.”

Perhaps some of you are unaware that the wonderful PETA people, you know the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals?  They are the ones who encourage beautiful and handsome celebrities to shed their “second skin,” and pose for propaganda posters.  They have become Playboy for the Masses.   They are trying to change the language so that we throw the word “pet” on the ash heap of history.  They find that “pet” is demeaning to animals and animals have rights…at least according to one of our current president’s new czars—Cass Sunstein.

But the scary truth about animals having rights—how can they have rights when they have no free will—maybe that’s why they get ticked off at Catholics—-is that it does not raise the value of animals but only lowers our value as humans.

Think about it—if the government can equate animals with people they can have their collective way with us a lot more easily.  It was  the Catholic Church in those bad, old Medieval days of the so-called “Dark Ages,” that elevated the status human beings, especially women, by emphasizing in its teachings with its formidable theological and philosophical support system that men and women were made in the image and likeness of God.  That provided us with a 1st class upgrade.   This is the main underpinning that propels the Church’s “Right to Life” movement.  We are not animals.  We are not companions but humans with the spark of divine life in us—all of us.

But what is the tenor of society today?  They tell us Darwin killed the need of a Heavenly creator.  Now they are trying to destroy the soul and the thought of life after death.   St. Louisans might remember the ad campaign that the zoo ran a few years ago about the fact that chimps and humans had 98% of the same DNA.

I don’t know about you but that whole idea bothered me until I asked the author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Evolution,” on Phyllis Schlafly’s radio program.  He asured me that there was a big difference in that 2%. I told him I was relieved and could now stop having my back shaved every two days.

I once flew with J. Fred Muggs—remember him when Dave Garoway was the host of the NBC Today Show?  OK I do because I am OLD!  Ok, I said it.  Well old Fred gets on the plane wearing a cool yellow plaid jacket.  He sat in 1st class of course.  Well when my family boarded the plane—about 30 years ago—old Fred is stripped naked and standing tall in a…CAGE!

I submit to you that this is the end result when people are reduced to the level of animals…and believe me it is a lot easier to kill an animal than it is a human being.   In the Civil War Era, black slaves were defined as “chattel,” which mean “property.”  The Jews in Nazi Germany were officially listed as “Untermenschen.”  You do not need to know German to realize that meant something less than human.  Unborn children are usually referred to as “fetuses,” which creates a sense of ambiguity as to their “humanness.”

Last weekend I was fortunate to have interviewed Bill Donohue the president of the American Life League.  Bill has been fighting a long battle against ideas, such as the one I have described today. You might check out his book, “Secular Sabotage: How Liberals are Destroying Religion and Culture in America.” I admire his courage and his indefatigable enthusiasm for engaging our ideological adversaries on the intellectual filed of combat.  And that’s what it is—combat—there is a culture war going on for the very soul of America.  The battle lines are being joined.  Now is the time to gird our loins with the Gospel truth and take the fight to the enemy who are not bound by rules of logic, honesty and truthfulness.

Please tell your friends and even your enemies about my blog, so that we can stir of the pot of apathy among those who profess to believe in God, truth, motherhood etc.


About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at bbprof@sbcglobal.net

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