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Reading

A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity

An attempt is made for a fair and balanced look at Fox Network blabbermouth Bill O'Reilly's eighth book, a so-called "issues-based memoir."

Book Digest In the end, it is difficult to view perennial Countdown “Worst Person in the World” candidate and Fox Network blabbermouth Bill O’Reilly as anything other than a blustering clown with a deep streak of the bully in him. Why then, you ask, have I engaged in the selfless service of examining O’Reilly’s latest opus, A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity (Broadway Books)? Simple, I assert: Having found little useful in my very occasional glimpses of him as a TV pundit and interviewer, I wondered what he could possibly say on the page in this, his eighth tome, a so-called “issues-based memoir” (which, by the way, is ranked no. 30 in sales at the big online bookseller). The title of which the author claims was bestowed upon him by Sister Mary Lurana in the third grade at St. Brigid’s elementary school.

Besides leading with a profound epigram from Don Henley’s song “The Boys of Summer” (“Don’t look back / You can never look back”), I was struck by the boldness of the before-the-title page Pledge of Allegiance complete with graphic drawing of the American flag. No mistaking O’Reilly for anything other than a red-blooded, meat-eating, American patriot. And in case you are impatient to know what Bill is about, here he is in his own words:
I could go on with my story but as I like to say on the air, enough is enough. You’ve got it, a bold fresh piece of humanity fights his way up and becomes a media force. Along the way he has many adventures and encounters that have shaped his vision and philosophy. If there is a Cliff notes for this book, I’ve just summed it up in a paragraph.
Yup, that’s what you get in 272 pages—bold fresh piece of humanity Bill having adventures. Or here’s O’Reilly’s ultimate revelation:
My father had no clue what my future would be and, truthfully, avoided much conversation about it. My parents cared, but from a distance. Through the years, whenever I whined about some workplace injustice, my father’s reply always met his usual pithy standards: “Slug it out.”
OK.
This will not come as a shock to you, but to say I went to work with a chip on my shoulder is like saying Britney Spears might have made a few bad decisions. Stating the obvious. But here’s the beauty of being the bold, fresh guy in the world of journalism: That edge made me work harder than most everybody else in the newsroom.

Admittedly, the lack of vocational support or wise counsel when things got difficult put me at a disadvantage in the marketplace. But I got very good at “slugging it out.”

And I needed that skill because, to this day, I have to deal with some very bad people in TV land. Most of the time, I defeat them. Most of the time.
And there you have it. Whatever it is.
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