on February 4, 2005
Who's Looking Out for You?
This book is Bill O'Reilly's self help guide for American citizens. Its not particularly insightful, but it is interesting. If you like his show it will give you some good biographical information and some insights into who he is and why. His main argument on the need to be cautious before crediting someone with looking out for you is well written and quite persuasive. People in power are not looking out for you; they are looking out for themselves, their image, their wallet, their friends and then maybe you (in descending order).
The book does have its moments. O'Reilly uses a great quote to open his assault on the decadence of government from Scottish historian Alexander Tyler: "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy." (p. 68)
Obviously, democracy can not survive a massive redistribution of wealth. Essentially, most in government (particularly liberals O'Reilly mentions) are not looking out for you! That being said individuals need to take personal responsibility for all of their actions and live their life accordingly. They need to look out for themselves! In this regard the book fulfills its main objective: it is truly fools gold to think that anyone (especially the government) but good friends and family will ever look out for you.
on January 19, 2006
The author presents his thesis with 3 star things his detractors "fail" to use. Logic, reason, and historical facts. This book represents the 70% of Americans that are in the moderate center, while poking huge holes in the left and right extremes. Chapter 9 was poignant. He describes the 3 foundations for his own success: discipline, education, and persistence. Candidly going through a list of mistakes he made in his career. Contrary to a couple of mistaken reviewers, Mr. O'Reilly showed great humility. Some people resent a moral person writing from a non-relativist point of view, I found it refreshing!
on December 4, 2003
Who's Looking Out For You
Well I hate to say it, but what Bill O'Reilly writes about in his book is what every one of us already knew or should have known. Nothing new in what he is writing about, if you didn't know the best person to watch out for you is yourself then maybe you do need to read Mr. O'Reilly's book. You should also know the people that you can trust to help out should be the people that are the closest to you, but then again sometimes even close people will turn their back on you if you your not watching out for number one. Like Mr. O'Reilly's TV show Mr. O'Reilly has set himself up as a know it all, on just about everything. I do agree with Mr. O'Reilly on most of what he says and writes about but do like to hear both sides and not just Bill O'Reilly one sided way of doing his business. I think for most people the book is a good read and the rest should already know who's looking out for you with out reading. Larry Hobson- Author "The Day Of The Rose"
on March 18, 2004
A veteran myself, I did not appreciate Mr. O'Reilly's jab in one of the sections on defense that, quote, "anyone who has been in the military and fought in a war is a Republican. A veteran who proclaims to be a Democrat should not have come back alive."
Very arrogant and insensitive from someone who purports to support the military.
on October 22, 2004
I couldn't finish this book. I wasn't impressed with the first two and I'm just downright insulted by this one. I'm obviously not his intended audience. Too preachy for me. I don't need Bill to tell me right from wrong or how to live my life. I'd be more interested in his insights into current issues based on the kind of access to public figures and information Bill has that most of the rest of us don't. Just can't get into Bill telling me how to live a successful life. I've already figured that out...
on September 26, 2003
It frustrates me that so many of the reviews on here are either 1 star or 5 stars - there is a middle ground, you know! While I don't agree with many of O'Reilly's views, I do believe his television show is usually worth watching: he makes expert use of television as a medium, and is pushing 'news talk shows' in a new direction. Whether those who follow his model will do with such energy and passion is doubtful, but still...
I've not read any previous books by O'Reilly, but thought I'd give this one a try. While his voice comes through strongly at times, the book doesn't have the same visceral kick as the tv show - at times, the book is a little pedestrian and lame. Does anyone else have anything to say about O'Reilly's effectiveness as a writer? I just don't think he's very good at it.
on January 16, 2004
There is a part of me that likes Bill O'Reilly. I respect his irreverence--his go against the grain nature. His penchant for calling out the truth in a fact-based way, combined with his self-deprecating nature, are refreshing as well. Despite the angry claims of a lot of O'Reilly critics, he does at times admit mistakes, as well as state opinions that go against Republicans and the Republican party. Sure, some of his emotional points of view, like denigrating ALL rap artists, are a bit over the top, but one can't expect to agree with everything someone says. In addition, his woe is me--they all hate me and they're all biased hooplah, which feeds into his own endless tirade of self-promotion, is tiring.
