Thursday, September 01, 2005

Big Surprise

I have an admission to make, one that may shock you. I...I hate Bill O'Reilly.

Okay, I know you weren't really shocked at that, but my hatred for the man really came into full bloom tonight. My gym is very small, and we all have to watch a common television in the cardio room. Some jackass has been choosing Fox News lately. I can usually ignore it, but with the aftermath of Katrina, and all the chaos in New Orleans, the visuals have been very commanding, and the situation changes so fast that I have been tending to pay attention to the news instead of burying my head in the current issue of Entertainment Weekly. But tonight I was exposed to giant braying head that is Bill O'Reilly. I really feel like the job of the media is to report on what is going on down there. I mean, it's all still unfolding, and it seems a little early to start throwing blame around and to politicize it. Yet, that is exactly what Bill O'Reilly was doing in the fifteen minutes I was able stomach before debarking from my ellipitcal trainer and changing the channel (anything anything anything, I muttered to myself. I will watch virtually anything so long as it isn't this jackass.). I could not believe the crap he was spewing as he positioned himself to lay blame on the Democratic governer of Lousiana for...I'm not sure what he expected...for not stopping nature from taking it's course? For not being able to personally control the actions of a dozen different agencies? O'Reilly sanctimoniously sat there talking to the reporter in the field (because, you know, God forbid he emulate someone like Anderson Cooper and actually go down there) asking stupid questions like, "Why didn't they declare martial law and just shoot looters on sight?" The reporter, sort of weakly, tried to explain that martial law is declared through Congress, and O'Reilly totally brushed that off. It's like he didn't get that a lot of these people were looting things like...water. And food. And baby formula. You know, stuff that's essential to continue living. Which, I guess, Mr. O'Reilly doesn't think they should because...I don't know? They're poor and weren't able to get out before the storm hit? I'm not endorsing stealing, but if your choices are A. take the bottle of water from the store or b. die, I'm pretty sure I know what my choice would be. (There was a really interesting article on looting and what it means and the roots of looting.) I'm not saying that I'd be stealing flat screen TVs and crap like that, but food and water? Hell yeah.

And instead of offering thoughtful commentary, or just reporting what was happening, he sat there judging the choices made by the law enforcement officers and the rescue teams that instead of gathering up dead bodies, that they try to rescue the living and get them out, and then maybe go and pick up the dead. Yes, the bodies have to be picked up and identified and given proper respect. But shouldn't the first efforts focus on saving the living first? Am I crazy, that this should be the first priority?

So my dislike of Bill O'Reilly, which sort of hovered around at a back-of-my-mind-six has now risen to a front-of-my-mind-eleven. Because, really. How dare he sit there and judge the actions of the people on the ground, who are ill-prepared for this sort of disaster. Our forces are stretched thin (you know, that little action you are all so gung-ho about O'Reilly? Gee, it really sucks the man power out of the country, doesn't it?), and, let's face it. This is unprecedented. I think no matter how well prepared you think you are, there's no way you can be sure. No one knew the levees would break (I mean, they certainly worried about it, but there's not anything that could have been done about it. It just really really bothers me that this whole thing is already being spun, and the actual real human tragedy that is unfolding is being cheapened by people grasping for a political advantage.

Katrina Relief Resources


Post a Comment

<< Home