Thursday, April 09, 2009

Quote of the Day: Roger Ebert on (to) Bill O'Reilly

By Michael J.W. Stickings

The Chicago Sun-Times, hardly a long-standing bastion of liberalism (whatever its pro-Rooseveltian founding purpose), recently dropped Bill O'Reilly's syndicated column. In response, O'Reilly, ever thugish, called for an advertising boycott of the newspaper. In response, Roger Ebert, who has more humanity in his right thumbnail than O'Reilly has in his entire being, penned an epistolary comeback that includes this line:

Bill, I am concerned that you have been losing touch with reality recently.

Recently? Thumbs down for the understatement, Mr. Ebert (a film critic whom I have long admired, most of all for bringing Ozu and Kieslowski to American audiences). You make some good points, but you could, should, have been a lot tougher.

Thumbs down, too, for being nice to Conrad Black, hardly a good and decent man.

Thumbs even further down for your characterization of Charles Krauthammer as "admirable." Did you mean that in relative terms? As in, Krauthammer is more admirable than, say, Bill Kristol? Even if you did, "admirable" just isn't the right adjective. Krauthammer may be less of a right-wing hack than some of his peers, which isn't saying much, but he's still a blowhard with a detestable ideological agenda.

Still, well done for standing up to O'Reilly, and for noting that his columns are "composed of knee-jerk frothings and ravings." He is himself little more than frothings and ravings, both on television and in print, and a newspaper without him is so much better for it.

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  • I think Mr. Ebert's column was written tongue-in-cheek, building up to his last line.

    At least that was the impression I got.

    By Blogger Mustang Bobby, at 9:04 AM  

  • Fair enough. I got that sense, too, sort of. But he did a pretty bad job of being facetious. He may very well think Black is a good writer and thinker, and may very well think Krauthammer is among the better conservative pundits.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 9:57 PM  

  • Ebert's bashed Black at length, and considering his love for his newspaper, there's probably no figure who hates Black more than does Roger Ebert. When you don't regularly read a columnist it's unfair to make (mis)judgments like these based on the single column that you do read. Read him all the time, you'll be glad you did.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:54 PM  

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