All of that said, there is little to recommend in this book. Yes, his views on people and institutions from various walks of life who aren't looking out for you are at times illuminating. But after awhile, one can't help but feel increasingly anxious reading this book. Are things really this bleak? Is there really such a stark "good versus evil" component in all walks of life? I'd like to think there is a bit more color and hope in the world. Bill's suggestions on how to operate in a world where so many folks aren't looking out for you, are pitifully inadequate. He freely admits his own mistakes in his career, but one should be careful before drawing any analogies between the world of broadcasting and almost any other field. As is the case in the world of acting, there are very few broadcasting slots at the top, the barriers to entry are actually pitifully low, and sexism and bad behavior are rampant. Lacking in Bill's suggestions are recommendations toward cultivating any form of "emotional intelligence," and chief among qualities of emotional intelligence is empathy. While developmentally, Bill has come a long way according to his own claims, it appears he could still benefit from some basic emotional intelligence.
The book is essentially 212 pages of very large type, with very little content. I was disappointed.
Written in 2003 - a little dated but Bill is seeking out the truth daily on his TV show, checking out the waste and corruption of our federal government. Often the No-Spin Zone is the place for honesty and a fresh view at the stories of the day. I have read a half-dozen of his books and often view him as 'spot-on' and not afraid to delve deeper into the political stories. Keep up the good work!
on January 12, 2004
I have no problem whatsoever with Bill O'Reilly's politics. In fact, he's to the LEFT of me on many issues. I like Fox News, also, and the few times I've watched the O'Reilly Factor, I had no problem whatsoever in his delivery or style.
I guess my main issue with this book -- the first and only O'Reilly book I will probably ever read -- is that there's not much "there" there.
It's just a collection of not-very-earth-shattering bits of personal annecdotes, sprinkled with some good personal advice. But -- is this enough to warrant a number one best seller and millions and millions of dollars in profit?
While I admire anyone who can sit down and write a book, I don't see a whole lot of hard work or research in this thin (212 pages with VERY large type and lots of space between the lines) book.
It must be nice to have a national forum (TV and radio) and lots of fans in order to plug a book and produce a best-seller.
He has an easy-going writing style, but this is one forgettable book, and I have read quite a few in the past year.
As for me, I'm getting a little tired of this whole "Left-Wing" vs. "Right-Wing" best seller con game that is going on right now in this country.
Michael Moore, Al Franken, Hillary Clinton, et. al., on the left regularly come out with their lightweight best sellers; Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, et. al., come out with their lightweight best sellers.
We -- the public -- buy them either to support our political heros, or to see what the other side is thinking.
Meanwhile -- the pseudo-intellectuals who crank out this pap, and the publishers that print it -- get rich.
When a man can make millions putting out a lightweight book like this, something's wrong with this picture.
on December 7, 2003
As a fan of O'Reilly's TV series, "The O'Reilly Factor," and as a guy who's been without cable for the past few months, I was looking forward to hearing what O'Reilly had to say in his most recent book, "Who's Looking Out for You?" To my surprise, though, O'Reilly didn't have many new things to say--and what was new wasn't that interesting.
O'Reilly's last two books focused on his TV show, his personal life, and his opinions; both of those books I enjoyed. "Who's Looking Out for You?" takes a different angle; the author attempts to offer life advice. Unfortunately, in my opinion, he's just not very good at that. Now, O'Reilly doesn't give bad advice--he simply gives advice that pretty much everyone reading his book is going to agree with. In the chapter about parenting, for example, he says, "Don't lie to your kids." When it comes to careers, O'Reilly suggests that you "keep your mistakes to a minimum." Although what O'Reilly writes isn't offensive or false, it's--well--boring.
If you're a regular viewer of "The Factor," you won't hear anything new when O'Reilly discusses his opinions about the government, taxes, the war on terror, immigration, the Catholic church, Jesse Jackson, and every other topic O'Reilly's already debated (several times) on his TV series. If you're not a regular, you might find O'Reilly's opinions interesting; but if not, you might find yourself falling asleep as he rehashes what he's already said on "The Factor."
The good news is that it's not at all old material; Bill does recount a few interesting personal stories, including his brief encounter with Bill Clinton. And, to my great surprise, O'Reilly actually discussed the time he was accused of making a racial slur at a fundraising party. (In one memorable episode of "The O'Reilly Factor," O'Reilly's guest, Neal Boortz, mentioned the accusation and suggested that O'Reilly was doing an anti-racism story in an attempt to restore possible damage to public relations, to which O'Reilly quickly responded, "You vicious son of a b----!" The alleged racial slur was never again mentioned on O'Reilly's program, but stunningly, Bill addresses it in his book.)
Unfortunately, those two stories are the highlight; the rest is what you've already seen and heard on "The Factor." If you're a big fan of O'Reilly, maybe a couple of personal anecdotes is worth twenty bucks. For me, it was worth exactly the fifty cents I paid to put the book on hold at the library.