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The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly Paperback – September 2, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Peter Hart's book is fair and balanced, and if you don't think so you can sue me." -- Al Franken, author of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

About the Author

PETER HART is the activism director at FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting), the national media watch group. He is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated weekly radio show, CounterSpin. He speaks to community groups and on college campuses, and has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Associated Press, and yes, the O'Reilly Factor. He lives in New York City.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press; 1 edition (September 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158322601X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583226018
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.3 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #714,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

128 of 149 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
I recently heard Bill O'Reilly on Terry Gross's FRESH AIR on NPR, and his behavior convinced me that he is either mentally ill or calculatingly manipulative. I tend to the latter. O'Reilly suddenly pretended to be outraged at what he alleged was unfair, biased questioning, but it was interesting that he allowed the interview to go on for 50 minutes, knowing that he was scheduled for a 55 minute time slot. It was obvious that he planned from the outset to blow up and get outraged, in order to have fodder for his own show. That was my impression at the time of the show, but my conviction has been consolidated by this book.
Bill O'Reilly depresses me, partly because who he is-a loutish, aggressive, rude, combative, uninformed bully-but partly about what he says about contemporary American politics. Several former high level Republican leaders-a former speaker of the house and a former senate majority leader(Bob Michel and Bob Dole)-have stated and lamented that a new aggressive, take-no-prisoners style began to emerge with the 1984 Congressional class, led by raucous, unpleasant individuals typified by Newt Gingrich. With Lee Atwater's leading the GOP, the Republicans took on a new hyper-aggressive, win-at-all-costs approach to politics. And with the emergence of pundits like Rush Limbaugh and billionaires like Richard Mellon Scaife funding hordes of ultra Right Wing organizations and projects, any semblance of gentility disappeared, with Right Wingers accusing Democrats of every conceivable crime, knowingly manufacturing untruths (such as multiple accusations against Dukakis in 1988), and then-during the Clinton years-unleashing an unrelenting deluge of absurd charges and innuendos.
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58 of 67 people found the following review helpful By viagrafalls on October 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
Not being American myself, I was pointed towards Bill O'Reilly by a friend in a chatroom, who claimed him to be the saviour of all people with a free mind.
Reading some of his columns, and checking out his website, though, made me feel different. The articles I read supported a heavy conservative point of view, and his whole site seemed to have but one purpose: "Make me rich!". Member-secluded areas (access can be gained by whipping out the credit card), merchandise with his 'logo' on it, banners, etc. His
very articles seemed like nothing more than bantering from someone who is plainly biased, and afraid to admit it.
While I am NOT someone to dismiss another point of view upfront, the turning point for me came after watching O'Reilly rip into a kid whose dad got killed at 9/11. When the kid tried (VERY Reasonably) arguing with O'Reilly, the latter responded by "SHUT UP!" eventually followed by "CUT HIS MIKE!". (Which apparantly is a favourite tactic of him).
After reading the summary to this book, I decided to buy it, just to see what the big scoop was really all about.
I was expecting the author to clearly show the times O'Reilly contradicted himself, did a 180 on certain points of view, etc. Unfortunatly, that's not exactly the case. Rather, the author starts off by what is (in my opinion) a nitpicking sort of way to address shortcomings in O'Reilly's articles.
While this makes an interesting read, that was not exactly what I was hoping for. I was hoping for the "Bias, contradiction" stuff that was promised.
Thankfully, the chapter labeled "O'Reilly Vs. O'Reilly" does just that.
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68 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on September 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
It was everything Franken's book should have been: thoroughly researched, smart, sly, and even with a subtle, edgy humor to it. I particularly like the structure of this book: first he presents a quote from O'Reilly, and then he amplifies on it. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down.
You won't come away from this book believing you are supposed to now hate Bill O'Reilly (which, by comparison, seems to be a theme in Franken's) but you'll likely become a more discerning viewer, taking broad statements and statistics with a greater degree of skepticism. The facts are there. To quote Fox, "YOU decide." You can't get any more 'fair and balanced' than that!
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65 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 12, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first heard of O'Reilly's show from my father-in-law who's one of the world's greater prudes. He showed me a few of O'Reilly's moralisms in one of the books the alleged unspinner markets. I read them then ignored them as I do most of what my father in law recommends.
But to hear O'Reilly on the tube! What is it about loudmouth windbags that appeals to people? Because that's all O'Reilly is.
To be honest, when I first saw this book advertised before it became available, I thought it would be thicker, a more "scholarly" documentary of what's wrong with O'Reilly. When I got it, I saw it wasn't that thick. It reminded me of some of those comedy manuals that made jokes of the inept rhetoric of Dan Quayle and George W. for example. So I opened it expecting to be disappointed. I wasn't.
The author does a pretty good job of refuting just about everything O'Reilly says. Billy boy claims he's not a conservative. But he says nothing positive about anyone remotely connected with the Democratic party, and nothing negative about right wing Republicans, not matter how outrageous the statement or act.
Yet O'Reilly still has the audacity to call his stands "unspin," where that's all he does but spin, spin, and spin some more for anything he chooses to believe in, any stand he chooses to make.
There's a lengthy section in which scores of O'Reilly's statements are listed, followed by an "Oh, Really?" in which the statement is always challenged, usually refuted.
There's an entire chapter dedicated to the many times O'Reilly has contradicted himself. And the section on the person on O'Reilly's show who had a relative die on 9/11, yet was opposed to the war is a gem!
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The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly
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